“Quest for Zero,” cont'd.
The Air Force began highlighting safety for summer activities in 1964. This was the beginning of what became known as the 101 Critical Days of Summer.
The Critical Days of Summer (the AF dropped the 101 years later) campaign occurred every year between Memorial Day and Labor Day and was designed to make Airmen aware of the typical hazards that are associated with summer. Hazards that included heat stress, sports and recreation injuries, and family vacation road trips, just to name a few. After 50 years, it is time for a change.
The Air Force Safety Center recognizes the need for a more effective message. A message focused not just during the summer, but rather 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Air Force is introducing the “Quest for Zero,” to replace the Critical Days of Summer to begin in fiscal year 2015.
The concept of achieving zero mishaps has often been criticized as something that will never materialize, especially since human beings are involved. The aim for Quest for Zero is not to achieve zero mishaps. Its goal is for Airmen to recognize the hazards they face every day both on- and off-duty.
“Safety is a priority in all career fields at all levels, every day. Awareness of the hazards is the first step in mitigation and risk management to preserve our most valuable asset- you!” said Bill Parsons, Air Force Chief of Ground Safety.
Throughout the year, the Air Force will emphasize one career field per month to shed light on the recurring mishaps, what Airmen did as a result of the mishap, and the Safety Center’s advice to mitigate, or lessen, these accidents. The first mishap functional area will come from Maintenance.
Statistics provided by the AFSAS Data Extraction Reporting Tool showed the top five mishap areas made up 67% of the total 1436 on-duty Industrial Ground Mishaps in FY13. Maintenance activities made up the greatest number of these mishaps with 335.