Safety Center tools keep Soldiers safe at home, work

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 5, 2009) -- Safety practices that are keeping Soldiers safe at work appear to be keeping them safe in their homes as well according to statistics released this week by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.

Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2009, there have been 141 residence-related accidents, six of which resulted in Soldier fatalities. These numbers fall far below the Fiscal Year 2008 total of 270 home-related accidents, 14 of which resulted in death or total disability.

While the drop in residence-related accidents is certainly something to celebrate, officials at the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center are quick to remind every member of the Army family that safety must continue to remain a high a priority at home.

"While our homes can be a safe haven from the stresses of everyday life, the threat of an accident is always present," said Peggy Adams, USACR/Safety Center Ground Task Force deputy director.

Officials at the Home Safety Council report that the home is the second most common location for unintentional fatal injuries in the United Sates, with motor vehicles traveling on the road being first.

Adams said the most common home hazards include unattended cooking or candles; faulty or unattended electrical appliances; unsecured or improperly used cleaning and lawn products; incorrectly used power tools; and slip and trip hazards. So far this year, the Army has lost six Soldiers to home accidents involving fires, carbon monoxide poisioning, broken glass, a fallen tree and negligent discharges.

Summer months present some unique safety challenges everyone must also be aware of at home, according to Adams.

"Exposure to hazards associated with home landscaping and maintenance, grilling and pools increases during the summer so people must be diligent in ensuring they have adequate controls in place to address those dangers," she said.

To mitigate the risk of these at home hazards, Adams advises that all Soldiers, civilians, contractors and their Family members follow manufacturer instructions and warnings for their power tools and grills and use hearing and eye protection and wear the appropriate clothing and footwear for whatever the activity.

A quality home safety plan is also an important part of keeping residential risk at bay. Adams said a successful home safety plan often involves many of the same risk mitigation tools Soldiers use at work everyday.

"During mission planning, Composite Risk Management (CRM) aids our leaders and Soldiers in their decision making process (and) Soldiers, civilians and Family members can easily apply CRM to any activity, to include those done at home," she said.

Adams encourages every member of the Army family to visit the USACR/Safety Center Web site at https://safety.army.mil and check out the many products and tools available to educate users about potential hazards and how to mitigate the risks associated with home activities.

"Every Soldier, Army civilian, contractor, and Family member is an important part of our Army team," Adams said. "Engagement by all members of the team and the use of all available tools and processes to integrate composite risk management into everything we do is a key part of keeping our Army team safe. Remember, an Army team that is safe is Army Strong."

Page last updated Thu August 6th, 2009 at 16:43