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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: Should the Safety Beacon be scaled back or discontinued?
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Author Topic: Should the Safety Beacon be scaled back or discontinued?  (Read 14510 times)
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,966

« on: July 10, 2014, 05:01:22 PM »

It has been pretty clear for a while now that NHQ's Safety folks ran out of ideas for things to talk about in the monthly issue of the Safety Beacon.  For several years now it has mostly been filler material stolen (well, lets give benefit of the doubt and assume permissions were obtained) from other organizations. 

A recent article that they printed was about why it was bad to leave your baby in the car on a hot day -- C'mon folks!  Couldn't someone up there have shown a minor bit of initiative and re-written it to talk about dangers of leaving ground teams in parked vans during summer SAREX's and missions?  It took less than 2 seconds for me to make that connection. 

To really be of use to CAP, we need to focus our safety efforts on preventing CAP injuries and accidents and lets face facts -- there are only a limited number of topics that really need to be discussed.  It doesn't help CAP to waste people's time reading about grilling safety. 

I would propose that the Safety Beacon be dropped back to publishing only once every quarter, but that it be filled with CAP-specific articles.  If we can't do that, we might as well drop the newsletter format.

To give NHQ credit, they know this is a problem and in the latest CAP Vector were attempting to get members to submit articles with the promise of it counting towards their monthly safety briefing, which isn't a bad idea, but its still quicker for me to take the same online safety briefing on electrical hazards for the 3rd time than it is to write an article. 

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sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,190

« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 05:13:21 PM »

Well, there were two new online safety safety classes when I went to take mine this month. Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment for CAP Activities, which I took and the material was actually pretty good. The other is Hangar Rash, a topic that just won't die.

Mike
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MajorM
Forum Regular

Posts: 119
Unit: WI-037

« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 05:13:35 PM »

Newsletters are a dying medium in general.  They made sense when accessing information took time.  In essence newsletters are just curated lists.

Your methods must match your audience.  Granted, CAP has an audience from 12-90 years old so that's hard.  But that means you have to diversify your methods.

When was the last time you saw a safety item on NHQ's Facebook page?  Why not turn the Beacon into a blog?  Blogs are old school but at least they're not newsletters.  And once the content is accessible it can be replicated.  Give me 10 pieces of individual content and I can generate 10 posting on our wing Facebook site.  Give me one newsletter and you get one posting.

But the Beacon reflects my fundamental issue with safety in general... It's largely old and stale in its approaches, outreach and content.  Why?  I don't know for sure but have my suspicions. 

To quote Arthur C. Clarke, "where there is interest, there will be education"... When it's uninteresting, few people will learn anything.
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Eclipse
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Posts: 28,623

« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 05:33:58 PM »

Based on the content, both nationally and in my wing, the editors are stretching to fill the page, and
many times it is irreverent to CAP activities or operations.

CAP publications should be focused on CAP operations, not trying to advise me on medical issues,
protecting my kids, or even how to drive my POV.

1 vote for discontinue.
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THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,861

« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 06:12:27 PM »

I have to say can it. Like Eclipse said, they have been struggling to fill the space. With the FAA, EAA, AOPA and any number of other aviation safety related pubs out there, this just seems to get lost in the static
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
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lordmonar
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 06:53:58 PM »

Don't read it if you don't want to.

If they kill it....then we all complain about how Safety never tells us anything at all until someone gets hurt and then it is too late.

That someone at NHQ is in fact doing their job.....publihsing safety rated information every month is a good thing.    Skim it.....pull out the stuff that is pertinent to your area.  Move on.

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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 07:43:54 PM »

I think the suggestion is not to "kill it" but rather transition it to a format that it more accessible (in a digital format you don't have to try and "fill" a letter-sized page; you can publish at whatever length makes sense) and also for CAP/SE to develop material that is more relevant to Civil Air Patrol.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
Eclipse
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 07:56:29 PM »

Monthly real-world discussions of actual 78s, including the ramifications, remediations, and steps to avoid would be of more value.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 08:13:34 PM »

Monthly real-world discussions of actual 78s, including the ramifications, remediations, and steps to avoid would be of more value.
I would certainly go for that.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
lordmonar
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Posts: 10,639

« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 08:14:01 PM »

I think the suggestion is not to "kill it" but rather transition it to a format that it more accessible (in a digital format you don't have to try and "fill" a letter-sized page; you can publish at whatever length makes sense) and also for CAP/SE to develop material that is more relevant to Civil Air Patrol.
That is not what Riveraux suggested.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
RiverAux
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Posts: 10,966

« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 10:42:09 PM »

I think the suggestion is not to "kill it" but rather transition it to a format that it more accessible (in a digital format you don't have to try and "fill" a letter-sized page; you can publish at whatever length makes sense) and also for CAP/SE to develop material that is more relevant to Civil Air Patrol.
That is not what Riveraux suggested.

