When you’re a 25 year old ship, a little nip and tuck is required every so often to keep you looking good and performing at your best.
For HMAS Melbourne her recent maintenance period, did just that and allowed the Ship’s Safety and Environment Team to throw down the challenge of bettering the positive safety culture established during the previous refit.
During what was a packed two month maintenance period that involved more than 600 maintenance tasks, including significant overhauls and defect rectification on the diesel generators, Melbourne put a number of new safety initiatives through their paces.
A new system designed by the Guided Missile Frigate Ship’s Program Office allowed ship’s staff to narrow search areas to specific compartments when attempting to locate personnel who failed to respond to alarms, whilst the safety desk, manned by leading and able seamen, provided a one stop shop for induction confirmation, personal protective equipment and hazardous chemical checks, the zinc chromate register, as well as working at heights, welding and burning, and confined entry permits.
A roving team from Melbourne also conducted safety rounds throughout the day, ensuring contractor works were carried out safely.
Proving their effectiveness, the initiatives implemented by Melbourne helped reduce safety incidents during the maintenance period by more than 70 per cent.
Commanding Officer Melbourne Commander Charles Bourne said maintenance periods were an incredibly busy and the injection of multiple tasks and people unfamiliar with the ship often created a more risky environment.
“It was very pleasing to see Melbourne’s ship’s company and Guided Missile Frigate Alliance work closely together on these safety initiatives and that it has paid dividends,” he said.
Melbourne returned to sea to participate in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE.