National Safety Month National Safety Month: Safety in the summer Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 June 2017
By Robert Speer
Special to GUIDON

As we transition from spring to summer, we do so knowing our Soldiers, Army civilians and their Family members are entering what is historically the most dangerous time of year.

Accident data from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center tells us we must act now to prevent increases in on- and off-duty accidents between April and September.
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Speer

Although our Army sustained a decade-long record of reducing loss to mishaps in fiscal year 2016, the majority of our non-aviation Soldier fatalities happened during warm weather months.

June marks our annual observance of National Safety Month, and I encourage all leaders to educate our Soldiers, civilians and Family members of the hazards associated with the summer months, especially those involving private motor vehicle driving and outdoor sports and recreation.

As leaders, we owe it to every member of the team to prepare them on how best to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Our Army installations offer hundreds of miles of pedestrian-friendly paths and sidewalks, and our population of compliant drivers makes walking and running fun and relatively risk free.

Such an environment makes it easy for those who live or work on Army installations to become desensitized because of the reduced hazards.

The threat to pedestrians off our installations remains high, and, as this year’s mishaps show, a moment’s inattention is unforgiving.

The recent spike in pedestrian-related Soldier fatalities is alarming; nearly quadrupled historical averages.

Crossing a highway on foot, retrieving items lost on the roadway and running on busy public streets, regardless of time of day, can be deadly.

Each of us — at every level of leadership — plays a part in keeping our force ready for future missions.

Engaged leaders and proactive risk management provide the foundation to buttress safety and capability wherever the mission dictates.

Use this month’s observance as a catalyst for conversation and develop a plan for the months ahead.

Every effort makes a difference, and together we enable readiness through safety.

(Editor’s note: Speer is the acting Secretary of the Army.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 June 2017 )