Health & Safety

June 21, 2013

Make safety personal this summer

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

A damaged government vehicle awaits repair on Luke Air Force Base. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that driver distraction, driver fatigue, drunk driving, aggressive driving and weather conditions are the top five causes of motor vehicle-related mishaps.

Recent statistics show there has been an abrupt increase in Airmen involved in motor vehicle accidents since May. To curb this rise in accidents, Ben Bruce, 56th Fighter Wing Ground Safety manager, is working to change people’s perception of vehicle safety.

“What I want to do is make safety more personal,” he said. “I want to stop talking about the issue and make it meaningful.”

Bruce’s plan to make safety a more personal issue starts with increasing awareness of the hazards associated with motor vehicles.

“One of the things we have to be able to do is connect you to the possible outcomes of behavior and the result,” he said.

To do this, Bruce plans to get the message to Airmen by using the chain of command.

“The target audience I’m trying to reach, the population that is in jeopardy, is the 26 year-old and younger group,” Bruce said.

He plans to stress the issue of motor vehicle safety this summer through commander’s calls, supervision, roll calls, production meetings and the base paper.

“The main thing we need to do is raise the alarm and say, ‘we have already had some bad things happen in our command and our Air Force, and we need to address the issues especially in the area of motor vehicle operations, whether it’s two wheels or four wheels,’” he said.

According to the Air Force Safety Center, private motor vehicle mishaps are falling, however, they continue to be the No. 1 cause of fatalities in the Air Force during the summer. The Air Force lost nine Airmen to motorcycle mishaps during the Critical Days of Summer months last year. In March, a Luke Airman was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident.

“The biggest risk that we face right now for the next two months is motorcycle safety,” Bruce said. “In 75 percent of the accidents involving motorcycles, the injury involved some kind of poor judgment such as not wearing a helmet, excessive speed, use of alcohol and doing wheelies.”

Most people know the safety rules and have heard them many times briefed at commander calls, roll calls and production meetings, but accidents still continue to happen, Bruce said.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that driver distraction, driver fatigue, drunk driving, aggressive driving and weather conditions are the top five causes of motor vehicle-related mishaps. However, the overall greatest threat to drivers is themselves.

For Bruce this trend comes down to questioning your personal risk meter and drivers believing they’re invincible to motor vehicle mishaps.

“The main questions are what does risk mean to you and why do you put yourself in danger?” Bruce said. “The answer is probably because people don’t think anything bad is going to happen.”

Allison Brown, 56th FW Ground Safety superintendent, would like all Airmen to accept personal responsibility for their safety by practicing good judgment.

“We can give training all day long, but we can’t force people to make good decisions,” she said. “The majority of motor vehicle incidents are caused by some kind of poor judgment that can be prevented if people would take a few minutes and use a little bit of risk assessment.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

PTs human body ‘maintainers’

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE Staff Sgt. Kellie Kasischke, 56th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy NCO in charge, teaches Courtney Barns, 11, daughter of Maj. David Barns, 56th Fighter Wing chaplain, how to properly use crut...
 
 

‘Hey, are you OK?’

September is Suicide Prevention Month in the Air Force, and focuses on encouraging Airmen to get to know their wingmen and to have the courage to ask someone, “Hey are you OK?” Sometimes, all it takes to avoid the tragedy of someone committing suicide is to ask the person, “Are you all right.” To someone...
 
 

Signs of suicidal thoughts

Always talking or thinking about death Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating Having a “death wish” by tempting fate via taking risks that could lead to death such as driving fast or running red lights Losing interest in the things one used to care about Making comments about being...
 

 

Core elements work together

The Air Force has built a suicide prevention program based on 11 overlapping core elements that stress community involvement and leadership in the prevention of suicides in the military: Leadership involvement — Air Force leaders actively support the entire spectrum of suicide prevention initiatives in the community. Addressing suicide prevention through professional military education —...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Sept. 2 through 7: Tickets Security forces issues citations for 14 moving violations. Traffic-related incidents Sept. 2: Security forces and firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle accident at Lightning Gate. The individual sustained minor injuries. Nonemergency responses Sept. 4: Security forces responded to a report o...
 
 

Keep sports safe

Playing sports is fun and it helps people keep in shape and relieve stress. However, if one is not careful, playing sports can result in injuries that keep Airmen on the sideline and out of work. “The main cause of sports-related injuries is over aggressive play and people going beyond their comfort level and limits,”...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin