Archive: USACR/Safety CenterShowing 1-101 of 497 items, Subscribe to RSS Feed
Leading from Experience
Mar 4, 2014
Army Safe Spring Campaign now live online
Mar 4, 2014
The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center launched the annual Army Safe Spring Campaign online March 1, providing leaders and Soldiers easy access to seasonal safety materials.
Go for the Green
Feb 5, 2014
For many years, the green-amber-red model has been a staple of military planning. It's the way we express readiness -- both visually and verbally -- for everything from budgets to training to real-time operations. And, in describing our status on risk management and safety, it's also very useful.
Army accidents continue downward trend
Feb 4, 2014
Following the Army's safest year on record, accidental fatalities fell once again during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, according to data recently released by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.
Bullets and Birds
Jan 21, 2014
The annual gunnery exercise in an attack battalion includes some of the best and worst times of an Apache pilot's career. Gunnery is a time to put to use what we train for -- and do it with live ordnance. After battalion gunnery, flight crews earn either great bragging rights or a feeling of "I suppose I'll do better next year."
USACR/Safety Center welcomes new command sergeant major
Jan 17, 2014
The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center welcomed a new command sergeant major in a change of responsibility ceremony here Friday, Jan. 17.
Know Your Limits
Jan 10, 2014
On a beautiful winter day, my brothers and I set out for a snowmobiling trip at Island Park, Idaho. Although all three of us were experienced and seasoned riders, it had been awhile since my older brother and I had ridden. My younger brother owned his snowmobile and was more experienced, so he led the way through the trees on the winding, groomed trails.
New Year, Fresh Perspective
Jan 7, 2014
With the new year comes an opportunity for fresh perspective. It gives us a chance to reflect and start anew with a clean slate, with plenty of hope for a better year than the last. This opportunity also offers leaders at all levels a chance to reinvigorate their safety programs, especially as Soldiers are more likely to be refreshed and refocused after coming off extended leave.
Winter's Unseen Trap
Dec 11, 2013
As an officer and aviator in the U.S. Army, I -- like most of you -- have been exposed to a significant amount of safety training. We've all learned that the unseen hazard is oftentimes the most dangerous. For example, Field Manual 3-04.301(1-301), Aeromedical Training for Flight Personnel, highlights Type I (unrecognized) spatial disorientation as the most dangerous because the hapless aviator has no idea they are disoriented, and thus, takes no action to correct the danger facing them. Carbon monoxide is similarly insidious. Whether it is exhaust leaking into your vehicle, or perhaps a propane heater warming a tent, carbon monoxide takes its prey with no warning. However, this article is not about spatial disorientation or carbon monoxide. There is another hazard that's similarly treacherous and just as veiled. Unfortunately, I found myself in its trap on my way home from drill one weekend.
Tri-signed letter on Army Safety 2013: Milestone Achievements, but Challenges Remain
Dec 10, 2013
In the fall of 2012, our Army marked the passing of its safest year since September 11 , 2001. At that time, we asked you to capitalize on that success during fiscal year 2013 by staying engaged on risk management and treating safety as an imperative. You did just that, and your hard work resulted in the best year for Soldier safety on record. We could not be more proud of this accomplishment- thank you and congratulations on a job well done!
Cold Weather Bites
Dec 3, 2013
Excitedly, I boarded a bus bound for Bridgeport, Calif. I was on my way to cold weather medicine training, and as a hospital corpsman stationed with the Marines, I knew this school would significantly enhance my capabilities. The air felt a little thinner as I stepped off the bus and saw snow-covered mountains in the distance.
Days of old, days of new
Dec 2, 2013
Nearly 600 Soldiers died in accidents in 1979, the year I joined the Army. Unbelievably, that was an improvement from the previous year, when we recorded just shy of 700 accidental fatalities. Those are unconscionable numbers by today's standards, but back then, it was just the way things were. More than a decade passed before accidental losses tapered significantly, and far too many tragedies occurred in the meantime.
Home for the holidays
Nov 25, 2013
Released in 1987, the movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" illustrates the extreme lengths people will go through to get home during the holiday season.
Just Another Landing
Nov 19, 2013
When you are downrange in an unmanned aircraft system platoon, everything gets repetitive. You launch your aircraft, fly your mission and land your aircraft several times every day. The platoon is usually isolated from the rest of your unit and everyone knows the rules of the flight line. It's when visitors arrive that problems arise.
