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NEWS | Feb. 6, 2014

Preventing off-duty safety mishaps

By Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Safety measures are something that are taught from the childhood to adulthood.

As Service members we are taught to warm up, before exercising and to utilize situational awareness from the day we enter the military. Unfortunately many do not head this recommendation, resulting in accidents, injuries and safety incidents.

However, according to the 633rd Air Base Wing safety office, which is responsible for tracking safety incidents for all Service members on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, the incidents most commonly reported to their office revolve around these basic principles.

"Most of the incidents reported have to do with sports and recreation and people working out," said Staff Sgt. Phillip Jones, 633rd ABW safety technician. "Most of these reports deal with people not stretching properly or trying to do more than their body can handle."

To avoid mishaps, Service members are encouraged to take things slowly. Spend as much time as possible warming up and ensuring you are ready to take your activity to the next level. If lifting weights, increase the weight being lifted in small increments to allow your body time to adjust.

In addition to sports and recreation, the office is getting more reports of accidents involving Service member's privately operated vehicles as well as slips and falls due to local weather conditions, said Jones.

"If you are going to be driving, prepare for the weather by putting chains on your tires and if needed, allow extra travel time and pay close attention to your surroundings," said Jones. "As you are walking from your car to a building, look for ice on the ground to avoid slipping on it."

Should a Service member get injured on or off-duty, they are required to report the incident to their immediate supervisor or unit safety representative, who then has five duty days to complete and turn in Air Combat Command Form 164 to their unit leadership and safety office.

If individuals wish to report a potential safety hazard in their work place they should use their chain of command or fill out an Air Force form 457 when necessary, and submit it to the safety office.

For additional questions or information, contact the Langley safety office at 764-5058 or the Fort Eustis office at 501-8260/61.