USA — Navy Sees Increase in Safety Program Effectiveness

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2010 — Ser­vice­mem­bers have enough threats to deal with. Adding unsafe off-duty activ­i­ties to their own load only adds to the stress of mil­i­tary ser­vice.

Dur­ing a “DoD Live” blog­gers round­table yes­ter­day, Navy Rear Adm. Arthur J. John­son, com­man­der of the Naval Safe­ty Cen­ter, dis­cussed the Navy’s most recent safe­ty cam­paign, which marked record reduc­tions in over­all off-duty fatalities. 

“We just con­clud­ed our sum­mer safe­ty cam­paign with the con­clu­sion of Labor Day week­end, and the results have been sat­is­fac­to­ry,” he said. 

Labor Day marked the tra­di­tion­al end of sum­mer for sailors and Marines, and also the end of the Naval Safe­ty Center’s annu­al sum­mer safe­ty cam­paign, “Live to Play, Play to Live.” 

Although reports for the long week­end are not com­plete, it appears that both the Navy and Marine Corps enjoyed the safest sum­mer since the cen­ter start­ed keep­ing these sta­tis­tics, John­son said. 

Four­teen sailors and 14 Marines lost their lives between the Memo­r­i­al Day and Labor Day week­ends. Last year, 39 sailors and Marines lost their lives dur­ing the same peri­od. The Navy’s goal is zero pre­ventable inci­dents, John­son said, but this year’s num­bers are “sat­is­fac­to­ry” and indi­cate a pos­i­tive trend. 

“Bot­tom line, some of the aware­ness efforts are start­ing to pay div­i­dends,” he said. “Our sailors are mak­ing bet­ter deci­sions and are acquit­ting them­selves bet­ter out there in the real world.” 

He attrib­ut­es a big part of the increase to an increased sense of own­er­ship and involve­ment by sailors and Marines in safe­ty pro­grams. The more ser­vice­mem­bers feel as if they’re a part of safe­ty train­ing, and not just recip­i­ents, he said, the more the pos­i­tive trend will continue. 

“We have observed an increase in the safe­ty pro­gram by sailors and Marines through­out the fleet,” he said. “We are start­ing to see some ben­e­fits of that increase.” 

(April Phillips of the Naval Safe­ty Cen­ter con­tributed to this article.) 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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