By Megan Locke Simpson, Courier staff October 28, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- U.S. Army Garrison Fort Campbell recordable workplace accidents saw a 40 percent reduction in Fiscal Year 2013, when compared to the average of the past five years on post.
This number accounts for accidents involving both appropriated funds and non-appropriated funds employees on post. More than 2,000 people are employed on post in this capacity, with 23 reported accidents throughout FY13.
Installation Safety Office officials see this number as a great achievement, especially when considering the Department of the Army goal called for a 10 percent reduction.
"We actually achieved a 40 percent [reduction], which far exceeded the DA goal," said Michael Johnson, Installation Safety Office director. "This is really good news here."
The fiscal year ended well not only at Fort Campbell, but also Army-wide. Recently released data from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center revealed FY13 as the Army's safest year to date.
In terms of the Fort Campbell civilian workforce, most accidents and injuries can be attributed to overexertion, (ie. back sprains, shoulder strains). Along these lines, the Installation Safety Office tailors "trend training" around the most common accidents. For example, officials may give classes at different locations across post about how to lift properly.
"The thing about it is, do things the right way," said Mark Blankenship, Installation Safety Office deputy director. "Don't take the shortcuts. If it takes two people to lift something, get somebody to help you. If you're supposed to do something a certain way, make sure you do it that way. Because that's the way it's designed so you don't get hurt."
Accidents are classified in categories A through D, ranging from fatalities to treatment beyond first aid. USAG Campbell experienced no Class A or B accidents during the past fiscal year. These accident classes involve fatalities and permanent disability.
"The child care centers are where we have most of our people get injured, because of what are they doing all day long," Blankenship said. "They're picking up kids and carrying them around, so that contributes to the injury to their backs. Occasionally, you have other things like firefighters hurting their knees performing their duties. Everybody's running out of the burning building, but these guys are running in."
As the days turn colder, there is increased emphasis on the Winter Safety Campaign. The campaign kicks off Nov. 15, and focuses on cold weather hazards. The Installation Safety Office will host a Stand-Up Day, Nov. 22, at the Family Resource Center. Tentative plans call for small group instruction and hands-on training during this event.
During the second quarter of FY14, which includes January, February and March, the focus will be on preventing slips, trips and falls. The second quarter is typically when many accidents occur, Blankenship explained, with 21 percent of the year's accidents attributed to falls.
"When it snows, people fall," he said. "People get hurt."
The civilian workforce can conduct Winter Safety Campaign training on the Fort Campbell Intranet Portal. For more information on safety training, call (270) 798-6995.
Blankenship said most accidents are caused from lack of situational awareness and human error, and most accidents can be prevented oftentimes by simply paying more attention to your surroundings.