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WESS Frequently Asked Questions



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Question:  What is WESS?

Answer:  The Web Enabled Safety System (WESS) is the Naval Safety Center's on-line reporting and data retrieval system allowing users to submit 5102 and 3750 mishap/hazard reports and initial notifications, and route them through the releasing chain for validation prior to being sent to the Naval Safety Center. Currently only 3750 mishap/hazard reports can be endorsed. Once release to the Safety Center the report is QA'd for accuracy and released for the use of canned/queried reports based on access rights.
  •   Meets VCNO's web-enabled requirement
  •   Provides real-time reporting
  •   Eliminates the need for redundant local data entry systems
  •   Allows retrieval and download of data so activities can perform their own analyses

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Question:  Do mishaps and hazards have to be reported using WESS?

Answer:  Yes. OPNAVINST 5102.1D/MCOP5102.1B outlines the requirements for mishaps to be reported via WESS. OPNAVINST 3750.6S requires aviation mishap and hazard reports to be submitted to WESS.

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Question:  Why can't you just track this in Microsoft Access?

Answer:  A more robust database engine is needed to maintain over 12 million records containing up to 2,000 data points each. Approximately 2 million records are added each year, and over 3,500 queries are performed each month. At any given time hundreds of users may be accessing the system at the same time. A corporate-level type database is needed, and the IBM/Informix relational database is used to meet these requirements. Also, we make changes to WESS almost every week – enhancements, bug-fixes, and changes – that are transparent to the user the next time they open WESS. If on an ACCESS program, these would need to be mailed out as CDs or users alerted to download them constantly.

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Question:  Who is responsible for entering WESS reports?

Answer:  Commands may designate anyone they choose to make the entries. Much of the information originates with the medical department representative and command safety officer or manager. In any case, we recommend safety managers or officers review the data since they are familiar with many of the required elements in the data. The commanding officer is responsible for ensuring that the reporting is accomplished.

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Question:  Can one individual enter reports for multiple UICs?

Answer:  Yes. If authorized by their chain of command, individuals with user accounts may prepare and send reports on any UICs under their purview. The system allows one reporting UIC to report a complete event, which may include people and property from other UICs, or to report for any other UIC.

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Question:  Do I need separate accounts for each of my tenant activities?

Answer:  You may enter information for more than one UIC. The UIC you supply on your account request is the UIC to which you are assigned. This user account UIC does not restrict the UICs for which you may enter mishap/hazard reports. If each tenant prepares reports or views their data, then each will need a separate account.

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Question:  Do I need a password to use WESS? Can anyone get one?

Answer:  The requirement for a password has been replaced with the requirement for each user to utilize a CAC card for WESS access and account creation.  You can go to https://wess.safetycenter.navy.mil and you will see be prompted to enter information necessary to request an account if the system does not already have an active or pending account for the CAC card being used.  The CO or XO will designate a Safety Authority (SA), who will approve your request and forward it to the Naval Safety Center for creation of your account.

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Question:  Can an entire group or office get just one password?

Answer:  No. Due to the CAC card requirement, as stated above, an entire group or office cannot have group access.  Each person's WESS account is assoicated with their own CAC. 

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Question:  If I can't reach the website, how do I report?

Answer:  You may use the existing message traffic system to report your mishap or hazard. The message format will be provided in OPNAVINST 5102.1D/MCO P5102.1B or 3750.6S.

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Question:  What browser should I use?

Answer:  Any browser with a current version should be able to access WESS that allows secure connections.

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Question:  Do Echelon 2 Commands have access to subordinate activities' data?

Answer:  Yes. Queries of any UICs/RUC/MCCs by the chain of command will be included in the reporting options.

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Question:  Do I have to enter a mishap in WESS and send a message report?

Answer:  Sending a message report is not required if you are entering the report in WESS.

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Question:  Is Marine Corps data part of WESS?

Answer:  WESS has included all Marine Corps required data and is used for all Marine Corps mishap and combat mishap reporting. Marine Corps data from MARTRAK and the Marine Corps Ground databases have been included and are available using the WESS report functions.

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Question:  What sort of data will I have access to?

Answer:  This will be dependent on your permission level determining privileged or non-privileged access to your command's or other commands' reports. All WESS users will have access to pre-formatted and custom reports for any and all Navy and Marine Corps activities. Only users granted permission as Ad-Hoc query tool users will have access to the entire database. If you do not see the data or reports desired, use the WESS Help form to request that data.

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Question:  Is there a place to input the UIC in the reporting form?

Answer:  Yes. The application will capture both the involved and parent UICs. Involved UIC is where the event occurred. Parent UIC is the involved person’s activity. Since WESS is tailored to capture a variety of mishap events with varying degrees of complexity, UICs, and Marine Corps RUCs/MCCs are asked for to attach people to equipment to locations to users to owners. The UIC/RUC/MCC function is set to default to the Reporting Activity UIC/RUC/MCC. Throughout the application, whenever you are asked for a UIC/RUC/MCC, you only need to select the offered activity and hit Next, after you select and verify that the correct activity is given for the person, equipment, locations, etc.

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Question:  Why is a Social Security Number (SSN) required to complete a report?

Answer:  Only the SSNs of on duty civilians and military persons injured in the mishap or hazard will be required to be reported. In keeping with DON and OSD taskers, WESS will capture SSN to facilitate joining of WESS data with data in other databases, such as training and medical databases.

