By Bob Reinert/USAG-Natick Public AffairsJune 4, 2012
Do you get the nagging feeling that you might be flirting with an accident? Well, it could be time to see "The Safety Doctor" for a checkup.
That's just what the workforce at Natick Soldier Systems Center did June 1, when Dr. Isabel Perry made a house call to the installation. Perry, a nationally recognized safety expert with more than 25 years of experience, gave a pair of presentations at Hunter Auditorium as part of NSSC Summer Safety Day.
"A lot of times, we think safety is a work issue," Perry said. "Safety is 24/7. It's not just about yourself. It's about your family, too."
Perry used unusual props, such as jelly beans, packing tape, and a sock, to get her safety points across. Then she literally took some of the air out of the situation by having the audience blow up balloons while she mentioned the distracting problems in their lives that could cause accidents.
"I want you to look at that balloon," Perry said. "Those are all the stresses you have in your life. And all those issues, you can't do anything about them. So what you need to do is release them."
With that, the multicolored balloons flew across Hunter Auditorium in all directions, accompanied by the laughter of those letting go.
"We need to take personal responsibility for safety," said Perry, who noted that accidents carry a $250 billion annual price tag -- more than cancer, diabetes and strokes.
"There's been a 30-percent increase in injuries and illnesses in the last four years at home," Perry said.
In addition to Perry's presentations, NSSC offered information booths and displays by vendors and outside agencies, along with canoe and kayak safety demonstrations at the installation's Gibson Pool.
"The intent of Safety Day is to increase awareness of the risks and hazards typically associated with the summer months," said Scott McPherson, NSSC safety manager, "and how we can mitigate these risks in order that we may prevent … injury or illness to one of our Soldiers, civilians or Family members.
"You never know. The knowledge gained could result in the prevention of an injury or illness to yourself or to a Family member."
Dr. Jack Obusek, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director, told the Natick workforce that it was "important that we remember safety in everything we do. We need you here every day. You're our most important asset to getting the mission done and providing those capabilities for Soldiers."