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All training has inherent risks. The risk management is a tool that helps leaders make sound logical decisions. Risk management enables leaders at all levels to manage risk. Safety risk management is a specific type of risk management.


Risk management is the process of five steps: identify hazards, assess hazards, make risk decisions, implement controls and supervise.

Rules of Risk Management

  • Integrate risk management into planning.
  • Accept no unnecessary risk.
  • Make risk decisions at the proper level.
  • Accept risk if benefits outweigh the cost.

Identify hazards. Identify the most probable hazards for the mission. Hazards are conditions with the potential of causing injury to personnel, damage to equipment, loss of material, or lessening of ability to perform a task or mission. The most probable hazards are those created by readiness shortcomings in the operational environment. When a list of frequently recurring hazards is applied to a specific task or mission, the most probable hazards can be identified.

Assess Hazards. Once the most probable hazards are identified, analyze each to determine the probability of its causing an accident and the probable effect of the accident. Also identify control options to eliminate or reduce the hazard. A tool to use is the Army Standard Risk Assessment Matrix (Figure F-1).

Make Risk Decisions. Weigh the risk against the benefits of performing the operation. Accept no unnecessary risks, and make any residual risk decisions at the proper level of command.



Implement Controls. Integrate specific controls into plans, orders, SOPs, and rehearsals. Communicate controls down to the individual soldier.

Supervise. Determine the effectiveness of controls in reducing the probability and effect of identified hazards. Ensure that risk control measures are performing as expected. Include follow-up during and after action to ensure all went according to plan, reevaluating or adjusting the plan as required, and developing lessons learned.


The Army has established a three-tier approach to risk management. The foundation tier is command level. This level is responsible for a plan for safety, setting standards, training consistent with abilities of those being trained, providing resources, and making risk acceptance decisions.

The leader level is next, and this is where each of you come into play. The leader places emphasis on adherence to standards, assesses and balances risks, and is the implementor of the safety controls to eliminate or control risks.

The individual soldier must understand your safety responsibilities, recognize unsafe conditions and acts, and perform to standards. But because of your unique position as a leader and soldier, you must teach individual soldiers their responsibilities.


There are four levels of risk - the first being "low" risk operations where normal caution, supervision, and safety procedures should ensure a successful and safe mission.

The second risk level is "medium." There is probable occurrence of minor, non-life threatening personnel injuries and equipment damage. These operations have a remote possibility that severe injury or death will occur. These operations need complete unit involvement.

In "high" risk mission capabilities are significantly degraded and there is a probability that severe personnel injuries, death, and major equipment damage will occur.

The last level of risk is "extremely high." In this level the unit will be unable to accomplish its mission and there is the probability that mass casualties or death will occur, plus complete destruction of equipment.


  • ALWAYS keep down your speed. Pay attention to the maximum speed of the vehicle. ALL VEHICLES CAN BE ROLLED.
  • ALWAYS follow all the safety information contained in the operator's manual. The information was put there to protect you and the equipment. DON'T TAKE SHORTCUTS.
  • ALWAYS ensure all equipment is secured and not loose. You don't want any equipment flying around when moving; someone may get hurt.
  • ALWAYS keep communications gear off the floor. You don't want to damage the equipment. It may not work when you need it most.
  • ALWAYS conduct PMCS on your equipment, and be thorough. You don't want it to quit when you need it most.
  • ALWAYS ensure everyone uses seat belts. Not using them may cause injury to the crew. REMEMBER: Soldiers in the back can't see outside and don't know what may be coming at them.
  • ALWAYS be prepared for a fire. Have extinguishers ready and functional.


Soldiers are our most important resource. Leaders at all levels must ensure that their soldiers perform their mission tasks in an environment that is as risk-free as possible. The following outlines safety guidance for smoke generators, smoke pots, and for handling fuel associated with smoke generators.


There are four primary vehicle mounted systems found in smoke units: The M3A4 mechanical smoke generator mounted on either an M998 HMMWV or M151-series truck, the M157 mechanical smoke generator mounted on an M1037 HMMWV, the M1059 mechanized smoke generator carrier, and the TPU mounted on a 5-ton truck. For the sake of simplicity, most of the smoke specific safety issues are listed under the first section on the M3A4 Mechanical Smoke Generator. This guidance is to be considered in addition to the system specific guidance that follows.


