By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsJune 14, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- As the "101 Days of Summer" and National Safety Month come together, two Redstone Arsenal organizations focused on the health and safety of their employees.
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency hosted their 10th annual Joint Safety Awareness Day and Health Expo June 7 at the Von Braun Complex on Redstone Arsenal.
The event was coordinated in conjunction with USASMDC/ARSTRAT's 7th annual Command Safety and Occupational Health Expo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, also on June 7.
The period between the Memorial Day weekend in May and the Labor Day weekend in September is a period where most off-duty accidents occur and a period of heightened risk due to travel and recreational activities.
"Each of you work in test facilities, labs, training facilities, as well as offices and cubicles," said Dr. Steve F. Pierce, SMDC chief technology officer. "You have supervisors who provide for a safe environment, processes that have been established and groups - like the safety offices - that assess safety and implement safe practices. In the next 101 days, many of you will be traveling long distances and will find yourself in environments that you are not familiar with. You will probably be fatigued after traveling and may be involved in activities around bodies of water. There will be no supervisors, processes or safety officers.
"That means you will need to be more aware of your surroundings and identify the risks around you," he added. "Make every attempt at taking breaks while driving, avoiding alcohol while boating, and become aware of your surroundings for any dangers. The most important part of our organizations are its people and you provide the support needed for your team to accomplish its tasks."
The purpose of the joint venue is to promote safety awareness; minimize the risk of unintentional death, injury or damage caused by mishaps; promote proactive safety measures within the command elements in Huntsville and recognize June as National Safety Month. The day's activities focused on safety demonstrations and inspections performed by members of Redstone Arsenal, Colorado Springs and their surrounding communities.
"We've just experienced another successful joint SMDC/ARSTRAT and MDA Safety Day here at Redstone Arsenal," said Carl L. Johnson, MDA Safety and Occupational Health program manager. "The event leveraged the synergistic effects of the government safety and health communities and local community partners and yielded high dividends in the area of safety awareness, publicity and compliance and enhanced the overall safety posture and culture of the entire Von Braun Campus," he added.
The Safety Day expo highlighted SMDC's and MDA's commitments to employee safety and health by bringing in local vendors to demonstrate and promote safety awareness.
"Taking time out of our regular work schedules to focus on safety topics reinforces the importance of making safety the priority in everything we do," said Randy Joyner, SMDC Safety director. "This is the time of year when hazardous weather conditions can pop up without prior notification. So stay alert and stay prepared. Any loss of an employee to an accident affects our ability to accomplish our mission."
This year, Tanya Allbritten, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Chief Training and Career Management, provided a presentation on "Generational Diversity" designed to show how understanding generational diversity provides the opportunity to learn from individuals who are different, especially as it pertains to safety.
One member of the SMDC team said he enjoyed the demonstrations as well as those who spoke about safety and made the day both interesting and informative.
"Just when I had prepared myself to endure someone telling me once again how to not stump my toe or choke on a chicken bone, Wow," said Harold L. DeBerry, SMDC G-1 Civilian Workforce Development senior workforce analyst. "This lady, Mrs. Allbritten, and her presentation knocked the ball out the park and engaged us in a way that will help me deliver an intended safety message to my children, grandchildren and coworkers in the multi-cultural languages they use and understand best."
Exhibits and safety demonstrations in Huntsville included: Healthsource, stress relief; Fox Army Health Center, hearing conservation, bone density, automated external defibrillators and ergonomics; Federal Occupational Health, blood pressure checks; Alabama Holistic Health, stress relief; American Cancer Society; Fleet Feet, running safety; Department of Transportation; Bicycles Inc., biking safety; Academy Sports, sporting safety; Safe-T-Shelter, severe weather safety; Redstone Harley, motorcycle safety; Alabama State Trooper, impaired driving; SARTEC, search and rescue technicians; Alabama Game Warden, wildlife safety; Redstone Arsenal Veterinarian Clinic, pet safety; SWAT Environmental, Radon mitigation; Terminix, pests; Brister's Martial Arts Academy, self-defense; Grainger, home safety; Redstone Arsenal Military Police, weapons safety; Redstone Arsenal Fire, fire safety; U.S. Coast Guard, boating safety; Land Trust, hiking safety; Employee Substance Abuse Program; Mr. Electric, electrical safety; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, weather safety; Ready and Resilient Campaign Personnel; and the Madison County Community Emergency Response Team.