SMDC, MDA join to educate force on Safety
June 6, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Two Redstone Arsenal commands recently educated their work force about safety on and off duty.
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency hosted the sixth annual Joint Safety Awareness Day and Health Expo to promote safety awareness May 29 at the Von Braun Complex on Redstone Arsenal.
USASMDC/ARSTRAT is scheduled to host another Safety Day for its team members stationed at Colorado Springs, Colo., June 12.
"I want to thank you all for attending," said David L. Mann, SMDC commanding general. "I think it is a very powerful relationship that we have established (with MDA) and hope we continue in the years to come. I want to thank all of those folks who worked the countless hours to put this together and also thank the vendors who are here to help support this Safety Day activity.
"The Army, over the course of last year, lost 73 great Americans to accidents. Forty-four of the 73 we lost last year was due to off-duty activities," he added. "Since July of last year, we have suffered more than 6,678 accidents that have resulted in injuries. SMDC had five accidents last year. We are not talking about tremendously large numbers, but at the end of the day we are talking about an individual and we are talking about a family that has been impacted by the accident."
A goal of the expo is to help minimize the risk of unintentional death, injury or damage caused by mishaps and to promote proactive measures within the work force. The day's activities focused on safety demonstrations and inspections performed by members of Redstone Arsenal and its surrounding communities.
"The purpose of the Joint Safety and Health Expo is to promote safety awareness leading into the 'Critical Days of Summer,'" said Michael Wadzinski, MDA director for Quality, Safety and Mission Assurance, and MDA's designated agency safety and health official. "The Safety Expo provides information to employees to help them manage the risk from participating in seasonal activities and reduce the potential for injury both at work and during leisure activities.
"Through this event we hope to nurture a positive safety culture within our organizations and build a strong sense of safety awareness that can be utilized by personnel during both on- and off-duty hours," Wadzinski added.
The Safety Day expo highlighted SMDC's and MDA's commitments to employee safety and health by bringing in local vendors to demonstrate and promote safety awareness.
"The expo promotes safety within the SMDC and MDA communities," said Randy Joyner, SMDC command safety officer. "It is an important element of SMDC's Summer Safety Campaign and the National Safety Month. SMDC will host a similar event at Peterson Air Force Base for command personnel and their family members on June 12. It highlights and reinforces SMDC's commitment to the safety and welfare of employees.
"The safety officer and points of contact from organizations across the command solicit and identify safety topics that interest the work force," he added. "This collaboration with employees allows both the command and agency to bring in interesting exhibits and training that highlights important safety topics for on and off duty."
With summer approaching, Joyner emphasized the importance of being safe, not only at work, but at home as well.
"Warm weather and higher temperatures means increased outdoor recreational activities, home maintenance projects and summer travel for leisure," Joyner said. "Accidents around the home cause an increasing number of injuries to our work force. Safety awareness and risk mitigation should be their number one priority, no matter how ridiculous it may seem. Ensuring safety measures are in place on and off duty not only protects us but also ensures the welfare of our family members. It is vital that all personnel be cognizant of their surroundings and the associated hazards to prevent accidental mishaps."
MDA and SMDC employees and family members at Redstone Arsenal got a firsthand chance to learn about local safety and health issues unique to Alabama and the Tennessee Valley. They learned about several issues confronting them both indoors and outdoors.
Exhibits and safety demonstrations in Huntsville included: Redstone Arsenal Fire Department; electrical safety; home power; Fleet Feet; Explosive Ordnance Disposal; unexploded ordnance safety; Alabama State Troopers; Radon safety; bicycle safety; Briggs Chiropractic Clinic; storm shelters; federal occupational health; Rocket Harley Davidson; Terminex pest control; FBI child identification and safety; Search and Rescue Team (with dogs); home security and alarms; North Alabama Firearms weapons safety; Community Emergency Response Team; U.S. Coast Guard; WAFF weather safety; Fox Army Hospital; Redstone Arsenal Veterinary Activity; Child Youth Services; Fox Army Medical Center Behavioral Health; Fox Wellness Program; Fox Occupational Health; Heritage Propane/Amerigas; Alabama Department of Transportation; Redstone Arsenal's Substance Abuse Program and others.
"The importance of safety day is to make people cognizant of things they are not really aware of. They see it, but they don't see it," said Joanna Brunson, program support specialist, SMDC Technical Center Business Management Office. "We want people to broaden their knowledge that there is home safety as well as workplace safety here today. Safety is something we need to practice daily, whether it is at work, at home or while driving our vehicles.
"I think today's event is awesome," she added. "We want to thank the vendors who came out to support us because they are all volunteering their time. We appreciate them taking time out of their busy schedules to come down and share their knowledge with us. It is great to have SMDC and MDA come together under this format and work together to help inform the work force about the importance of safety."