Anything that gets us away from stuff like this (from just the last four months):
-What every parent should know about prom night
-Handing your teen the car keys
-inspecting your garage
-rip currents
-don't leave kids in hot cars
-fireworks safety
-grilling fire safety
-dangers of marijuana
-protect your online reputation
-suicide
-safe travel with electronic batteries

Quote
Don't read it if you don't want to.
.
I WANT a newsletter that I can read that highlights ways to make CAP safer. 
-
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Panache
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Posts: 1,060
Unit: PAWG

« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2014, 12:47:50 AM »

My job's Safety department puts out a monthly newsletter and each newsletter comes with a 10-question quiz.  All employees, including Supervisors and Managers, must complete the quiz and turn it back to Safety.

In May, I was poking fun at the people who put out the newsletter because that month's newsletter and quiz was, word-for-word, exactly the same as May 2013.  The only difference was, in the corner, is said "MAY 2014" instead of "MAY 2013".  That was, literally, the only change.

I took my quiz from last year, made a copy, crossed out "13" and wrote "14".  It was accepted without comment.

So this month I check my email and find July's Safety Newsletter and Quiz.  Like May's, it is exactly the same as July 2013, with just the date changed.

When I asked, the answer I got back "Well, there's only so much we can talk about."
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NIN
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2014, 08:35:28 AM »

Back when aviation was my full time job, I spent a lot of time with my nose in the monthly safety newsletter from Fort Rucker. I also read Approach Magazine from the Navy.

My reasoning was that if I didn't try to learn pretty hard for people who had already made mistakes, I might not live long enough to make my own.

Even now, I spend a lot of time reading the safety incident report in the back of Parachutist Magazine from USPA. Mostly because I feel it's the duty of an instructor to completely train his or her students. I think it helps to become a more well-rounded instructor by familiarizing myself with the many scenarios that lead to accidents and fatalities. Learn from the mistakes of others, so you can live long enough to make your own. Or not.

My unit has a safety officer who is pretty darn good. He works hard to bring good topics, he makes the discussions engaging, he's not the only one up there droning away every month, and he's realistic about it. That's not an easy thing. It doesn't just happen by itself.

I also wish that CAP  would publish examples of safety incidents so that we can all learn from them and avoid reinventing the wheel ourselves. If Joe senior member new guy reads about an incident involving, say, towing, that actually happened with a CAP member using CAP-owned equipment, maybe he notice some thing amiss if he, too, is doing some towing with a CAP vehicle.

[edit: stupid autocorrect on phone]
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 11:38:16 AM by NIN » Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,861

« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 10:35:51 AM »

Monthly real-world discussions of actual 78s, including the ramifications, remediations, and steps to avoid would be of more value.

That'd be great!
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
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NC Hokie
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Unit: MER-NC-057

« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2014, 10:52:15 AM »

Monthly real-world discussions of actual 78s, including the ramifications, remediations, and steps to avoid would be of more value.

That'd be great!

I concur.  We did this as part of our Safety Down Day this year and it led to some pretty lively discussion.  It was almost fun.
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NC Hokie, Maj, CAP

Graduated Squadron Commander
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Eclipse
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Posts: 28,623

« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2014, 10:59:22 AM »

^ At least it's relevent.

Those Navy magazines are excellent - feature length articles on real-world events and the chain-of-causation.

I never saw anything in those about not leaving your baby strapped in the backseat of an F18.
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Live2Learn
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Posts: 625

« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2014, 04:02:35 PM »

SafetyBeacon could be relevant, but not unless National wants to make it a priority.  I think a vibrant news letter has a lot of value.  Unfortunately, to be "vibrant" and therefore useful, it requires investment.  Minus emphasis by national the message communicated in the cut and past product is that safety is not an emphasis item for CAP.  Instead, "Safety" is a "check the box" item on the management agenda. 
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 625

« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2014, 04:16:32 PM »

It's pretty clear that NHQ doesn't make the Beacon a priority.  It's also clear (from the cut 'n paste content in the Beacon) that "Safety" is a "check the box" item. Too bad.  There are a lot of topics that could bear some serious discussion.  For example, current regulations do not discuss air crew PPE (fire resistant clothing, gloves, etc) yet several pages of manual direction are devoted to reflective vests.  We fly SE aircraft at night, in IFR, at low elevations over inhospitable terrain.  How can we use eDiscrepancies to reduce air crew risks? 

I agree with NIN that publishing a monthly or quarterly summary of safety incidents would be a great idea.  It's interesting that there are more CAP related mishaps published in the NTSB db than I've ever seen discussed in any CAP forum or Pilot Clinic.

