Summer safety must begin with risk management

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Members of the 66th Air Base Group Safety Office encourage all members of Team Hanscom to use risk management techniques this summer, both on and off duty.

Effective risk management allows personnel to identify risks before a potential injury occurs to themselves or a member of their family.

“Risk management has a role in everything we do, both on and off duty,” said Galen Williams, 66th Air Base Group Safety director. “It continues to be the job of the safety professionals at Hanscom to provide guidance to all members of the workforce throughout the year.”

Among the examples of activities that can cause serious injuries are distracted driving and drinking and driving following summer activities.

With motorcycle-riding weather here, Airmen should know that operating a motorcycle is also considered one of the most dangerous activities. According to the Air Force Safety Center, the Air Force had five fatalities due to motorcycle mishaps last year.

“Motorcyclists will spend more time riding now that warmer weather is finally here,” Williams said. “The Air Force requires training for all military motorcyclists, as stated in AFI 91-207, and risk management techniques provide a rider the means to ensure all safety precautions are taken, 062969to include proper personal protective equipment.”

Members of the community might also be preparing for outdoor sporting activities this holiday weekend or this summer. Hanscom’s safety officials want everyone to remember that participation in sports has its own risks, which can be mitigated by using risk management techniques.

Each year, the U.S. Coast Guard compiles statistics on reported recreational boating accidents. This data comes from accident reports filed by the owners or operators of recreational vessels involved in accidents.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2016, the most recent data available, the Coast Guard counted 4,463 accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries and approximately $49 million of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.

"Like driving a motor vehicle on roadways, operating a boat while distracted or under the influence of alcohol is a serious threat while on the water," said Williams. “Do everything you can to prepare safely for participation in boating or any of your favorite summer sports.”

Many Airmen also use the summer months to take leave and explore New England.

“Hanscom leaders are counting on you to maintain a focus on safety during this Memorial Day weekend,” Williams said. “Drive defensively, be cognizant of driver distractions, use seat belts and don’t drink and drive.”

He included that the expectation is for every member of the Hanscom community to return safely.

Safety starts at the top and is something that must be done all the way down the chain, Williams said.

“Take an active role in keeping your fellow Airmen safe,” he said. “Be a great wingman, an engaged supervisor and the one who sets the example for safety, both on and off duty, for all members of your organization.”

For more information on risk management, contact the Safety Office at 781-225-5584.