‘Q4Z’ aims to eliminate on-duty fatalities, injuries

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KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — The new fiscal year brings a renewed emphasis from Air Force occupational safety professionals to the Quest for Zero initiative, which sets a goal of zero on-duty injuries and fatalities.

“I’m often asked why we promote Quest for Zero,” said Bill Parsons, the Air Force chief of occupational safety. “The answer is two-fold. One, it’s a method of protecting resources – both equipment and personnel; and two, protecting these resources is critical to combat readiness.”

According to Air Force Safety Automated System data, there were 29,713 on-duty mishaps reported during fiscal years 2011-2015. Those mishaps resulted in 28,651 injuries at a cost of $242 million. The five-year total includes 24 Class A mishaps, the most costly of all mishap categories. Of those, 17 resulted in fatality, three resulted in total disability, and four involved property damage.

“The elimination of on-duty fatalities and a focused effort to reduce all mishaps is an attainable goal, but it requires every one doing our job,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Mueller, the Air Force chief of safety. “Safety is a shared responsibility – from providing the guidance, training, requirements and oversight, to each of us making a personal choice every day to take responsibility for our own safety.”

Unlike previous safety awareness initiatives, Q4Z is a year-round effort to reduce on-duty mishaps through methods that include risk management, hazard abatement, communication and continuous training.

“The start of the fiscal year is the right time to restate our goal of zero on-duty injuries and fatalities,” Parsons said. “If every Airman embraces Q4Z, we’ll not only save lives and money, but we’ll also ensure mission success.”

The fiscal 2017 Q4Z theme, “Why wait,” brings attention to every Airman’s responsibility to report or communicate information about observed hazards that pose a potential mishap and to ensure that every required safety measure is used. Contact your local safety office for more information.