Wear a protective mask when operating in the smoke (see General Smoke Safety).

Never move the vehicle without an assistant driver, or a track commander in the Ml13.

Purge the generator of air before removing a hot engine head.

No smoking around generator.

Wear hearing protection at all times while on the smoke line or within 25 feet of a running generator.

Never walk in front of a hot generator.

Three people are required to lift or carry a hot generator to prevent injury, should a generator "belch."

Unloading the generator requires two people. Grasp the handles extended from the end of the generator and lift it from the vehicle.

Since the smoke generator depends on the flow of fog oil for cooling, operating the generator for more than 2 minutes without fog oil will damage or make the generator inoperable.

A 5-pound CO2 fire extinguisher should be kept within arm's reach of the generator when it is operating.

Always add fuel to the generator from the fuel tank side. Do not overfill the tank. Always stop within 1/2 to 1 inch of the top of the fuel tank.

The gas can should be capped and placed a minimum of 15 feet to the rear of the generator when it is operating.

Engine head will become very hot immediately after shut down. Do not touch the engine head or engine with bare hand.

A ground guide should be used when driving in smoke.

Never remove a hot generator head without having a good head ready to put in as soon as the hot head is removed.

Have a container of water available to cool the hot head.


Truck should have an assistant driver.

Put vehicle on level ground, if possible.

Put vehicle in neutral.

Put hand brake on.

Chock wheels between rear duals (both sides of vehicle).

Ground vehicle. Check for static electricity before attaching ground wire to rod.

Take caution when walking on the truck bed.

Do not wear metal taps or metal cleats on boots.

In cold weather, gasoline will cause severe injury to exposed skin.

When operating the TPU, you must wear hearing protection.

Never operate the TPU without a fire extinguisher present and within easy reach.


Truck should have an assistant driver.

Do not walk on the ramp.

Do not straddle the ramp.

Do not try to stop a rolling drum.

Do not try to stop a falling fog oil drum.

Use three soldiers to load a fog oil drum.

Use caution walking on back of truck after transporting fog oil.


Exercise caution when walking on the truck bed, sides, and tailgate.

Do not smoke within 50 feet of the TPU.

Do not wear metal taps or metal cleats on boots or shoes around TPU.

In cold weather, gasoline will cause severe cold weather injury to exposed skin; handle with extreme care and use gloves, when possible.

Post "No Smoking" signs.

Drive grounding rod into ground near TPU. Attach grounding cable to grounding rod.

Attach nozzle ground to container which is being filled.

Place fire extinguisher 5 to 10 feet away from TPU.


Never walk up and down ramp. Do not straddle the sides of ramp while rolling drum up ramp. Do not attempt to stop a rolling drum or a drum which may be falling off the ramp or truck.

Place feet flat on ground and use leg muscles when lifting a drum.

Wear gloves when handling drums to avoid cutting fingers and hands on burrs.

Check fog oil drums for leaks. Check for major defects such as dents of more than 3 inches deep on drum body or 11/2 inches deep on cans. Check for damage to bungs or caps, heavy rust, and any leakage or missing gaskets on cans.

Ensure ramp is constructed properly. Any field expedient ramp must be constructed to support 700 pounds. The weight of a filled fog oil drum is approximately 470 pounds.

Clear rocks and other objects that may puncture drum from behind the truck and ensure no one is immediately behind the truck when dropping drums.

Roll a drum on its side to the foot of the ramp with the aid of at least one helper (you on one side, the helper on the other). Roll the drum up the ramp onto the truck.

When working on bed of truck, that contains fog oil, be careful when walking. Any spills of fog oil are very slippery.

When dismounting the truck do not step out on a drum of fog oil. You could easily slip and fall.

Whenever possible, use tie-down straps or rope to secure the load so it won't shift.

Never smoke when loading and unloading fog oil and gasoline or within 50 feet of the operation.