This functionality is essential in verifying the completeness of WESS data and, by utilizing other databases, a more complete picture of factors involved in the events will facilitate analysis and remediation of these factors.

SSN is the common link between these databases and will be used only to link WESS information with information from other databases. WESS will not retrieve information by specific SSN. WESS complies with the Privacy Act.

Routine report users will not see SSNs on mishap reports or logs.

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Question:  Can I print off the data I entered into WESS before I send the report?

Answer:  Yes. After the entry screens, there will be a screen listing all the functions you can now perform before you submit the report. One of these options is to generate a PDF of the entire report or generate a PDF Injury Log report. The report can then be printed.

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Question:  Is there a pick list for MSDS?

Answer:  A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) list is voluminous. Every activity is required to have access to an MSDS sheet for each chemical at its command. Please use that MSDS sheet to answer the MSDS-related questions.

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Question:  Is it possible to get the software that you are using so that I can start to use your format to collect my mishap information?

Answer:  There is no software to download. The application is web based and requires our Oracle relational database, which cannot run on a PC. However, there are forms in Microsoft Word format that are available on the website and follow the questions presented in WESS based on the type of report you are entering. We suggest you download the form(s) http://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/Pages/wess/worksheets.aspx and use them offline to gather the information required for submission prior to sitting down and filling out a WESS report.

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Question:  How do I suggest modifications or request enhancements to the system?

Answer:  A Feedback Form must be submitted. Depending on the level of work required, a configuration control board will determine acceptance of changes for WESS development. From the WESS Main Menu, click on the link Change Request to access the form.

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Question:  Can I use ESAMS to report an aviation hazard?

Answer:  The answer is No. ESAMS is a person management system that can be used to report minor OSH related events. However, if there is a “defined Naval aircraft involved” you must use WESS to report your event. Plus you should note, that ESAMS is not designed to route, notify or endorse a report and does not collect the level of detail required to obtain a full OPNAVINST 3750.6R report.

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Question:  If I report using ESAMS do I still have to report to WESS?

Answer:  The answer is Yes. ESAMS is a person management system that can be used to report minor OSH related events. Once you have entered the information into ESAMS, the report will be forwarded to the Naval Safety Center. If the report is a mishap that is anything beyond minor OSH related information, the report will have to be completed in WESS. The information you entered through ESAMS will be pre-populated, however you will be required to complete the information as outlined in the OPNAVINST 5102.1D.

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Question:  Is there training for WESS?

Answer:  The answer is Yes. Currently we have several available sources for training. For training you can walk through the power point tutorials published to the public website. Another option is to contact the Safety Center and request a mobile training team visit to your command. The Safety Center is working on a formal training solution to be incorporated in the Safety Officer and NAVOSH courses, the date of availability is still TBD.

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Question:  In WESS aviation, where do I add my CO's comments in the Endorsements section?

Answer:  In endorsement you use the Comments tab at the top of the Factors/Recommendations page to access the page for entering CO Comments. Endorsement uses the same format and  entry process as the initial reporting process. After typing your input into the Comments section, make sure you hit the “Add Comments” button. You should see your entry moved from the Comments entry box to the Final Comments section in the lower part of the screen.

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Question: If I identify the need to make a change to my CO comments after I add them but before I release my endorsement, how do I change them?

Answer:  If you add comments and wish to change them before releasing them, you may click on the icon with pencil in the bottom right of your comment entry in Final Comments. Once you click on the icon, you will see your entry reappear in the Comments box at the top of the page. You may make any desired changes at that point, but once you are finished, you must once again click on the “Save Comments” button to apply your changes. When that is done, you will see the updated content displayed in the Final Comments section.

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Question: The remarks box in recommendations does not allow for a cut and paste from word. Problem here is I can't find a spell check if I type directly into the remarks box.

Answer:  It is recommended to save your .doc file as a .txt and copy and paste from there. This also gets rid of the formatting issues with Word when you copy and paste (upside down questions marks, doubling of last character prior to an apostrophe, etc).

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Question: How do I share Aviation Reports?

Answer:  Aviation Hazard events are visible and accessible to all WESS account holders with Aviation access privileges in the originating command. If there is a need to add someone from another command, the instructions below should be followed. Access aviation mishap events are restricted to named individuals, and the process to add access for additional individuals is below.

On the first screen under "authorized drafters" you search for the person’s name. When it comes up, select it and click the right arrow to move it to the right box. Hit save and it shares the report with them. It then moves the report to your shared folder. Whoever you share it with can access the report at the same time as you; however, if you both edit the same field at the same time whoever hits save last gets their entry saved in report. This is a very good feature also if you are getting ready to go on leave or TAD as the person you share it with can still work on it and release it if you need them to. If you put someone in a report for review, then after that person reviews it you can take him out of the report by highlighting his name, hitting the arrow to move it to the left box and then hit save. Now he won't have access to it anymore.

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Questions:  How do I delete the Aviation Hazrep Report from my draft? 

Answer:  You can delete events from the draft folder by opening the event, clicking the Report Actions tab at the top left of the screen, and then clicking Delete Report from the dropdown list.

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If you need more information, contact the WESS Help Desk, call (757)444-3520 ext. 7048 (DSN 564) during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 0800 to 1630 EST/EDT. You can also send us feedback: Feedback Form or send an email to helpdesk at NRFK_SAFE_WESShelp@navy.mil

Date of Revision: March 28, 2013