Sign, sign everywhere a sign

  • Published
  • By Robert Dusanic
  • 17th Training Wing Safety

There was a song in 1971 by the Five Man Electrical Band that went, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?”

The lyrics are quite relevant to the picture above.  What exactly is one supposed to do? What area does this cover? Do I jog or stay out? What message is being communicated here? This is a training area that shows designated loops for runners but the sign below it says no joggers. Confusing huh?

So let’s just ask ourselves why is communication so essential in forming and sustaining a world class safety organization? If we all don’t talk about this beast we call a safety culture and discuss ways to improve it, Goodfellow Air Force Base will never reach that golden seven percent of industries that can use the title of distinction…world class.  Hey we’re good, and we’re getting there, but there’s always better.  When all leaders communicate detailed simple safety expectations to the team, the team can then maintain and sustain their focus on safety.  The team can also communicate their expectations back up the chain.  This feedback and focus can draw our safety team together and we can all learn and become part of this safety culture.  The end game is getting better at our safety mission. Yes, it is a mission.

As you are all aware, we are all attached to groups, squadrons or agencies. There are many separate entities that make up the 17th Training Wing, but we are all on one Goodfellow Air Force Base safety team.  In order to improve our culture, we must effectively communicate the safety message between these subgroups to minimize hazards and possible risky behaviors. This open communication could be the catalyst to lower the occurrence of mishaps even further than we are now.  The 17th Training Wing can strengthen our safety culture through this type of communication.

I guess the takeaway from all of this is keep your communication simple, share the communication between subgroups and stay on a simple safety message. Keep in mind that it is sometimes easier to pass one safety message at a time, simply and directly stated, which is more likely to be heard and understood. That way everyone understands the end game.  Again take a look at the picture, what do you do?  Do you understand the message?