Accidents Don't Take Holidays
Nov 14, 2013
It's that time of year where many of us are caught up in holiday routines and tend to take seasonal hazards for granted. Doing so, however, can mean the difference between a happy holiday and tragedy. Statistics show that mishaps occur more frequently during the holiday period. A little common sense, combined with some advanced planning, can help accident-proof your holidays, making them safer for you, your family members and visitors
Is the weapon clear?
Nov 13, 2013
Whether Soldiers are handling a military or privately owned weapon, safety should always be a top concern.
Nov 6, 2013
In the aviation community, we talk about safety all the time. It's evident that we put a greater emphasis on safety at work. For example, I would never start a flight across three states without first making arrangements to support the mission, such as knowing exactly where I was going to stop for fuel or stay overnight. Last summer, however, I took my family on a road trip to Albuquerque, N.M., and did just that.
Change - count on it
Nov 1, 2013
Going into the holiday season, our Army has much to be thankful for, especially our Soldiers. We knew fiscal 2013 would most likely be a good year for safety, but the final outcome -- 136 accidental fatalities, a 15 percent decline from the previous year and the lowest number on record -- was an historic landmark. Such a remarkable achievement during a year of relentlessly high operations tempo, to include the twelfth year of combat, happened only because of the hard work and commitment of our entire Army Team. I thank each of you for your proactive part in making it possible.
Oct 28, 2013
I love to hang out and have a few drinks with my friends. The camaraderie and bonding that takes place during those fun times is priceless. Sometimes, though, the fun can go a little too far. When it does, not only can it ruin your night (and next day, for sure), it could cost you your life.
Hunting tips to stay on target
Oct 24, 2013
While the rules and seasons for hunting vary from state to state, safety is one common factor that should always be consistent.
ATVs: not to be underestimated
Oct 21, 2013
Fiscal year 2013 was Army's safest year
Oct 16, 2013
Fiscal year 2013 was the Army's safest year to date, according to end-of-year data recently released by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.
Shocking Safety Tips
Oct 15, 2013
Electrical safety can mean many different things. It can include protection of outlets in your home to knowing that you can't submerge certain electrically charged items in water. No matter the task, taking appropriate safety measures is important
Oct 9, 2013
It was day seven at the Joint Readiness Training Center and it showed on the faces of the young infantrymen. They were exposed to typical central Louisiana weather in November; the nights were cooler and often marked by heavy rains. The platoon sergeant worked hard to keep the troops motivated and moving under their combat loads. No one wanted to be cold or wet, so the rucks were especially heavy.
2014: What's your objective?
Oct 7, 2013
We just turned the page on another fiscal year, and preliminary numbers suggest it will be among our Army's best ever for safety. But no matter how fiscal 2013 shakes out, we must allow ourselves to go nowhere but forward into the new year, building upon our successes and paying heed to lessons learned along the way. The Army's annual safety and occupational health objectives, signed in early September by the secretary of the Army and Army chief of staff, provide a sound framework for you to do just that within your formations.
Sep 30, 2013
A churning hurricane approaching the coast gives residents the luxury of time to prepare; a tornado dropping from the sky with no notice doesn't.
Just click it
Sep 25, 2013
Soldiers are wearing seat belts at a substantially higher rate than the civilian population, according to recent data.
Sep 24, 2013
In March 2003, just four months out of flight school, I found myself deployed to Iraq. For the most part, progression was uneventful, except for those dust landings at night under night vision goggles. There was a lot to learn and a short period of time to learn it.
Accidents compromise mission success
Sep 20, 2013
For nearly 12 years, Soldiers and civilians have deployed in support of Overseas Contingency Operations. As units ramp up for deployment, sustain operations and then redeploy, there's an increased potential for accidents to happen.
Eye on the Ball
Sep 17, 2013
Dumbfounded, I stood on the racquetball court, trying to stop the blood flowing down my cheek. I'd just been hit in the eye with a ball and wondered how in the heck it happened. I had eyewear on, so why wasn't I protected? It turns out I was the stupid one. Instead of wearing approved racquetball safety glasses/goggles, I opted to wear my prescription glasses. I assumed they'd suffice. Besides, it was supposed to be a quick game with three experienced players. Little did I know that I'd pay the price for my assumption.