Whenever possible, transport fog oil and gasoline in separate trucks. It is safer and lessens a fire hazard.

The truck must be located a safe distance from personnel or equipment to prevent damage or injury when drums are roiled off ramp.


Gasoline dries the skin. Keep hands out of gasoline. Keep away from mouth and eyes, open cuts, and abrasions.

Gasoline fumes are injurious as well as flammable. Avoid inhaling fumes as much as possible.

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers should be provided and located where they will be easily accessible in case of fire. Sand or dirt, not water, should be thrown on burning fuel if extinguishers are not available. Include a fire blanket or wet blanket at the fueling site.

No smoking will be allowed within 50 feet of gasoline or flame fuel. Post "No Smoking" signs in prominent places around an area where fuel is being mixed, handled, or stored. If "No Smoking" signs are not available, post guards.

Open flames, heated stove, or other sources of heat that might cause combustion of gasoline fumes must not be permitted within 50 feet of an area where fuel is being handled or stored.

Pure oxygen must never be used as a source of pressure for mixing or transferring fuels. If oxygen is introduced, a violent explosion may result.

Fuel containing grit, dirt, sand, and the like should be used only in flame field expedients.

Self-closing metal receptacles with metal lids should be provided for discarding oily or gasoline-soaked rags. Dispose of these rags daily.

Gasoline is highly flammable. Special precautions should be taken to prevent metal containers from striking other metal surfaces capable of sparking. Any metal except the non-sparking type, such as brass, will spark when struck against another metal surface.

Mechanical equipment used to mix or transfer raw gasoline or fuel must be grounded prior to use, and must be kept grounded during use to safeguard against static electricity. (Details on grounding procedures can be found in special manuals for the equipment to be used).


Personnel will carry the protective mask when participating in exercises which include the use of smoke.

Personnel will don their protective mask--

  • Before exposure to any concentration of smoke produced by ABCM8 HC (white) smoke grenades, HC smoke pots, phosphorous smokes, or metallic powder obscurants.

  • When passing through or operating in dense visibility (less than 50 m) oil smokes (for example, blanket).

  • When operating in or passing through light visibility (more than 50 m) oil smokes (for example, haze) and the duration of exposure exceeds four hours.

  • Anytime exposure to smoke produces breathing difficulty, eye irritation, or discomfort. Such effects in one individual will serve as a signal for all similarly exposed personnel to mask.

Personnel will mask when using smoke during MOUT training and when operating in enclosed spaces.

Showering and laundering of clothing following exercises will eliminate the risk of skin irritation following exposure to smoke. Troops exposed to smoke should reduce skin irritation by rolling down their sleeves.


Special care must be taken when using HC smoke to ensure that appropriate protection is provided to all personnel who are likely to be exposed. When planning for the use of HC smoke in training, specific consideration must be given to weather conditions and the potential downwind effects of the smoke. Establish positive controls to prevent exposure to unwarned, unprotected troops (for example, smoke control points, communications).

Wear a protective mask when exposed to HC smoke at all times. HC is toxic in high concentrations. Fatalities have occurred from HC smoke exposure during routine training where soldiers were not informed of the hazards.


Do not use the pull ring or safety pin on the fuze for lifting or handling smoke pots.

Vent M4A2 HC floating smoke pots for at least 5 minutes within 24 hours before firing by removing adhesive tape from vent-holes in the inside cover. Re-cover the holes with adhesive tape before firing smoke pots.

Before igniting the ABCM5 smoke pot electrically, remove the tape from the center of the tear trip to vent the Smoke Pot.

When chain igniting the ABCM5 smoke pot, remove the tear strip from all pots.

When igniting the ABCM5 smoke pot electrically, a minimum safe distance of 50 feet is required.

Use a 4- to 6-foot pole when moving a misfired pot immediately following the first ignition attempt. After 5 minutes, the misfired pot can be moved safely by hand.

When authorized to burn smoke pots to prevent enemy use, be sure that smoke from the pots does not interfere with the operations of nearby tactical units.

When igniting a smoke pot manually, keep the head well to one side of the top of the pot and out of the way of sparks or flame.

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