Summer safety campaign focused on risk management

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mark Wyatt
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
With warmer weather here and travel and outdoor activities expected to increase over the next several months, the 157th Air Refueling Wing Safety officials asks all members of the community to place a greater emphasis on risk management.

"The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends is a critical time to incorporate risk management in off-duty activities," said Senior Master Sgt. James Roberts, 157 ARW ground safety manager. "It is our responsibility as the safety professionals here to deliver that message to all Airmen about the dangers associated with outdoor activities this time of year."

No longer known as the Critical Days of Summer campaign, Quest for Zero is a safety campaign introduced last year by Air Force Ground Safety officials to highlight risk management activities throughout the year.

When planning activities this summer, Airmen are encouraged to identify, assess and mitigate all risks including: trip planning that ensures enough rest and preparation for contingencies; no alcohol while driving or participating in recreational activities; and use of appropriate protective gear in all activities.

"Unfortunately, that same period [Memorial Day to Labor Day] ended last year with 17 fatalities," said Bill Parsons, Air Force chief of ground safety. "We need every Airman to commit to making that number zero this year, and we do that by using the same risk management skills we apply on the job to ensure everyone returns safely at summer's end and ready to accomplish the mission."

Among the best examples of activities that can be prevented through risk management are distracted driving and drinking and driving.

"Most mishaps are preventable," Parsons said, "and mishap prevention requires doing the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is as simple as stepping up and stepping in when we see something that doesn't look right. That alone can avert a potential disaster."

Airmen should also be aware that operating a motorcycle is among the most dangerous activities they participate in throughout the year. According to the Air Force Safety Center, the Air Force had 13 fatalities due to motorcycle mishaps last year and has had nine fatalities this fiscal year.

"With the unofficial start of summer this Memorial Day, motorcyclists will spend more and more time riding," Roberts said. "The Air Force requires training for all motorcyclists, as stated in AFI 91-207, and risk management techniques provide a rider the means to ensure all safety precautions are taken to include proper personal protective equipment."

In addition, Airmen might be preparing for outdoor sporting activities this summer. Air National Guard safety professionals want everyone to remember that participation in sports has its own risks, which can be mitigated by using risk management techniques.

"Do everything you can to prepare safely for participation in your favorite summer sport," Roberts said.

He stressed that safety starts at the top of an organization and is something that must be done all the way down the chain.

"Take an active role in keeping your fellow Airmen safe," he said. "Be a great wingman, an engaged supervisor and the one who sets the example for safety, both on and off duty, for all."

For more information on the Quest for Zero summer safety campaign, contact the Safety Office at 603-430-2345.