Make good choices during holiday season

  • Published
  • 96th Test Wing Safety Office


EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 96th Test Wing Safety Office encourages Eglin personnel to have a great holiday season while making smart choices.

“Our critical mission depends on your safe return,” said Col. Vincent Chioma, 96th TW Safety chief. 

With the holiday and winter season in full swing, it is essential to remember the unique risks associated with holiday activities and celebrations.

The annual military holiday and winter safety campaign runs from November to March.

November to January is one of the busiest travel times of the year.  With the change in weather and the rush of the season, hazards are everywhere.  The Defense Department service components typically loses approximately 11 service members to motor vehicle mishaps during this time.

These fatalities often involve reckless behavior, including not wearing a seat belt, drinking and driving, and speeding.  Assess the hazards in travel plans, like weather and pressing to get to a destination.  Consider safe options to reduce or eliminate risk and take appropriate action.  The goal is to arrive alive.

Fatigue is also a common hazard during this time of year.  We want to attend all the parties, dinners and celebrations hosted by the unit, squadron, group and friends.  In our rush to do so, are we sacrificing needed rest?  Driving or operating equipment while tired is just as dangerous as performing these tasks drunk.

No matter what or how one celebrates this time of year, decorations are often a family tradition.  While busy decorating a home or office, safety may the last thing on one’s mind.

One of the most common injury-producing hazards during this season is the improper use of ladders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 6,000 people are treated annually for holiday decorating-related falls.  Many people suffer injuries from falling off the roof while mounting lights or other decorations, and from falling off furniture they stand on to hang indoor decorations.

Everyone celebrates differently, so think through holiday traditions to find where the hazards are hiding. The holidays are busy enough, so planning for these dangers ahead of time can help guarantee a safe season.