Summer safety begins with avoiding unnecessary risks

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – June is National Safety Month and 66th Air Base Group Safety officials encourage all members of the community here to practice risk management when participating in activities on- or off-duty this summer.

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

Air Force senior leaders distributed a memorandum last month encouraging Airmen “to take care of ourselves and the ones we love.”

“As you execute our Air Force mission or participate in summer activities with your family and friends, please use what you have learned about risk management,” leaders wrote. “Plan for the unexpected, make wise choices and avoid unnecessary risks.”

The memo also highlighted how personal safety directly ties to Air Force readiness. It noted that preventable summertime accidents over the past decade have claimed an average of 16 Airmen per year.

Hanscom senior leaders offer a similar message to members of the workforce and their families.

“While participating in activities this summer, take the necessary steps to avoid injury to yourself or others,” said Col. Chad Ellsworth, installation commander. “It’s important that we all understand the importance of personal risk management and being a good Wingman.”

According to 66th Air Base Group safety officials, there have been 64 safety-related mishaps on- and off-duty at Hanscom since the start of the fiscal year.

“One injury or incident is too many,” said Shaun Bassett, 66 ABG occupational safety manager. “We need employees at all levels to foster a culture of risk management each and every day.”

Officials also encourage any personnel who ride motorcycles to wear personal protective equipment.

“Being properly outfitted with certified PPE can make all the difference if involved in a motorcycle mishap,” said Galen Williams, Hanscom’s Safety director. “It’s important to protect your whole body while riding, from footwear to headgear.”

According to the Air Force Safety Center, the Air Force had 11 fatalities due to motorcycle mishaps in fiscal year 2018, including two in Air Force Materiel Command.

Williams encouraged leaders at all levels to be proactive.

“Take an active role in keeping your fellow Airmen safe,” Williams 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.”

Base safety officials offer support tools that include trends and talking points for use during all-calls and staff meetings. That information is located on the Safety SharePoint site.

Personnel can report on-base hazards via a secure SharePoint site, online at HanscomNet, through the Hanscom safety hotline at 781-225-SAFE or through an Air Force online reporting tool.

“There are no limits on what individuals can report, because the most important thing is to report what they perceive as a hazard,” said Christopher Gransbury, 66 ABG Occupational Safety and Health noncommissioned officer in charge.

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