(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT RUCKER, Alabama ─ The Army will mark its annual observance of National Safety Month with release of a multimedia campaign June 1.

The campaign will target four specific areas of risk management: emergency preparedness, driving, ergonomics and safety culture.

“This commemoration is especially timely as the Army and the nation transition to the post-coronavirus environment,” said Alex Beehler, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. “Risk management helps bring certainty during these uncertain times and will be a guiding principle as we make a return to normal operations.”

Brig. Gen. Andrew C. Hilmes, commander of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center and director of Army Safety, echoed Beehler’s thoughts.

“Generally speaking, most Army mishaps occur during transitions such as driving from a range or other training exercise, not during the primary mission itself,” he said. “We should treat our comeback from closures and restrictions just like any other operation, because there’s a chance some hazards could slip through the cracks.”

Off-duty private motor vehicle mishaps are of particular concern for Hilmes and other leaders. During March and April, the peak of COVID-19 lockdown, fatal PMV mishaps fell by 25 percent. The fear is that Soldiers and families might be overeager to make up for lost time once the Department of Defense’s stop-movement order and local restrictions lift, particularly as spring break and other vacations were delayed or cancelled altogether due to closures.

“When all this is over, travel will be a priority for Soldiers, no doubt,” Hilmes said. “We’re simply asking that they manage their risk just as they would on duty. Make a plan and reassess and adjust as necessary until you’re back safe at home.”

In addition to the USACRC website, https://safety.army.mil, campaign products will be released weekly on the organization’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hilmes encouraged users to check these venues frequently for campaign news and more.

“We’re working hard to give our audiences the information they need to stay safe in everything they do, both on and off duty,” he said. “Please check us out and let us know how we can improve.”

The USACRC preserves Army readiness through analysis, training, and the development of applications that prevent accidental loss of Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, family members and vital resources.