WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and with higher temperatures and winter in the rearview mirror, Naval District Washington (NDW) personnel should take time to consider the safety aspects of this busy time of year.
That's where the "101 Critical Days of Summer" campaign comes in to play.
The Naval Safety Center's Occupational Health Office defines the 101 Critical Days of Summer as the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. During this time many more people, civilians and military alike, are participating in activities that could potentially be dangerous if precautions are not taken. The Department of Defense looks to curb the risk of injury by educating personnel on those risks and how to avoid them with the 101 Critical Days of Summer program.
"The summer months are a time to be with friends and family, taking the opportunity to relax, travel, and enjoy water sports and barbeques," said Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in a formal memorandum to all military branches. "It's a chance to enjoy a break, and recharge for the challenges and opportunities ahead."
In an effort to help prevent injuries from occurring and promote safety during this time of the year, several additional DoD and command training programs take place including motorcycle safety courses and safety stand downs throughout installations.
According to the Naval Safety Center 14 Sailors and 12 Marines lost their lives between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2015.
"Safety awareness is essential to planning for a safety activity," said Occupational Safety and Health Program Director, Naval Air Station Patuxent River/Naval Support Activity South Potomac Kordeen Kor. "Whether families are going on a vacation or just barbecue in the back yard, much of the awareness information put out in these campaigns will help them plan for a fun and enjoyable activity. Many of the awareness articles that we put out will identify the hazards associated with the activity and provide recommended actions to take to avoid the pitfalls."
Kor added that the best thing anyone can do would be to practice operational risk management (ORM).
"The best thing I can say for anyone is to plan your event and stick to your plan," said Kor. "If the plan changes notify someone of your change, and do your ORM. Typically it is change that causes issues which will lead to unplanned events; check resources beforehand, weather conditions, traffic conditions, activities in the area that could cause a crowd."
The 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign originally began sometime after the passage of the Monday Holiday Bill in 1971, when statistics showed an increase in mishaps and fatalities during long weekends and longer summer days.
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day was chosen as the critical days. There are 101 days between the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend and the end of the Labor Day weekend.
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For more safety tips and information visit the Naval Safety Center's website at http://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/Pages/index.aspx.
For more news and information about Naval District Washington visit http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/ndw.html or www.navy.mil/local/ndw/.