Sep 13, 2013
My friends and I were pumped for the upcoming bow-hunting season. For the past 11 years, Mike, Scott and I faithfully got together to hunt on a 600-plus-acre farm we signed a lease to use. For us, the property is sort of a retreat from the everyday grind because it's very secluded and has few amenities. Therefore, the wife and kids have no desire to go. This particular trip was unique, with many factors that nearly culminated in a tragic outcome
ATVs: not to be underestimated
Sep 9, 2013
Millions of all-terrain vehicles are in use in the United States, and their popularity grows each year.
Army National Guard officer named Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Outstanding RiderCoach Trainer
Sep 9, 2013
Lt. Col. Craig Lambert, a member of the West Virginia National Guard, was named the motorcycle Outstanding RiderCoach Trainer for 2013 by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at the organization's International Rider Education Training System Conference held Aug. 15-16 in Indianapolis.
No season for risk
Sep 6, 2013
Autumn offers something for everyone. The coming and going of Labor Day means cooler weather, a return to regular schedules with kids back to school, and most of all, the start of football season (my favorite time of year!). Many Soldiers eagerly await the start of hunting season, while others are ready to start the countdown to time off around the holidays. What we can't look forward to, however, is a "slow" season for safety -- just because the summer is over doesn't mean we can fall into complacency.
Army Safe Autumn Campaign now available
Sep 4, 2013
With the passing of Labor Day, minds turn from the lazy days of summer to thoughts of football parties, hunting season and exercise in the great outdoors. Just like any other season, however, autumn can be a risky time of year.
Recipe for Safety
Sep 3, 2013
The Soldier mentality isn't one that usually sets a priority on safety. Most Soldiers instinctively realize that they'll be taking risks consistently throughout their career. Someone scared of risks traditionally isn't the type of person who would even think about joining the military. Col. Timothy Daugherty, brigade commander for the 214th Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Sill knew this when he took command in June 2011. With more than 24 years experience, Daugherty knew the thought process of Soldiers, both young and old.
Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning
Aug 23, 2013
The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored Sportfisher and the shore. "I think he thinks you're drowning," the husband said to his wife. They were splashing each other and she had screamed, but now they were just standing on the sand bar in neck-deep water. "We're fine, what is he doing?" she asked, a little annoyed. "We're fine!" the husband yelled, waving him off, but the captain kept swimming hard. "Move!" the captain barked as he hurried past the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their 9-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, "Daddy!"
Director of Army Safety visits USAARL
Aug 22, 2013
John Ramiccio, right, chief, Flight Systems Branch, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, briefs Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Edens, director of Army Safety and commanding general, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center during a demonstration of the Tactile Situation Awareness System. During his visit to USAARL, Edens flew in a NUH-60FS simulator and experienced first-hand the capabilities of the TSAS, a one-of-a-kind system developed to enhance a pilot's situational awareness and to prevent spatial disorientation while flying. Individuals who fly with the TSAS are outfitted with vests that contain tactile simulators or tractors that help maintain pilot awareness of drift and altitude through non-visual means. Edens was also briefed on the laboratory's sensory and injury prevention research. USAARL's research, development, tests and evaluations aims to protect and sustain the performance of aviators and Soldiers in the operational environment.
Powered Parachute Problems
Aug 12, 2013
While home on R&R leave from Afghanistan, I ran into my old friend, Reed, who I hadn't seen in years. Our conversation turned toward aviation, and he told me he recently bought a powered parachute. Since I had never seen one in person, I suggested we head over to his place and check it out.
'Bear' of a Dilemma
Aug 7, 2013
A few years ago, my son and I went on an overnight hiking trip with his Boy Scout troop. We met everyone at the old depot near the News-Minor newspaper office in Fairbanks, Alaska. The plan was for the boys and chaperones to hike 16 miles over two days on the Granite Tors Trail with 30-pound backpacks. Eight miles up the trail, sleep and then eight miles back. Great in theory, but after we set out, things didn't turn out quite as planned.
Rider safety: a year-round goal
Aug 1, 2013
For the 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment, motorcycle safety is serious, yet fun, business.
From the Director of Army Safety - Taming the dog days
Aug 1, 2013
The fact that the fiscal year coincides with the end of summer can be a cruel coincidence for those of us in safety. There's no buffer zone that allows us to bounce back from a bad fourth quarter, which traditionally is our Army's worst time of year for accidents. Slow and steady gains made throughout the year can be diminished quickly by just one or two bad months, and that could kill motivation to keep working toward safety goals. But thus far in fiscal 2013, it looks like we won't have that problem: With about two months left to go, accidental fatalities are still 20 percent lower than this time last year. That decline has held steady for several months now, but to keep it going, we'll have to stay on top of our game through August and September.
