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News > Risk Management: Not just for On the Job
Risk Management: Not just for On the Job

Posted 6/7/2011   Updated 6/7/2011 Email story   Print story


by Will Harding
17th Training Wing Safety Office

6/7/2011 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Risk management can save you the pain of an injury off-duty, just as it does in the workplace. Since most serious mishaps occur off-duty, it would be prudent to apply the same risk management principles used on the job.

We've just entered the 101 Critical Days of Summer, which began on Memorial Day and will end on Labor Day. This is the time when mishaps, especially off-duty, increase dramatically. One reason for this is people start doing activities they haven't done since this time last year, activities such as barbequing, camping, boating, swimming, trimming trees, sprucing up the lawn, and all the other fun things we like doing during the summer.

Before participating in any activity no matter how mundane it may seem, go through the risk management process. Look at the activity you're about to participate in and assess the risks associated with the activity. Next, consider control measures to reduce or eliminate the risks. Finally apply those control measures. As an example let's use boating.
What are the actual and potential risks you could encounter?
· Collision with other boats or objects
· Falling from the boat and getting struck
· Drowning
· Getting stranded, if boat breaks down
· Severe weather

How can I reduce or eliminate the risks?
· Tell someone where you are going and when you are expecting to be back.
· Take along a cell phone for emergencies (Check for service before leaving shore).
· Keep aware of your surroundings
· Make sure there are life jackets for every occupant
· Carry a few tools and some spare parts and learn how to make minor emergency repairs
· Have all required safety equipment on hand
o Type ABC fire extinguisher
o Flares
o An air horn
o Whistle
o Strong flashlight
o Bailing bucket or pump
· Check the weather before leaving shore. Take a radio with you and listen for weather updates.
· Check to make sure you have enough fuel. Use the "one-third rule"...use one-third to go, one-third to get back, and one-third in reserve.
Apply the controls previously determined.
· Have occupants assist the boat operator in looking out for other boats and other objects
· Ensure all boat occupants wear their life jackets at all times

By using risk management, you and your family can have a safe and happy summer, unmarred by injuries.

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