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Safety report shows drop in mishaps

Keith Runk and Staff Sgt. Marcus McWatters of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron won’t be having a mishap as they work on the road near the Patrick AFB flightline Nov. 19. They are properly prepared with reflective vests and have blocked their work area off from approaching traffic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney)

Keith Runk and Staff Sgt. Marcus McWatters of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron won’t be having a mishap as they work on the road near the Patrick AFB flightline Nov. 19. They are properly prepared with reflective vests and have blocked their work area off from approaching traffic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing Safety Office is pleased to announce that the number of mishaps involving wing personnel has dropped substantially.

During fiscal year 2008, the wing saw a decrease in mishaps from 220 to 151, with subsequent drops in workdays lost. There continued to be no fatalities in the wing for the eighth consecutive year.

However, while still a decrease of 46 percent over last year, there were still 20 reported Class "C" incidents that resulted in personal injury or property damage. Only one of them didn't involve a personal injury. That was the fire in the kitchen in the South Patrick Chapel. No one was in the kitchen at the time, but the repair estimate is $178,000. This means that while the number of mishaps went down, the total cost to the wing went up.

For the other mishaps that did involve personal injuries, more than half occurred to military personnel off-base. The Safety Office attributes 50 percent of those mishaps to members not observing Personal Risk Management, with complacency and procedures accounting for the rest.

"These mishaps were mainly people simply tripping and falling," said Scott Hagen, safety manager. "When you are walking you have to watch not just where you are going but where you step."

Other trends identified in the report are November and Decem-ber being the most mishap-prone period, with eight occurring during that time. Besides on-duty slips and falls, one of the leading causes of injury was sports activities. According to the report, three of the eight mishaps in the November-December months were from playing wallyball.

For any sport players must know their limitations, wear proper footwear and take extra care to avoid injury. Mr. Hagen added, "If playing wallyball, watch out for other players and the walls!"