Holiday Safety Message from Health, Safety, and Work-Life

Members of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Los Angeles and Maritime Safety and Security Team Los Angeles/Long Beach conduct vessel tow and disabled vessel assist training near the Port of Los Angeles on November 9, 2016. Throughout the training members will learn how to succesfully assist disabled vessels.

Members of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Los Angeles and Maritime Safety and Security Team Los Angeles/Long Beach conduct vessel tow and disabled vessel assist training near the Port of Los Angeles on November 9, 2016. Throughout the training members will learn how to succesfully assist disabled vessels.
(U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrea Anderson)

From Rear Adm. Erica G. Schwartz, Director of Health, Safety, & Work-Life (HSWL)

While many of you will be participating in traditional holiday activities, others will continue to carry out Coast Guard missions. Whether you are on leave, traveling, or standing the watch, I urge you to be safe during the holidays.

Coast Guard activities require discipline and training for mission success. Unfortunately, many do not take advantage of these skills and strategies to plan beyond the mission. In FY2016, the Coast Guard family lost eight people. Off-duty motor vehicle mishaps continue to be the number one cause of fatal mishaps in the Coast Guard, and speed, alcohol, drugs, and distraction are the primary causal factors in these mishaps.

Nationwide, holiday travel results in more fatal motor vehicle mishaps than any other time of the year. One advantage of being in the Coast Guard is the ability to use the Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS) to assess risks associated with motor vehicle travel and to access recommendations to improve safety.

—> TRiPS can be accessed here.

—> Winter driving tips can be found on the Motor Vehicle Portal page.

An aviation survival technician conducts cliff rescue training near the North Head Light in Ilwaco, Wash., Nov. 10, 2016. The cliff rescue training is part of the Advanced Helicopter Rescue conducted by the standardization team from Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read)

An aviation survival technician conducts cliff rescue training near the North Head Light in Ilwaco, Wash., Nov. 10, 2016. The cliff rescue training is part of the Advanced Helicopter Rescue conducted by the standardization team from Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read)

Coast Guard units experienced 66 operational mishaps during the last holiday season. There were 17 mishaps directly associated with boat operations caused by grounding, collisions, allisions and laser strikes. Slips, trips, and falls accounted for 14 mishaps that occurred either underway or along the waterfront. The remaining 35 mishaps were associated with activities not in keeping with required safety programs including: lock-out/tag-out, improper lifting techniques, missing or incorrect Personal Protective Equipment, and unintentional firearm discharges.

The holiday season is an excellent time to consider conducting unit safety stand-downs.

Let’s take a pause and remind ourselves of the hazards associated with an often hectic and rushed period in our lives. Safety topics to consider include:

  • mishap planning and reporting procedures
  • risk management
  • fire prevention
  • the Unit Safety Assessment Tool
  • safety training readiness

 

Contact your District Safety and Environmental Health Officer at this link for additional stand-down topics, or go to the Video Lending Library for safety training resources.

Have a safe holiday season and look out for your shipmates!

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