Stay smart on beach safety
Jul 29, 2013
A trip to the beach is a summer ritual for millions of Americans, including Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians.
Formula for Disaster
Jul 25, 2013
Of the lessons learned during our brigade's yearlong rotation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III, none have returned to me more than the words "complacency kills." That warning was emblazoned on a T-barrier in the center of Forward Operating Base Saint Michael as a daily caveat to our greatest planning measures, pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections.
Jul 22, 2013
Emergency management is one of the most challenging tasks for individuals and organizations and cannot be overlooked. Thinking ahead could mean the difference between life and death. Your safety, as well as that of your family members, co-workers and Soldiers, depends on weather preparedness.
Jul 15, 2013
One beautiful morning, my family joined some friends for a boat ride on Lake Nacimiento on the central coast of California. The water was cold, so we had no plans to go swimming. We just wanted to spend some time on the beautiful lake.
Blink of an Eye
Jul 11, 2013
In a blink of an eye, the motorcycle was on its side and I was hitting the pavement. There was no life flashing before my eyes and no chance to recover, but there was pain in my left knee and elbow. One second I'm on the bike and the next I'm on the ground next to it. A little shaken and quite embarrassed, I sat there for a minute rattling my brain, trying to think what I could have done wrong. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach then walked over and asked, "What happened?" I honestly had no idea.
Beat the Heat
Jul 8, 2013
Summer is a beautiful time of year; however, we should always be aware of the associated dangers lurking around the corner.
From the Director of Army Safety - Risk: a common denominator
Jul 1, 2013
Anyone who has ever had a college philosophy class is familiar with the question, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Multiple interpretations of the answer have been given by great minds through the years, but one simple premise is this: The lion's share of human perception is made up of only what we actually observe. Trees fall in the forest all the time, but it's not an "event" unless someone is there to see or hear it.
Accident reduction achievable with engaged leadership
Jun 25, 2013
In recognition of National Safety Month, members of the Ground Directorate encourage everyone in the Army Family to take time and integrate risk management into their planned activities; day, night, tactical, non-tactical, on or off duty. While there's been a recent decline in Army accidental fatalities, there's still room for improvement when it comes to reducing losses.
Riding the Beast
Jun 20, 2013
It was the summer of 1980, and I was a young airman stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in southwestern Idaho. I'd recently been promoted to E-3 and decided to reward myself by purchasing a motorcycle. Of course, I wanted the biggest, fastest bike I could afford.
Distracted driving is deadly
Jun 19, 2013
Motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver kill thousands of people each year on America's roadways. Anytime drivers text, use a cell phone or navigation system, change a radio station, eat or drink, or do anything that diverts their attention from the road, the opportunity for an accident to happen increases exponentially.
Putting the brakes on aviation breakdowns
Jun 18, 2013
In Army aviation, we are missing opportunities to prevent accidents. Current prevailing trends include breakdowns in standards, discipline and maintenance. Digging deeper, a common thread emerges between these three areas: Human error, which now is attributed to more than 80 percent of aviation accidents.
Got the message?
Jun 18, 2013
Rusty Fine's voice trails off as he glances at the projection screen. The photo of a comatose teenager - tubes, wires and machines barely keeping her alive - has temporarily derailed his train of thought. He stares at the image for a second or two more before clearing his throat and continuing with the presentation.
Equipment situational awareness matters
Jun 14, 2013
There's an element of risk involved when Soldiers work in motor pools, around aircraft or any equipment that must be climbed to accomplish different tasks. For many Soldiers, it's part of a safely accomplished mission; but for others, a split-second mishap serves as a lifelong reminder of the associated hazards.
'Sticking' it to Vehicle Accidents
Jun 9, 2013
Often, a simple approach to safety can be effective. What started as an aggressive, revamped vehicle backing safety program evolved into a unique initiative that reduced Fort Knox transportation motor pool nontactical vehicle accidents by 50 percent. Here's how we did it:
Seat belts: a disciplined choice
Jun 9, 2013
June isn't just National Safety Month - it's also the beginning of summer and the season of road trips and vacations. Unfortunately, the Army loses nearly two squads of Soldiers a year in accidents where seat belts weren't used. The numbers are going down from the spike we saw in 2010, when 29 unbelted Soldiers died, to 13 at the close of fiscal 2012. Accident reviews show that had seat belts been worn, nearly half these Soldiers would still be in the ranks because the survivable space inside their vehicles wasn't compromised.
