Labor Day commemorates the accomplishments of the American worker, but most of us think of the long weekend as the unofficial end of summer. It's also the actual end of the Navy and Marine Corps Summer Safety Campaign. Regretfully, during our summer safety campaign, we have lost 15 Sailors and 10 Marines. The majority of these fatalities lost their lives in car, truck and motorcycle crashes, not at work.
If you are able, please take a few days to relax and enjoy time with family and friend this weekend, but be vigilant about managing your off-duty risks.
- If you need an end-of-summer refresher course, visit the "What's New" section on the Naval Safety Center's website at www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen for tools to help you enjoy many off-duty activities without winding up in the hospital. You'll find informative presentations, briefing points for use in daily quarters, and videos.
- If you take advantage of the long weekend to travel by car, make sure you get plenty of rest before starting the trip. Take a break every couple of hours and plan to do most of your driving during daylight hours. Coffee is no substitute for sleep. Fatigue is one of the most deadly human factors leading to motor vehicle mishaps.
- Everyone has a sacred trust, no matter what their rank, and should be a leader by example. Positive peer pressure is a great way to reinforce responsible off-duty behavior. Before leaving work for the weekend, ask a shipmate what he or she will be doing, and speak up if it doesn't sound safe.
- Although autumn is on the horizon, there are still some warm days ahead. There's no reason to cram an entire season's worth of fun into one weekend. We all need to work together to end the Fleet's Summer Safety Campaign on a high note with zero fatalities or preventable mishaps. Take advantage of some well-deserved time off during the last holiday weekend of summer and please watch each other's back.