Engineering is an essential part of Joint Munitions Command, from ensuring the quality of ammunition, from production through disposal, and every step in between, including safety. Safety engineering is a discipline focused on identifying hazards and reducing or eliminating risks to personnel and property. This diverse field touches upon nearly every facet of the munitions life cycle while supporting JMC’s top priorities.
JMC’s number one priority is always ensuring the safety of handling munitions. There are multiple facets that require the involvement of safety engineers. First is the design of a munition item. JMC safety engineers are on Army-level boards and working groups to ensure that future munitions are safe and to assess the risks to the future fight. As munitions become more advanced, so do the methods and assessment techniques of safety engineers, thus ensuring the safety of those who manufacture, transport, store, or use munitions.
Production lines are set up to maximize safety, with the help of risk assessments and optimal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each process. Each item must also pass various certifications and inspections before it can be released to the field. Safety engineers then reassess needs over time as more is learned about processes and items. Near-miss tracking and good communication with operators help validate risk assessments and reveal adjustments to improve safety.
Even the best planning cannot prevent all mishaps. In the event of an accident or malfunction, safety engineers are involved with investigations. The purpose of such investigations is to establish root causes of any mishap, while writing lessons learned to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. These efforts protect people and assets, and also reduce risks to the safe and timely shipment of materiel. Having a strong safety program, bolstered by safety engineers, helps manage and minimize such risks.
JMC enterprise safety engineers have a diverse and challenging job, from design to disposal of munitions items, in an effort to shape safety for the future fight. No matter their role in the munitions lifecycle, JMC’s workers and customers can rest assured that a safety engineer has been a part of that process, working hard to ensure readiness through safety.