The Infamous Sucker Hole
Jun 6, 2013
In early summer of 2011, our flight company was tasked with a two-part service mission. The first part required us to airlift an infantry unit based at Camp Dawson, W. Va., to Fort A. P. Hill, Va., for a three-day field training exercise.
Civilian employees: Safety starts with me
Jun 5, 2013
National Safety Month is an excellent opportunity for leaders and supervisors to place special emphasis on preserving the health and wellness of their Department of the Army Civilian workforce.
The Safety Gamble
Jun 4, 2013
After the nationwide frenzy surrounding last month's gigantic Powerball jackpot, I started thinking about odds. The average American stands a one in nearly 176,000,000 -- that's 176 million -- shot of winning any Powerball drawing within his or her lifetime. Yet countless people, including Soldiers and Family members, flock to convenience stores and other lottery outlets week after week, believing they'll pick the lucky numbers. What's puzzling to me, though, is that even while holding on to this far-flung hope, many think an accident could never happen to them.
'Above-normal' hurricane season arrives, requires preparation
Jun 3, 2013
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center predicted an "above-normal" hurricane season for 2013. Military communities in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast should assess how vulnerable they are, and review their emergency plans to ensure they weather the storm safely.
Keeping cool in hot weather
Jun 3, 2013
Participating in strenuous activities during the summer months isn't for everyone, but for Soldiers it's business as usual. In addition to the physical demands of Soldiering, some service members participate in extracurricular-sports activities, thus increasing their exposure to extremely hot and humid conditions.
Army promotes National Safety Month
May 30, 2013
June is National Safety Month, and senior Army leaders are asking Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and their family members to educate one another on risk and influence behaviors surrounding the leading causes of preventable injury and death.
Preparing to weather the storm
May 28, 2013
The weather can change from day to day, and sometimes hour to hour. How Soldiers, Families and civilians live with the weather is up to them.
Army launches 'Know the Signs' summer safety campaign
May 22, 2013
The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center commences its official summer safety campaign and encourages all Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians and Family members to remain prepared for the fun and hazards associated with warmer weather.
A Deadly Combination
May 20, 2013
Growing up in the early 1980s in Mississippi, I performed a number of unsafe activities on a daily basis - whether just for fun or because nobody knew any better. We flew through the woods on dirt bikes, jumped off bridges into the creeks below and operated large farm equipment at way too early an age, just to name a few. I remember being 5 years old and riding on the fender of my grandfather's tractor while he ran the disc over his field before planting crops, usually at a pretty good rate of speed. Looking back, one slip is all it would have taken for me to have been chopped to pieces!
Electrical shocks a year-round hazard
May 9, 2013
Electricity is one of the greatest amenities of modern life, but it also poses very real and very deadly hazards for those who don't respect it.
Training enhancements target reckless motorcyclists
May 8, 2013
Army officials are hopeful that enhancements to a mandated motorcycle safety training course will better target the No. 1 killer of Soldier riders.
Getting your bike back on track
May 6, 2013
It was mid-afternoon on a Thursday when I received a phone call from my best friend asking if I could help him move some furniture. Although I was tired from staff duty the night before, I told him I would be right over. I figured if we could knock out the move quickly, I could get back home to rest. I decided to take my motorcycle, so I threw on an old flight suit and the required personal protective equipment to make the five-mile ride. Little did I know that this ride would change my life forever.
May 3, 2013
Each year, electricity injures or kills more than a dozen Soldiers and civilians. That might not sound like a lot, but what's frustrating is most electrical-related accidents are the result of human error. Soldiers and civilians often don't use proper protective equipment or correctly follow the procedures to ensure an electrical source is not energized before servicing it. In addition to these injuries and deaths, the Army loses an average of five vehicles and two buildings to electrical fires annually
From the Director of Army Safety - Getting riding right
May 2, 2013
With snow and freezing temperatures persisting throughout much of the United States well into April, it's safe to say this winter has been particularly long and hard. That's why, when the weather finally warms, Soldiers across our Army will be more eager than ever to bring their motorcycles out of storage. Hopefully you've already been talking to your riders about motorcycle safety, but May -- as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month -- presents a perfect opportunity for you to either catch up on or reinforce the conversation.
