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April 27, 2012

News

Quarterly meeting focuses on seat belts, motorcycle gear, seasonal safety

The Fort McCoy Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council/Community Health Promotion Council met April 10 to discuss spring safety topics.

Deb Heise-Clark, Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety specialist, said the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center Spring/Summer Safety campaign is available online at https://safety.army.mil/. Campaign materials including articles, posters and videos are available.

Key areas within the campaign Fort McCoy personnel should focus on are seat-belt wear, and motorcycle, water and home safety, Heise-Clark said.

Seat belts are required for drivers and all passengers in vehicles at Fort McCoy according to Fort McCoy regulation 190-5. Heise-Clark said that personnel must wear seat belts both on and off post to set a good example for Family members, in addition to preventing fatalities. Seat-belt usage also is a primary-enforcement law in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Currently for fiscal year 2012, the Army has had 48 fatalities involving privately owned vehicles, 18 of which were motorcycle deaths, Heise-Clark said.

Like seat-belt wear, motorcycle helmet wear on Fort McCoy is mandated by regulation in addition to impact goggles or face shields, full-fingered gloves, long-legged pants, long-sleeved shirts, leather boots or shoes, a brightly colored upper outer garment during the day and a reflective upper outer garment during the night. Military uniforms do not meet this criterion.

Lt. Col. Rob Humphrey Fort McCoy garrison deputy commander, said although Wisconsin law does not require wearing motorcycle helmets, Soldiers are required to wear helmets at all times, even when riding off of the installation.

Military personnel needing to complete Motorcycle Safety Foundation training can sign up for a free class by visiting the Ride Safe, LLC website at www.ridesafewi.com. Through the website military personnel can access AIRS (Army IMCOM Registration System) and register for a course.

There were 23 water-related fatalities in Wisconsin in 2011, Heise-Clark said. A presentation with information about water safety, including boating safety and proper wear of life jackets, can be found in the safety section of the Fort McCoy Extranet at https://extranet.mccoy.army.mil/AKO/safety/ (common access card required).

The presentation can be accessed by clicking “seasonal” in the Campaigns & Initiatives section.

A spring clean-up presentation also can be found in the seasonal section. The presentation promotes outdoor home safety concerns such as mowing, personal protective equipment, poisons and wildlife.

Randy Eddy, Fort McCoy ISO safety manager, said personnel at the installation should be aware of an increase in population in June. Traffic congestion, especially around the Commissary, Exchange facility and McCoy’s, should be expected. Road construction also may contribute to congested traffic areas, he said.

With the loss of the post shuttle bus, pedestrian traffic also is expected to increase, said Humphrey.

Pedestrians also must be aware that headphones are not authorized.

“Wear of headphones outside of the fitness center or half-mile track is unauthorized,” Humphrey said.

Capt. Rick Jackson of the Fort McCoy Police Department said there were 121 traffic offenses last quarter at the installation. Speeding accounted for 55 of the offenses. Fifteen traffic accidents occurred, with the majority being caused by vehicles backing up.

Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette said personnel must be vigilant about building security. Although building security isn’t a direct safety issue, police officers are taken away from law-enforcement duties to respond to unsecured buildings.

“Take a proactive approach to safety, know the standards and enforce the standards,” Bissonette said.

The next Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council/Community Health Promotion Council meeting will be Tuesday, July 10 in building 50, conference room A.

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