Safety tips for critical days of summer

The “101 Critical Days of Summer” is a Department of Defense-wide annual initiative to raise awareness of the hazards during the summer season.The 1st Special Operations Safety Office wants everyone on Hurlburt to know how to stay safe this summer. Safety tips highlighting summer safety will be posted weekly during the campaign.

The Critical Days of Summer is a Department of Defense-wide annual initiative to raise awareness of the hazards during the summer season. The 45th Space Wing Ground Safety Office wants everyone at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., to know how to stay safe this summer. Safety events highlighting summer safety are scheduled weekly during the campaign.

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Winter clothes are packed away, children will soon be home for summer break, and more people will likely be outdoors. While many look forward to the summer; historically, there is potential for increased mishaps and accidents.

The Department of Defense designated May 23 through Sept. 2, as the time period to mark the 2014 Critical Days of Summer campaign. In an effort to enhance awareness, the 45th Ground Safety Office offers the following tips to enjoy a mishap-free summer.

 Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect from skin damage and avoid midday exposure. Midday exposure has the highest concentration of ultraviolet rays. The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control. Ultraviolet rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes. Blistered and red peeling skin means you got far too much sun.
 Use a safety belt. Forty-thousand people die each year in car crashes and it is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35, according to a study by Oklahoma State University. Safety belts could have prevented half of the deaths. Both seat belt straps should be fitted snugly to ease the impact and ensure you are wearing it correctly.

 Motorcycle riders should ensure they wear the required personal protection equipment (PII). Wear impact resistant goggles and face shields that are designed to meet or exceed the American National Standards Institute. Riders should also wear long sleeves, trousers, full-fingered gloves or mittens, and over-the-ankle footwear is highly recommended. Helmets will, at minimum, meet Department of Transportation standards. Our office highly encourages bright fluorescent colors and reflective material for an additional protective measure.

 Prevent injuries while doing yard work. When operating any machinery you should read the instructions to ensure you know how to use it properly. Wear appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes. Wear eye protection and clear the area before you mow. Many injuries happen from flying debris.

The tips offered are only a few guidelines to help boost safety during the critical days of summer. More can be found at the 45th Space Wing Ground Safety Facebook page, and SharePoint.

The 45th SW Ground Safety Office has scheduled events throughout the summer to assist Team Patrick-Cape in making 2014 the safest summer yet.

May 16: (9:30 a.m./Patrick AFB Theater) Critical Days of Summer (CDS) kick-off. Mandatory briefing for 45th SW personnel; John Drebinger, guest speaker
May 16: (1 p.m./Tides Club) Motorcycle ride to kick off Critical Days of Summer. Briefing topic: Risk Awareness
May 21 & July 2: (8 a.m./Auto Hobby Shop) Free vehicle safety inspection
June 13: (9 a.m./Tide Club) Motorcycle ride to continue CDS. Briefing topic: Emergency braking
July 23: (1 p.m./Tides Club) Motorcycle ride to continue CDS. Briefing topic: Highway hypnosis
Aug. 15: (9 a.m./Tides Club) Motorcycle ride to end CDS. Briefing topic: Riding in different environments