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News | June 5, 2019

DCMA kicks off the Critical Days of Summer campaign

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Summer is around the corner, and Defense Contract Management Agency employees and their families are encouraged to participate in the annual Critical Days of Summer safety campaign.

The campaign, which started on May 25 and ends Sept. 2, raises the awareness of summer hazards and offers reminders on how employees can stay safe.

“Statistics show an increase in accidental injuries and deaths during the period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend,” said Melissa Block, an occupational health and safety specialist for the Eastern Region based at DCMA headquarters.

“The skills used in summer activities have been diminished due to the suspension of these activities such as grilling, swimming and motorcycle riding in the previous year. But the hazards that are typically unique to summer can be reduced or eliminated if we take the proper precautions.”

The Office of the Secretary of Defense released a memorandum in May encouraging personnel to take safety seriously and take personal responsibility to make sure they reduce safety mishaps by saying no to risky situations.

During the summer period last year, 59 Department of Defense personnel died in non-combat off -duty incidents. The National Weather Service reported in 2018 there were more than 380 summer-weather related deaths compared to 63 winter-weather deaths.

The National Safety Council reported 169,936 preventable deaths last year, and of those fatalities, approximately 127,300 were at home. The council also reported more than 40,000 motor vehicle deaths in 2017.

“We need to look out for one another,” said Block. “We should encourage others to think and act safely and discourage risky behavior such as excessive drinking, swimming during red flag conditions, and operating vehicles without the proper safety gear.

“It’s important to be an example and always incorporate safety into all of your activities. Be prepared to discuss these safety issues with your family and friends and teach your children how to safely participate in their summer activities.”

The DCMA Safety and Occupational Health Division recently published a Safety Gram newsletter discussing summer hazards, and Block said the office will highlight a safety topic more in-depth each week during the campaign.

“Being safe only takes a moment, but so does being injured,” she said.

For more information about safety training material, including briefs, contact Block at or 804-416-3386.

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