MILITARY SERVICE, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS AND SAFETY ISSUES IN MISSILES HANDLING AND STORAGE

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A multidisciplinary professional, retired master warrant officer, naval engineering specialist and war veteran. Former Senior Military Instructor at Nigerian Navy UnderWater Warfare School and Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defence School at Nigerian Naval Engineering College. Specialist, Industrial Safety Planning and Control Management. Former Head of Security and Safety Practices Management Department at Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre. Current Lagos State Coordinator and National Spokesman at Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria. Holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Safety and Environmental Management and a Master Degree in Transport Management. Former lecturer at The Certified Institute of Shipping of Nigeria. Faculty Member at Nigerian Chamber of Shipping.

Part One:

OCCUPATION

Generally, people engage themselves in such activities on a regular basis and are said to be engaged in their occupation. Thus, occupation means keeping oneself engaged or occupied in some gainful economic activity on a regular basis to earn one’s livelihood.

The primary aim of engaging in an occupation is to earn a living. Yet every area of human endeavour carries some aspects of hazard (danger).

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD

An occupational hazard is a hazard experienced in the workplace. Occupational hazards can encompass many types of hazards, including chemical hazards, biological hazards, psychosocial hazards, and physical hazards. Wikipedia
An occupational hazard is something unpleasant that you may suffer or experience as a result of doing your job or hobby.

In our discipline of occupational health and safety, the six primary hazard categories are:
Physical hazards.
Chemical hazards.
Biological hazards.
Radiological hazards.
Ergonomic hazards.
Behavioral hazards.

The Armed Forces operate in a particularly arduous physical and psychological environment. The occupational health (OH) of all personnel is of paramount importance to sustain the service’s fighting ability.

Although there are some similarities with civilian OH, the principal requirement to prepare and sustain service personnel for operations on land, sea and air adds considerable complexity to the task.
Research undertaken by Armed Forces OH professionals has added to the evidence base and enabled attrition in all aspects of the Armed Forces to be reduced.

As well as the general health and job components common to all OH practice, the additional human requirements for the serviceman or servicewoman are for them to be able to handle a weapon and serve worldwide under potentially physically and psychologically demanding conditions.

This may well be at short notice for deployment, at a distance from medical support (especially early in the deployment) and for sustained periods.
It is clear that preparation for the operational deployment and its sustainment requires an OH team with very specialist expertise. Consequently, although supported by civilian practitioners, the main effort of OH is delivered by uniformed staff.
(Occupational Medicine, Volume 59, Issue 8, December 2009, Pages 528–538)
The PULHHEEMS system of medical classification [6] is common to all services and is designed to provide a functional assessment of the individual’s capacity for work and assist the Executive in assigning service personnel to appropriate employment and deploy them on operations. The categorization is presented in Box 1.

The standards for each type of work are set by the appropriate service employer [7–9]. Triservice guidelines to assist medical staff to interpret conditions against the standards are well established and frequently reviewed [6]. A medical employment standard appears as a suffix to the ‘P’ grade and differs between services primarily because of the different predominant environments of sea, land and air in which the Royal Navy (RN), Army and Royal Air Force (RAF), respectively, operate. There is, however, a move towards a harmonized system, the Joint Medical Employment Standard, which is due to be introduced at the end of 2009.

Box 1.
The PULHHEEMS system of medical classification
The letters stand for:

P: Overall physical capacity

U: Upper limbs

L: Locomotion

HH: Hearing acuity (right then left)

EE: Visual acuity (right then left)

M: Mental capacity

S: Stability (emotional)

The most important quality is the P’ grade summarized as follows:

P2: Medically fit for unrestricted service worldwide

P3: Medically fit for duty with minor employment limitations

P4: Medically fit for duty within the limitations of pregnancy

P7: Medically fit for duty with major employment limitations

P8: Medically unfit for service

MISSILES HANDLING AND STORAGE

What is a missile:
In modern language, a missile, also known as a guided missile, is a guided airborne ranged weapon capable of self-propelled flight usually by a jet engine or rocket motor. Missiles have four system components: targeting/guidance system, flight system, engine and warhead. Missiles come in types adapted for different purposes: surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles (ballistic, cruise, anti-ship, anti-tank, etc.), surface-to-air missiles (and anti-ballistic), air-to-air missiles, and anti-satellite weapons.

Airborne explosive devices without propulsion are referred to as shells if fired by an artillery piece and bombs if dropped by an aircraft. Unguided jet-propelled missiles are usually described as rocket artillery.

In ordinary language, the word missile can refer to any projectile that is thrown, shot or propelled toward a target.

THE FIRST MISSILES

The first missiles to be used operationally were a series of missiles developed by Nazi Germany in World War II. Most famous of these are the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket, both of which used a mechanical autopilot to keep the missile flying along a pre-chosen route.[1] Less well known were a series of Anti-Ship and Anti-aircraft missiles, typically based on a simple radio control (command guidance) system directed by the operator. However, these early systems in World War II were only built in small numbers.

SURFACE TO SURFACE MISSILE

A surface-to-surface missile (SSM) or ground-to-ground missile (GGM) is a missile designed to be launched from the ground or the sea and strike targets on land or at sea. They may be fired from hand-held or vehicle mounted devices, from fixed installations, or from a ship. They are often powered by a rocket engine or sometimes fired by an explosive charge, since the launching platform is typically stationary or moving slowly. They usually have fins and/or wings for lift and stability, although hyper-velocity or short-ranged missiles may use body lift or fly a ballistic trajectory. The V-1 flying bomb was the first operational surface-to-surface missile.

Contemporary surface-to-surface missiles are usually guided. An unguided surface-to-surface missile is usually referred to as a rocket (for example, an RPG-7 or M72 LAW is an anti-tank rocket whereas a BGM-71 TOW or AT-2 Swatter is an anti-tank guided missile).

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

INTRODUCTION:

It is a division officer’s responsibility to recognize safety violations. In order to become proficient as a Gunnery Officer, an understanding of ordnance safety precautions and the installed systems is paramount. The Gunnery Officer should respond to safety precaution infractions, not research them. STANDARD SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

  1. MAGAZINE REQUIREMENTS

a. There are five major magazine types.

(1) Primary

(2) Missile

(3) Ready-service

(4) Lockers

(5) Chemical

b. NAVSEA OP 4 lists ammunition type and magazine type compatibility. Use tables 3.1 – 3.3 as a guide for any type of storage.

(1) Magazine type is listed across the top of the table, and ammunition type is listed along the side. A shaded box at the intersection of the two indicates compatibility within magazines.

NOTE: Must be compatible in all columns to be stored together (ex. missiles and missile fuzes).

END OF PART ONE

By: Timothy Iwuagwu FISPN FNIIS FENV FCISN CSSI

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