WIESBADEN, Germany - Safety doesn't stop at the job site.
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That's what officials hoped to get across to more than 650 Soldiers during a 66th Military Intelligence Brigade Safety Stand Down Day May 27.
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"We lose too many Soldiers to accidents that are preventable," said Gary Smith, brigade safety officer. "So off duty is what we concentrated on (for safety training). We hope that they realize that they're personal actions have consequences."
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Want to relax with your iPod, listen to some tunes and turn in early'
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Be careful, says Barbara Smith, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden occupational health nurse. While basic training of hearing protection is old hat for Soldiers, the simplest every day activities can also cause permanent hearing loss.
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Deci-Bella - a mannequin donning a noise dosimeter - showed even a simple leisure listen to some timeless tunes can cause permanent damage.
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A Soldier stepped forward and scrolled his finger on an iPod to place the volume at just the right listening level.
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The dosimeter shot up above 90 decibels.
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"You're going to experience hearing loss," Barb Smith told the Soldier.
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Any noise that measures at 85 decibels or above can cause permanent damage. And even at lesser levels, if the noise is persistent over a long period of time, the effect can also be damaging.
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Smith's advice: wear your hearing protection and be careful about your music listening habits.
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Motorcycle accidents
How about a short drive down the Autobahn to an out of the way German city or festival'
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Helmut Schartel, with the garrison's Safety Office, asked Soldiers to drive safely and keep an eye out for the smallest vehicles: motorcycles.
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According to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, 15 soldiers have been killed in motorcycle accidents in fiscal year 2010.
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And, said Schartel, about half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles. And most of the time, the motorist, and not the motorcyclist, is at fault.
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"We get overlooked and that's the big problem," said Schartel, who has been a motorcycle rider for 26 years.
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Some things to remember when sharing the road:
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A-A A? Motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car's blind spot. "So always look before changing lanes," said Schartel.
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A-A A? Motorcyclists can change positions in their lanes and do so for safety. It is not an invitation to share the lane.
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A-A A? Motorcyclists can slow down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light.
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The safety stand down day was a collaboration between brigade and garrison safety officials. Open to Soldiers and civilian employees garrison-wide, the event, said Gary Smith, was intended to get people thinking about safety off the job.
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"They don't really consider their actions have consequences, and people become complacent," said Smith. "Some behavior they just do over and over again until it leads to an accident."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16