SNAKE'S ALIVE
Soldiers from the 59th Ordnance Brigade listen to the rattle of the Timber rattlesnake at Pagano Gym as part of the OMEMS and Garrison Joint Safety Day. Game warden Kelly Smith explained to Soldiers the poisonous snakes, spiders and plants that are native to Alabama and what to do when you encounter one. Smith caught the snakes himself.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Summer may not officially begin until June 21, but for Team Redstone the campaign to keep it a safe one has already begun.

The Garrison and Ordnance Munitions and Electronics Maintenance School teamed together May 26 to educate the Redstone population about the hazards people encounter every day, which can be as simple as grilling a steak, sitting at your desk the wrong way or taking a ride on your motorcycle.

"Safety must be an intrinsic part of organizational culture where everyone watches out for the welfare of one another," Garrison safety manager Mike Moore said. "And more importantly, when something is wrong or doesn't look right, it needs to be communicated to supervisors and the safety office for correction."

The day was especially planned the Wednesday before Memorial Day to coincide with the unofficial kickoff of summer.

"We want to make sure our Soldiers get their safety awareness before the long weekend," Jesse Lockett, with the OMEMS safety office, said.

"They're going home on a four-day weekend. This gives them food for thought," said Robert Woodham, OMEMS safety manager of the reason for the special safety day for Soldiers. "We want them to come away from this with a good honest sense to think before they act. Be smart."

Around 1,000 Soldiers spent the day at Warrior Field learning about safety topics at seven separate stations designed to keep them safe over the holiday weekend and throughout the entire year. Motorcycle, fire and boating safety, drunk driving, as well as identifying poisonous spiders, snakes and plants were all covered in the hopes that attendees would learn how to keep themselves and their families, friends and fellow Soldiers injury free.

"It will keep me and my battle buddy safe," Pvt. Hunter Cain said. "It's teaching me what not to do."

Representatives from Fox Army Health Center, Fire and Emergency Services, the Army Substance Abuse Program and the U.S. Coast Guard, among others, were also on hand at Garrison headquarters handing out safety literature and answering questions.

The event gave employees the opportunity to discuss safety on post with colleagues as well as the safety office, opening up a conversation that will make the Arsenal both safer and more efficient. Everyone's participation, Moore said, is necessary.

"The safety process is complex and involves everyone's participation," Moore said. "Many folks think that 'safety' is easy, undemanding and only requires 'common sense.' Some observers think safety's only goal is reducing the 'numbers.' I think we all agree that having no accidents, injuries or work-related illnesses would be great. The reality is the only way to ensure this is shutting the gate and not have people report to work."

The Army's 2010 Safe Summer Campaign kicked off April 1, and continues through Sept. 30. The campaign's goal is to keep Soldiers, civilians and families safe as they celebrate summer. It features videos, posters and articles on 20 different safety topics, including inclement weather, fireworks, grilling and sun safety. To learn how to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer, visit https://safety.army.mil and click on the "Safe Summer Campaign Corner" at the bottom right-hand side of the page.

Page last updated Wed June 9th, 2010 at 11:01