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Safety Committee Promotes Holiday Hazard Awareness

By Kim Sears
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2006 – Increased alcohol consumption and dangerous road conditions are two of many holiday hazards a Defense Department safety committee is working to remind servicemembers about this season.

The Defense Safety Oversight Council is using a series of holiday messages from top DoD officials and Service Safety Center activities to promote awareness and the importance of safe and responsible behavior through the holidays.

The holidays account for an increased amount of safety mishaps DoD-wide, officials said. From drinking and driving to leaving holiday candles unattended, the potential for injury and loss goes up dramatically during this time.

The committee is putting particular emphasis on safe driving, using a series of leadership messages focused on accountability by individuals and the chain of command and the importance of defensive driving.

The council also is directing servicemembers to Service Safety Center Web sites, which have online tools to help local commanders and individuals reduce risks. Online resources include tips, presentations and articles on topics including fireplace safety, suicide prevention, and carbon monoxide poisoning, among others.

In a June 22 memorandum, the Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reiterated his directive to reduce all safety mishaps within DoD by 75 percent by the end of fiscal 2008. The Defense Safety Oversight Council was created to find ways to meet that goal. David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, is chairman of the council.

(Kim Sears is assigned to American Forces Information Service.)

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Related Sites:
Air Force Safety Center
Army Safety Center
Naval Safety Center

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