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July 27, 2012

Safety

Council discusses summer safety, drugs, post statistics at quarterly meeting

By Geneve N. Mankel, Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy’s Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council/Community Health Promotion Council held its last meeting for fiscal year 2012 July 10. The council discussed a variety of safety-related topics affecting the Fort McCoy community.

Deb Heise-Clark, Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety specialist, presented information on summer safety hazards.

When participating in outdoor activities, remaining hydrated and wearing proper attire help mitigate risks associated with heat and sun exposure, Heise-Clark said.

Additional summer weather concerns include thunderstorms and tornadoes. During these conditions people should seek indoor shelter and stay off the water, which is the most dangerous place to be.

Food safety during outdoor leisure activities is another concern, Heise-Clark said. Food must not be unrefrigerated for more than two hours. Keep food in separate coolers from beverages to prevent decreases in temperature, as beverage coolers are opened more frequently, she said.

During water activities personnel should wear life vests and never leave children unattended.

When hitting the road for summer travels motorists can check the website www.511wi.gov for road conditions and construction, Heise-Clark said. She also talked about ergonomic positioning of hands on steering wheels.

“Drivers should keep both hands on the outside of the steering wheel with thumbs along the face of the wheel. Grips should be firm, yet gentle. Hands should be positioned at the nine and three or eight and four o’clock positions,” she said.

For those who like to visit yard sales precautions should be taken against buying or using faulty and/or dangerous products, Heise-Clark said.

People should check items they purchase against the www.recalls.gov website.

Scott Zaehler, the Fort McCoy Alcohol and Drug Control officer, briefed council members on drug trends in the area including the use of spice, bath salts and heroin.

Spice, a synthetic marijuana-type drug is banned by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S., Zaehler said. The drug, which is most-popular among youth and young adults, cannot be tested by the Army Drug Testing Laboratories, however, samples can be submitted to the Criminal Investigation Command for testing. For more information about drug testing in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-2441.

Bath salts, another synthetic drug that recently has been making national headlines, are in the process of being banned by President Barack Obama who signed legislation for the ban July 9. Cases of their misuse should be reported to the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) at 608-388-2000 for investigation. Personnel also should be aware that the use of heroin is on the rise in the region, Zaehler said. Instances of heroin use also should be reported to DES.

For those needing to dispose of prescription drugs, in addition to the twice-yearly National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at the installation, the Tomah and Sparta Police Departments each have permanent prescription drug drop-off containers at their entrances, Zaehler said.

The Workers’ Compensation Office reported that claims for the fourth quarter were down. The lower number in claims can be attributed to training and educating the work force on safety.

Randy Eddy, ISO safety manager, said that among the more than 11,000 military personnel on post in June there were only 13 reportable injuries, none of which were Class A or B (major fatality, injury or property damage).

Capt. Rick Jackson of the Fort McCoy Police Department said 176 traffic citations were issued last quarter at the installation. Speeding accounted for the most offenses followed by failure to stop at a stop sign. Thirty-two traffic accidents occurred, with the majority being caused by vehicles backing up.

Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr. said personnel in the Fort McCoy community who witness traffic violations should report the license plate number to the Fort McCoy Police Department by calling 608-388-2266. “Everyone needs to be the eyes of the installation,” he said.

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott said installation personnel should start focusing on winterization needs in building and work areas.

In order to reduce the possibility of budgetary challenges in fiscal year 2013, work orders and requests should be submitted as soon as possible, Nott said.

For more information about safety in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-3403.

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