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NEWS | Sept. 12, 2013

Critical Days of Summer 2013 ends, risk management continues

By Alex Salinas Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

The Critical Days of Summer ended its "Safe 'n Sound - All Year Round" campaign Sept. 3, and for the most part, that's how summer was at Joint Base San Antonio.

At JBSA-Randolph, three injuries resulting in lost work time were recorded, while 11 were reported at JBSA-Lackland - an improvement at JBSA-Randolph but an increase at JBSA-Lackland from last year, Staff Sgt. Gary Lund, 502nd Air Base Wing ground safety technician, said.

"A lot of injuries were slips, trips and falls from summertime sporting activities like basketball," Lund said. "When it comes to playing sports, there's a lot of accepted risk, but we did a good job of getting safety information out there."

Considering the scores of younger Airmen at JBSA-Lackland, "with some activities like sports, you're going to have people who push the envelope," Marvin Joyce, 502nd ABW safety and occupational health specialist, said.

To address several issues, safety office staff members made it a point to disperse important information, safety reminders and positive messages early.

A recent example was the placement of signs around JBSA-Randolph's exit gates before Labor Day weekend that said "Work Safe, Play Safe, Live Safe - Safety Has No Quitting Time."

"A few people told me the signs caught their eye," Joyce said. "That's significant for us and it makes us feel like we're here for a reason."

Safety officials are now gearing up for fall and winter.

"Moving forward, there is typically less daylight in the fall, which means people must take extra caution when exercising, riding a bike or operating a vehicle at night," Lund said. "Always wear reflective material when on a roadway, like reflective belts."

All military motorcyclists are required to wear reflective vests when riding at night.

"Unpredictable weather changes like sudden rainfall is also something San Antonio experiences," Lund said.

"When it rains, there are usually spots around the city that flood," Joyce said. "Look out for low-water crossings and pay attention to weather reports."

Encountering school buses picking up and dropping off children is also commonplace during the fall and winter, and Joyce urges motorists to stop behind or in front of all buses when signaled.

According to a National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services survey, Texas school bus drivers reported 9,825 stop-arm violations in just one day during spring 2013.

Effective Sept. 1, Texas laws increased the maximum fine for a first offense of stop-arm running from $1,000 to $1,250.

While summer is nearing its end, many summertime activities will resume until the weather drastically changes, which could be a while for South Texas.

"We constantly talk about the heat," Joyce said. "People will still be outside barbecuing, swimming and playing sports. Just because CDOS ended doesn't mean risk management should too."

One fatality was reported in Air Education and Training Command during CDOS 2013; two were reported in AETC during CDOS 2012.