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NOAA Small Boat Safety Board teleconference minutes from 11-October-2017

Oct 19

Submitted by D. Donahue

Attending: Donahue, Donaldson, Duran, Guberski, Hoggard, VerPlanck, Yoshinaga, McCormick  

Absent: Humphrey, Adler

1. Standing Brief – Incidents / accidents and Inspections– VerPlanck

The group reviewed seven incident / accident reports submitted since the last call.  Six were determined to be Small Boat issues as they are directly related to vessel operations, standard practice or Program policy / guidance.  One report from 10/3/17 involved an injury occurring on a vessel in dry storage and will be recorded as a “workplace” injury as it was not related to vessel operation or installed systems.

There was a discussion on how to best handle near miss reporting.  The SECO form "Initial Report of NOAA Incident, Injury, Work Related Illness, or Near Miss", currently does not have a drop down field to allow the reporter to flag an event as a near miss. The Board values the reporting of near misses and supports efforts to encourage and simplify reporting of these non-injury / non damage events.

Reports from the field should continue to use the SECO form to report near misses and should indicate that it is a near miss in the narrative.  Duran and VerPlanck review all reports as they are submitted and have the charge of determining the initial status as a Small Boat incident, accident or near miss.  On a monthly basis, the Board reviews those determinations for concurrence and action. 

It was agreed that near misses will be tracked and processed through the SB Program/Board for dissemination of lessons learned.  These near misses will not be included in SECO data and reporting.  Near misses will be tracked as a separate category by the SB Program in summary metrics.

  • Action Item – Duran, Donahue, and VerPlanck will develop procedures to capture, categorize and disseminate lessons learned from near miss reporting.

2. Seldovia Incident – An update on the investigation of one incident in Seldovia, AK was provided by Duran.  There has been some indication that the incident was being handled through administrative channels.  It was agreed that due to the details and nature of the incident it should be managed as a SB safety incident.

  • Action Item- Duran will contact NOS and convey the Board’s preference that this incident continues to be tracked through the Small Boat Safety Board in addition to any local investigations or actions.

3. Metrics - Guberski provide a status of the data call effort. Metrics data is due October 31. It was agreed that the final metrics report would reflect participation levels from each Line Office.   

  • Action item – LOSBO’s are asked to send reminders to VOC’s that have not already responded to the data call. 

4. VOC Summit follow up and action items – It was agreed to postpone this discussion until next call in order to provide adequate preparation and full participation when all Board members are present.

  • Action item- VerPlanck will distribute summit notes and summarize flip chart comments to the group.  Members are asked to prepare for discussion at the next call.

5. Program overview for SECO newsletter – Following the Summit, David Quivey suggested that the Small Boat Program accomplishments should be highlighted in an upcoming SECO newsletter. 

  • Action Item – Duran, Donahue and VerPlanck will draft an overview of the Small Boat Program / Board initiatives and success for the next issue of the SECO newsletter.  Complete by November 1st.

6. VOC Performance Plan Element. Implementation of the “boiler plate” VOC Performance Plan element had stalled due to OMAO leadership changes and Board focus on the Summit.  Progress had been made through channels at OMAO and WFM.  A draft version received support from all concerned parties.  At issue is the best route (directive from OMAO, WFM or Line Office AA’s) for issuance of this requirement.

  • Action Item – VerPlanck will re-engage with OMAO staff to determine leadership’s preference on moving this forward.

7. Proposal for IT support of VIM and VOP data bases – Donahue briefly introduced a recommendation from Hoggard that highlights a need for collaborative or corporate level support to enhance these data bases.  The Program and operating units are becoming increasingly dependent upon these tools.  A long term plan is required to ensure operational functionality, enhance features and support Program metrics.

  • Action item – Hoggard and Donahue will develop a summary of requirements and suggest a strategy to move this initiative forward.  This summary will be presented to the Board for review and input.

8. Review of VOC Handbook – Gurberski provided a draft by email of a VOC handbook intended to aid NOAA Corp VOC’s rotating though assignments. 

  • Action item – Board members are asked to provide feedback to her by November 25.

9. Electronic Navigation update – McCormick made a presentation on an initiative to develop standards for the use of electronic charts which are now the primary tool for navigation as opposed to paper charts.  A central issue is establishing how and when electronic charts are updated given the diverse number hardware, software and connectivity configurations across the SB fleet. 

  • Action item: This power point presentation will be distributed to members.  The group is asked to consider potential issues and implications in preparation for a discussion at the next conference call.

10. Requests for Stability and Design review under Section 9.07 – Two requests for an evaluation have been submitted since the issuance of these new Manual requirements.

  • Action Item – VerPlanck will take steps to assemble the Working Group as described in the Manual. 


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