Take proper precautions to get the most out of summer

  • Published
  • By Eric T. Hoehn
  • 88th Air Base Wing Safety Office

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Summer represents the time of year when our most valuable asset — Air Force personnel — are statistically at greatest risk of experiencing a significant mishap.

The following information covers safety measures and guidelines for a broad range of summertime topics and activities.

Risk management

Managing risk is a philosophy that applies on and off duty. Once a hazard has been identified, consider the likelihood of a mishap occurring and its potential severity.

Accept no unnecessary risk. Consider all the ways risk can be controlled and select the best one.

Risk management really is part of everything we do. Think about the consequences of your decisions. Airmen must actively and consciously use sound risk management every day.

Generally, this takes place to a high degree in the on-duty, controlled environment. Take those same controls and professional behaviors into off-duty activities — the same risk-management techniques apply.

Traffic dangers

Motorcycle and automobile accidents are the greatest killer of Air Force personnel. Keep in mind that bicycles are vehicles, too.

Plan your travel; maintain your situational awareness and vehicle. Use occupant restraints or personal-protective equipment — every time.

Fatigue or alcohol use must not be allowed to erode your ability to perform. If you drink or find yourself in a fatigued state, don’t drive.

Water safety

Don’t swim alone or when drinking and only dive if you know the water’s depth. Never exceed your abilities.

Pay particular attention to lightning at all times but especially on the water, when YOU are the highest object.

Personal-flotation devices whenever a boat is being operated are a must.

Grilling properly

Gasoline must never be substituted for charcoal lighter. Ensure the grill is at least 10 feet away from any flammable structure.

The grill should also be clear of areas where children and pets could accidentally come in contact and burn themselves, or knock it over.

Although most modern grills employ a “hands-off” method of cooking, you should never leave the grill unattended. Always make certain the coals are completely cool before disposing of them.

Apply the above guidance throughout the next three months and make this the safest, most enjoyable summer yet.