Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Safety critical through the Autumn Season

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Commentary by Tech. Sgt. Sarah Law

50th Space Wing safety office

As the summer season officially comes to a close, so does the Air Force’s Critical Days of Summer campaign. Although the last week of the campaign is still under way, so far, the mishap fatality rate has dropped from last year by eight people.

Unfortunately, the Air Force still lost 14 vitally important Airmen in on-duty and off-duty summer mishaps, one of which was from Air Force Space Command. Seven of these fatalities were private-auto related, four were motorcycle related, one was privately-owned weapon related, one was during unit PT, and one was from drowning…nearly all of these mishaps were preventable. As we have all heard before, one fatality is too many, but just in the last three weeks the Air Force has lost five Airmen. Some of these Airmen left behind spouses and children…all of them left their fellow Airmen, their friends, and their extended families.

Even in these last days of summer, it is important to remember the importance of remaining vigilant for safety hazards and remaining aware of our surroundings. While the Critical Days of Summer campaign is nearly over, the historical trends show that the seasonal rise in accidents and fatalities continues all the way through the weekend, so we need to stay focused and use personal risk management regardless of where we work or play.

Before participating in any recreational activity, the best idea is to plan ahead. Consider the following tips for some popular Labor Day weekend activities:

Driving Safety

n Wear your seat belt!

n Do not drive drowsy or distracted

n Map your route and take frequent breaks

n Absolute resolution – do not drink & drive

n Speed and recklessness kill!

Motorcycles

n Wear the PPE as mandated by AFI 91-207

nRide within your limits

nObey the rules of the road

nToo much speed going into corners may cause loss of control

Boating

nCheck your boat and equipment be fore leaving shore

nWear a life vest appropriate for your water  activities

nTake a boating safety class

n Do not go swimming or drive a boat after drinking alcohol

Cooking Outdoors

nUse lighter fluid, not gasoline

nMove the grill away from your house

and overhangs

n Always monitor the grill – keep chil dren and pets away

n Let coals cool before disposal

Camping

n Check your equipment before leaving

nCamp only in approved areas

nMake sure someone not with you knows where you are

nUse caution when starting fires

If you are planning to have some drinks on your break, remember that driving while under the influence can cost more than just money. It is dangerous and often results in the loss of life or physical and emotional injury. To prevent people from drinking and driving:

n Use a designated driver

n Take the keys from a friend who has

had “one too many” ANY

n Have a plan prior to going out

When having fun this holiday weekend, use common sense, because the life you save may be your own!

Remember, always keep your guard up and watch out for your Wingman! We have made it through the summer with very few safety mishaps, and now is also a great time to start thinking about fall and winter season hazards – hunting, Halloween safety, winter driving, etc. In the coming months you will see a lot more information, but it is never too early to start planning!

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