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JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va.

As the summer months begin and individuals start to enjoy the warm weather, the U.S. Air Force designated Memorial Day to Labor Day as the Air Force Summer Safety campaign.

With June also kicking off National Safety Month, it is important for individuals to understand the increased risks that come with the change in weather.

“While your personal safety is paramount, this is also a readiness issue,” said former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “Over the past decade, preventable accidents on and off-duty have tragically claimed 16 Airmen lives on average per year during the summer months. Additionally, last summer our team suffered 797 accidents that took us away from work for at least one day and added up to a total cost in readiness of over 32 man-years.”

As summer unfolds there will be more sunshine and with more sunshine comes hotter climates. During the very hot, humid days, it is important to stay hydrated and limit extraneous outdoor activities.

It is also important to identify symptoms of heatstroke and heat exhaustion that may occur during the summer. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention heavy sweating, tiredness, fainting, confusion, dizziness, nausea and muscle cramps are just a few signs.

While summer is a time for hot weather, it is also a time for travel, and with that comes safety precautions while operating a vehicle. According to the 633rd Air Base Wing Safety office, most vehicle accidents occur due to speeding, failure to wear a seat belt, attempting to drive or operate a vehicle beyond responsible ability and being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“As you execute our Air Force mission or participate in summer activities with your family and friends, please use what you have learned about risk management,” said Wilson. “Plan for the unexpected, make wise choices, and avoid unnecessary risks.”

Risk management is a way of measuring the possible risks of activities, evaluating the safest way of performing the activity and then making a planned decision before acting.

“Our vision and goal of all campaigns is to get the word out to personnel in an effective way,” said Mark White, 633rd ABW occupational safety manager. “Principles of safety are essentially the same today as they were many years ago. We plan to increase our use of technology and risk management to drive the safety message.”

For more information contact the safety office at 757-764-5057 or visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl7FDI9nPGv4vKr5llGRNUg/videos

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