NEWS | Aug. 30, 2011

Stay safe this Labor Day

By Naval Safety Center and the Air Force Safety Center and the 628th Air Base Wing Safety office

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and many are planning one last big weekend before the weather cools off. Most of us do a great job planning activities and managing associated risks. How¬ever, last year one Sailor and one Marine lost their lives. Another 52 Sailors and Marines were injured, some seriously, in motor vehicle mishaps, sporting activi¬ties, or other off-duty pursuits. A vast majority of the mishaps that occurred last year were completely preventable with solid risk management practices. A little advance planning makes all the difference.

Just because summer is drawing to a close, don't feel like you have to pack an entire season's worth of activities into one weekend. It's better to do less and have a great time than to try to do it all and end up in the hospital.

If you plan to travel outside of the local area, use the Travel Risk Planning Sys-tem to enhance your chances for success on the road.

Plan ahead and practice risk management:
  • Assess the situation: Identify and assess the hazards associated with a particular mission or activity.
  • Balance controls: Consider all available controls (resources) available to ensure success or mitigate identified hazards.
  • Communicate: Communicate with leadership or others to discuss problems, intentions and possible alternatives. In individual situations, carefully consider personal actions before deciding upon and implementing a final course of action.
  • Decide and debrief: Make the decision to continue, modify or abandon the mission or activity based upon real-time circumstances and conditions. Provide feedback on what worked and what did not work to ensure important lessons learned are passed to others; your experience can help save lives.
To access the TRiPS planning tool:

Navy personnel: via Navy Knowledge On-Line at https://wwwa.nko.navy.mil. Click on the TRiPs link.
Marine Corps personnel: via the Army Combat Readiness Center website at https://trips.safety.army.mil/marines
Air Force personnel: https://www.my.af.mil/gcss-af/USAF/ep/browse.do?programId=t6925EC3163FF0FB5E044080020E329A9&channelPageId=s6925EC13537F0FB5E044080020E329A9
Alcohol responsibility

If you have friends over for Labor Day parties and choose to drink and serve alcohol, remember, moderation and responsibility are keys to success. The vast majority "get it" when it comes to responsible use of alcohol. Driving under the influence and other alcohol-related incidents are going down; however, overconsumption remains a concern. Be alert for ways you can make a positive difference by offering a ride or taking the keys from someone who shouldn't be driving.

Every Labor Day weekend there is a nationwide DUI crackdown known as "Over the Limit, Under Arrest." Law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints. Visit www.statehighwaysafety.org for more information.

Statistics show that alcohol is often a contributing factor in sexual assaults. Al¬cohol is no excuse for criminal behavior and everyone is expected to manage the risk to avoid being a victim or a perpetrator. Equally important, if you witness inap¬propriate conduct toward another person, take action, get assistance, get involved to prevent an assault.