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Safety remains priority

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- As the end of summer fast approaches and the Critical Days of Summer campaign wraps up Sept. 2; the 157th Air Refueling Wing safety personnel reminds members that it doesn't mean the importance of safety should be forgotten.

The theme for this year's observance was "Safe 'n Sound - All Year Round." The theme serves as an important reminder that safety is everyone's responsibility throughout the year, not just through the summer months.

"The Air Force has seen a significant spike in fatalities this summer," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Denton, 157th Air Refueling Wing chief of safety. "Through 13 weeks of this summer's campaign, the Air Force has lost 17 servicemembers in mishaps that, in many cases, could have been avoided."

More than three-quarters of the accidents were motor vehicle related, and while many remain under investigation, several factors are known to contribute to vehicle accidents.

"Texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking and talking to passengers can result in driver's being distracted," Denton added. "In addition, alcohol remains a serious contributing factor that can have dire consequences."

Safety officials encourage when traveling long distances, to include risk management as part of planning a trip.

"The 157th Air Refueling Wing has done well during this summer," said Denton. "However, it is important for people to remember to incorporate safety this Labor Day weekend and throughout the year."

Denton noted that mishaps still occur anytime. The most frequent types among servicemembers are slips, trips and falls and sports injuries.

"It's important for people to take all precautions when playing sports," he said. "Our highest mishaps continue to be on the field or in the gym."

To help further reduce the number of injuries, safety personnel will continue their efforts in safety awareness throughout the year. One avenue is through PeaseNet, which can be accessed by clicking on the safety link.

In addition, Denton urges organizations across the base to share best practices and lessons learned on safety with personnel in their unit.

"All units should continue process improvements with their safety procedures," he said.

As the Critical Days of Summer safety campaign comes to an end, contact the Safety Office at 603-430-2345 for further information.
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