Army to focus on motorcycle safety in May
May 1, 2013
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and while the nationwide campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges drivers to "share the road" with motorcyclists, Army officials are placing greater emphasis on personal responsibility while riding.
Rock, Mud and Blood
Apr 22, 2013
The great outdoors is an ideal venue for extreme sports and activities. As a kid, I remember having fun just by going out and exploring. My friends and I would venture into the woods to climb trees or play tag or hide-and-seek.
Fiscal 2012 safety award winners recognized for efforts
Apr 19, 2013
The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center today named winners of the Fiscal 2012 Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff Safety Awards.
Know it or blow it - Aviation Safety
Apr 18, 2013
Going through flight school, we all hated Chapters 5 and 9 of the - 10. We asked ourselves, "Why do we have to know all this crap? What does it matter if I know all these steps verbatim, with every underlined sentence memorized and every airspeed on the tip of my tongue?" Well, about a year and a half ago, I learned why this is.
Annual Off-Duty Safety Awareness Presentation now available
Apr 17, 2013
With spring here and summer rapidly approaching, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center recently released an update to the Off-Duty Safety Awareness Presentation, a tool designed to help Soldiers recognize hazards during these high-risk seasons.
What Would You Do to Save a Life?
Apr 10, 2013
Knowing your father caused a serious auto accident while driving under the influence is something you never forget.
Army releases second quarter accident data; downward trend continues
Apr 8, 2013
Accident statistics from the second quarter show the Army continues to improve its safety performance well into fiscal 2013, according to data released by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.
Apr 5, 2013
Here's a pop quiz: What sport leads all others in injuries for troops in combat theaters? The answer may surprise you - it's basketball. Nearly 300 basketball-related accidents were reported to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center between fiscal 2008 and 2012, and the cost associated with those accidents was more than $1.5 million! And it's no secret that many more basketball injuries go unreported. I realized anyone is susceptible to these injuries when I became a victim of the hoop demon during my second tour in Iraq.
Don't be armed & hammered
Apr 3, 2013
In today's society, we are bombarded with messages informing us we shouldn't drink and drive because alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction time, which can make our vehicles deadly weapons. So why do we continue to see Soldiers consuming alcohol and handling firearms, which are designed to be deadly weapons without the addition of alcohol?
From the Director of Army Safety - What makes a safety success?
Apr 2, 2013
By now, readers of this column should know I'm a big advocate of safety culture. The actual definitions of that term, however, can be as varied as the missions we perform every day. That's why it's important we have some measures in place as a litmus test for leaders looking to evaluate their culture and climate. The following six criteria can help you determine both your strongest and weakest areas regarding safety, and also give you ideas for enhancing your existing risk management programs.
Complacency bites, especially in the air
Mar 29, 2013
It was back in the summer of 2000 and I hadn't yet gone to flight school. At the time, I was serving as a flight engineer on a CH-47D Chinook. Our mission was a simple, routine night vision goggle flight with a couple of very experienced pilots on the controls. During the brief, the pilot in command said he wanted to focus on slingload training and told me it was my night in the cargo hole.
What's Holding Up Your Car?
Mar 25, 2013
Saturday was my day for making repairs on my car, and I'd been having problems with my old, rusty brake rotors. Every time I'd hit the brakes, the steering wheel would vibrate. I wanted to put an end to that, so I bought some good slotted and drilled replacement rotors. I gathered all the tools I needed - including a jack, wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers - and went to my garage to get started. I'd changed rotors on several cars in the past, so I basically knew how to do it.
SecArmy: Strong safety culture results in accident reduction
Mar 22, 2013
U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center officials recently hosted Secretary of the Army John McHugh at the center's state-of-the-art Crash Dynamics Lab.
Mar 18, 2013
Safety is such a constant part of a Soldier's life they sometimes get complacent. After a while, one of two things usually happens: Soldiers forget about the measures that kept them safe because there have been no accidents, or they become focused on the outcome of a mission instead of their well-being. Often, the prime time for this to happen is when a unit is in the process of redeploying.
Preserve Your Sight To Fight
Mar 11, 2013
Today's Soldiers understand the importance of mission readiness. We prepare our equipment and we train to ensure we are ready to go. But what about your eyes? Are they ready to go? You know you need protection from dust, wind and ultraviolet and bright sunlight, but how about a 0.15-caliber steel fragment coming at you at 660 feet per second?
