By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleMay 11, 2012
FORT BELVIOR, Va. (May10) -- Fort Belvoir Safety Office hosts a summer oriented Safety Day Celebration at Specker Field House, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event, which focuses on the military's upcoming 101 Critical Days of Summer Safety campaign, features displays and demonstrations on topics such as grilling safety and boating safety. The celebration is open to the public.
Garrison Commander Col. John Strycula will begin the celebration with opening remarks and then Belvoir directorates, tenants and private vendors will take charge and share safety tips.
Bridget Smalls, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, encourages everyone to attend and share their experiences with fellow employees.
"You come and attend and take back what you learned to your office and try to create a culture of safety awareness," Smalls, said.
The 101 Critical Days of Summer Safety campaign lasts from Memorial Day, May 28, through Labor Day, Sept. 3. This period typically experiences a spike in vehicle and recreation accidents involving servicemembers. The campaign is designed to promote safety and reduce the number of accidents during the summer vacation season.
Belvoir's safety celebration features displays and demostrations providing attendees with summer safety tips.
The Directorate of Emergency Services representatives will provide a fire safety demonstration and encourage commuters to not use cell phones while traveling. Representatives from the U.S Coast Guard will provide boating safety tips and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital's Public Health Command will provide healthy eating advice during the season of barbecue cookouts. PHC will also offer blood pressure checks.
"The safety event provides those in attendance the opportunity to be hands on," said Chris McCormick, Occupational Health and Safety Specialists. "It gives them the opportunity see what's out there."
According to McCormick the event allows various vendors to feature their products and equipment to Belvoir personnel.
"We like for them to showcase their products because it creates a safer environment for Belvoir," said McCormick.
The Safety Office already offers some precautions for the summer season.
People should conduct grilling in a location away from children's play areas and areas of heavy traffic. Avoid the danger of carbon monoxide by keeping the chosen location well-ventilated, specifically on a flat and stable platform that's not indoors.
Boaters should inform people where they're traveling and when they plan on returning. They should always check the weather and water conditions before leaving shore and have a radio handy for updated weather reports. Boaters should also have accessible life jackets for each individual on board and carry emergency equipment such as a fire extinguisher, flares, a horn, flashlight and first aid kit.
"I'm certain that people go along accomplishing their missions without safety being their priority," Smalls said. "We're here to get them to get in that culture of practicing good safety on a daily basis."
The Safety Day celebration also urges caution in the office environment, stressing the proper use of items such as power strips and electrical cords.
The office is still looking for collateral duty safety representatives from tenant organizations. The position requires the representative to perform monthly workplace inspections to identify and eliminate potential hazards, investigate and report mishaps and provide training to unit employees and Soldiers.
Trained specialists will check their offices for problems such as improper extension cord use, clutter, tripping and slipping hazards, ineffective lighting and potholes in parking lots.
Smalls said each garrison partner is required to appoint CDS representatives.
"It very is important that people participate," Smalls said. "We have quite a few partners and we want everyone to practice safety."
For more information, call (703) 704-0649.