I would like to see the Beacon brought back to life.  If National doesn't have the staff to write original articles, maybe a small investment in incentive items might encourage members in Wing or Squadrons to provide some interesting material?
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S.O.S.
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Posts: 1,285

« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2014, 03:53:53 PM »

That someone at NHQ is in fact doing their job.....publihsing safety rated information every month is a good thing.    Skim it.....pull out the stuff that is pertinent to your area.  Move on.

I think they do the best they can many of the times. I agree with you. If you do not like it you can skip it and move on.


Anything that gets us away from stuff like this (from just the last four months):
-What every parent should know about prom night
-Handing your teen the car keys
-inspecting your garage
-rip currents
-don't leave kids in hot cars
-fireworks safety
-grilling fire safety
-dangers of marijuana
-protect your online reputation
-suicide
-safe travel with electronic batteries

-

I disagree, I think the information can be helpful but can be approached in a different way and not made the primary content.

My job's Safety department puts out a monthly newsletter and each newsletter comes with a 10-question quiz.  All employees, including Supervisors and Managers, must complete the quiz and turn it back to Safety.

In May, I was poking fun at the people who put out the newsletter because that month's newsletter and quiz was, word-for-word, exactly the same as May 2013.  The only difference was, in the corner, is said "MAY 2014" instead of "MAY 2013".  That was, literally, the only change.

I took my quiz from last year, made a copy, crossed out "13" and wrote "14".  It was accepted without comment.

So this month I check my email and find July's Safety Newsletter and Quiz.  Like May's, it is exactly the same as July 2013, with just the date changed.

When I asked, the answer I got back "Well, there's only so much we can talk about."

This is very common all across the manufacturing industry as well. Most of the tests don't change a lot over the course of the year. They essentially change the date and maybe a few pieces of key information.

I currently have close to 30 finished Safety Tests that I use for my clients and all I have to do is change the background and the Company Name.


My unit has a safety officer who is pretty darn good. He works hard to bring good topics, he makes the discussions engaging, he's not the only one up there droning away every month, and he's realistic about it. That's not an easy thing. It doesn't just happen by itself.


It is difficult to make safety "fun and engaging", I try to interject different things into the discussions to break up the monotony. For example: The last time I did Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation training I put a picture of myself on Luke Skywalkers body with the Jedi Sword. I was the "Laser Safety Jedi Master". Got some chuckles and lightened the training.



All together safety is a VERY difficult subject to approach and be active in. Even when people get hurt the injury goes away and many times their focus goes as well. You have to have people that are doing it because they enjoy the work and the challenge. Not because it is a Duty Assignment.

Just look at the threads dedicated to safety versus uniforms and that will tell you where our focus seems to be.

Safety can never be status quo and that is what happens most of the time even in CAP.

I like to offer alternatives as well. I have attached a Safety Beacon Format idea.....feedback welcomed.
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Always seeking to learn.
Eclipse
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Posts: 28,623

« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2014, 04:25:46 PM »

The thing is, CAP safety Officers are, at best, SMEs on CAP subjects. The minute they start venturing into
discussing safety during non-CAP activities, they lose their audience, because that's not why people
are coming to a CAP meeting - there are better sources for that information, and regardless, it's not
CAP's lane (this gets back to the holistic fallacy of CAP involvement regarding health services, spiritual matters, etc., etc.)

Further, the primary audience are adults.  Adults who are not going to be inclined to change their behavior
over something they are already getting pounded over the head on constantly via PSAs and family do-gooders
just because a CAP SE copy/pasted it from the first website they found when Googling "safety topics".
Those topics just smack of someone who "can't be bothered" checking a box for the month.

These newletters also don't need mastheads, colorful graphics, wacky clipart, photos of the SE or what the
SE did over Summer Vacation, etc.    I've seen some that never get around to discussing anything relevent to CAP
in 3-5 pages.

Captive audiences like a required work briefing may need comic relief, CAP doesn't have the time
to waste, nor is the audience captive - they have no need or requirement to read the message, and most click
off as soon as it starts to waste their time.

A single, focused, well-written, forensic-style article on a real-world mishap would get a lot more attention then
anything being published today.  Whether it's schadenfreude or legitimate interest in not repeating mistakes,
either way you have the reader's interest.  Even see a break down of the "telephone game" between
"Story 1" and "Final report" would be interesting.

Considering the high number of 78s written every year, across all three missions, at one or two articles a month
there are years of subject matter sitting on the shelf, just waiting for dissection.  Just sitting here thinking about it
quickly I know of 4-5 situations that would fit that bill nicely (and no thank you on writing them, but don't let that stop you).
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 04:29:01 PM by Eclipse » Logged


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