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 January 22, 2010

Safety

Objectives lay groundwork to reduce
fatalities, grow safety culture

Fort McCoy will support the 2010 Armywide objective to reduce off-duty accidents while pursuing its 2010 objectives to be proactive about providing information and support to help keep the installation work force and Soldiers training at the installation safe, said Randy Eddy, Installation Safety Manager.

Staff with the Installation Safety Office (ISO) will help reduce the risk of off-duty accidents by taking advantage of opportunities to reach Soldiers and members of the civilian work force through installation-sponsored events, training initiatives and commander’s calls, Eddy said.

PHOTO: Students maneuver their motorcycles during a Basic Motorcycle Riders Course held at Fort McCoy last May. The course is one of a number of safety initiatives offered at Fort McCoy. File  photo
Students maneuver their motorcycles during a Basic Motorcycle Riders Course held at Fort McCoy last May. The course is one of a number of safety initiatives offered at Fort McCoy. (File photo)

“The endorsement of the garrison commander in this process is critical,” Eddy said. “In his memorandum supporting the program, he said, ‘These objectives provide the groundwork for achieving continued success in reducing accidental fatalities and provides your organization with the guidance to develop and grow your safety culture.’”

Because of the small garrison population, the ISO will sponsor themed safety days in conjunction with several installation events to provide safety information to the Fort McCoy community, he said.

Safety days for the Wellness Fair and Armed Forces Day, which are held in May, will have a summer safety theme. Eddy said the events will serve as a lead-in to the Army’s 101 Days of Summer campaign, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Safety day for Fire Prevention Week, which will be held in October, will highlight fall safety information, he said.

Safety day for the Thanksgiving meal, which will be held in November, will highlight holiday and winter-related safety concerns.

Eddy said other major ISO initiatives to ensure safety throughout Fort McCoy include quarterly safety council meetings, Army traffic safety training, supervisory safety training, and an emphasis on accident reporting and investigating at the unit and organization levels.

“The quarterly safety council meeting is a good forum for garrison and tenant representatives to attend and to address safety issues at Fort McCoy,” he said. “The garrison commander and the Command Group attend the meetings and provide their input and guidance.”

“The unit representatives can share information about improvements that have increased safety, and if other organizations are having the same safety issues they can see how other people have dealt with it,” he said. “The safety representatives can take back and share the information from the meeting with their units and organizations.”

An important topic discussed at the safety council meetings is accidents reported within the recent quarter and any trends depicted.  Eddy said leaders and supervisors of military and civilian organizations are required to report and investigate all accidents in accordance with Army and Department of Defense regulations and guidelines.

The process provides accident data, which helps the ISO determine causes of accidents and helps ISO staff members recommend and implement corrective actions to prevent future accidents, he said.

ISO staff members partner and coordinate supervisory safety training with the Occupational Health Clinic, the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and the Fire Department. The supervisors are trained to conduct periodic, value-added safety training for employees.

The Installation Management Command funds the Army Traffic Safety Training Program; which includes motorcycle safety courses and Intermediate Drivers Training and Local Hazards. 

Military and civilian personnel are encouraged to find out more information or schedule attendance in these courses or training, as desired, by visiting the Web site http://www.ridesafewi.com or by calling 715-299-7728.  Spring and summer schedules for 2010 will be posted in March.

Avoiding high-risk activities, such as drinking and driving or driving while fatigued also improves safety, he said. If people do go out drinking, they are encouraged to have or to use a designated driver.

Eddy said people, especially Soldiers, also can help ensure their vehicle trips are safer by visiting the Army Combat Readiness/Safety Training Center Web site at https://safety.army.mil and using the Training Risk Planning System to help plan their vehicle trips.

Anyone in the Fort McCoy community who observes or witnesses what they believe are unsafe activities is encouraged to report the activities to ISO, which will investigate.

Eddy said if the actions happen within a person’s organization, people should first bring the event/situation to the attention of their supervisors so it can be corrected in-house, if possible. ISO staff members also can assist units, organizations or individuals in finding appropriate safety training or information, Eddy said.

For more information, call the ISO at 608-388-3403.

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