Check Your Weather
Mar 6, 2013
On my most recent deployment, I was assigned to Task Force ODIN to operate and eventually provide instruction on the MQ-1B Warrior Alpha unmanned aircraft system. Shortly after reporting to Fort Hood, Texas, each UAS operator was assigned to a small 10- to 12-Soldier element as they attended their airframe qualification course. They were then deployed to their theater of operation. All of these events would occur within a six- to eight-month period, so, for the majority of the personnel assigned, this was quite a unique experience.
Mar 1, 2013
It's March, and that means it's time for another talk about driving safety. As a leader, you know that's just what your Soldiers want to hear, right? Few things elicit more groans from Soldiers than the mandatory safety brief. I'm of the belief, however, that since safety briefings are required, we might as well make them useful and enjoyable experiences.
Narrow Escape from Furious Flames
Feb 26, 2013
It was the end of a long Friday evening out with some friends. After a night of partying, my normal routine was to come home and cook something before hitting the sack. This night was no different, and after putting some food on the stove, I decided to lie down for a minute until it was done cooking.
Cruising to a Crash
Feb 22, 2013
It had been a great day at the Atlanta Supercross. Three first-timers and I had driven five hours from Clarksville, Tenn., for the evening show and were determined to have as much fun as possible. We arrived early so we could spend plenty of time in the pits admiring the finely tuned machinery. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and soon it was time for the long trip home. While we didn't know it at the time, the return trip would provide nearly as much excitement as the races.
The importance and effectiveness of a safety sense
Feb 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, I went out to the garage with my son to sharpen a lawnmower blade. Without even thinking about it, I grabbed two sets of safety goggles and face shields for us to wear while I used the bench grinder on the blade.
The Whys and Hows of Accident Reporting
Feb 13, 2013
While serving as a first sergeant years ago, I was frustrated when an accident report submitted to the U.S. Army Safety Center was returned to me for additional information. Unfortunately, because the accident occurred off duty and my Soldier had been rendered unconscious, I couldn't provide any additional information.
Hypothermia: The sneaky threat
Feb 11, 2013
Outdoor activities in winter are fun for the entire Family, but they can be risky if one chooses to ignore the rules of cold weather.
Danger in a crowded sky
Feb 7, 2013
It was a cool spring day in Alaska, and my OH-58D squadron was participating in the Air Force's Red Flag operation. Our task was to help certify new Joint Terminal Attack Controllers for the Air Force. We were to fly as a Scout Weapons Team from our airfield to the range operated by the Air Force. Although it was just 20 minutes as the crow flies from our airfield, we rarely operated in this range due to the high use by the Air Force. Prior to this operation, we had conducted a range familiarization flight with communication checks with the controllers.
Yellow Means Stop
Feb 7, 2013
How many times have you approached a traffic light just as it turned yellow and said to yourself, "I can make it"? As you punch the gas and fly through the intersection, you look up and see the light change to red. With a devious grin, you praise your great driving skills. I'll be the first to admit that I've done this countless times with no thought of the danger I might avoid if I would have just slowed down and stopped. However, an accident I wasn't even involved in forever changed my thinking.
From the Director of Army Safety - Measuring Up
Feb 1, 2013
One of the perennial questions in safety is, "How do we measure what we're doing?" Too often, the only metric we have available is how many Soldiers died in accidents during any particular period. We've gotten into the habit of looking at those numbers and attributing our safety programs' success or failure to them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; we obviously want the arrow pointing downward on accidental deaths. But, I don't believe it's enough to quantify what we do every day with only a single figure - safety is much bigger and more complex than that.
Pinned by a PLS
Feb 1, 2013
A few years ago, I was deployed to Iraq with the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, out of Fort Stewart, Ga. We'd just left our outpost and were moving to set up a new one. Once there, my Soldiers and I got busy inside the headquarters setting up walls, radios and other equipment.
Fight fires this winter
Jan 28, 2013
The winter holidays are a time of celebration, but fire can put a real damper on everyone's joy.
Giving safety a fighting chance
Jan 25, 2013
When you hear "combatives training," safety probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
Ground guiding safely
Jan 15, 2013
Every year, Soldiers and Civilians are seriously injured and killed in ground-guiding accidents.