NSC launches ‘Journey to Safety Excellence’ initiative

Debbie Hersman, opening session

San Diego – Seize the day.

That was the message from National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman, who welcomed thousands of safety professionals to the 2014 NSC Congress & Expo during this morning’s Opening Session. Hersman urged everyone in the audience to strive toward improving occupational safety and reducing worker deaths, which totaled about 4,000 in the United States in 2013.

As part of that mission, NSC announced the Journey to Safety Excellence, a workplace initiative for organizations of all sizes to make their workers safer. In partnership with national founding sponsor Grainger, the initiative aims to help equip organizations with free, practical tools to improve safety. Organizations may join the Journey for free at nsc.org/journey.

“We should be outraged that 4,000 of our co-workers are dying every year to causes that are 100 percent preventable,” Hersman said. “And if we don’t change what we’re doing, next year, 4,000 more will die.”

Hersman cited safety advancements in the airline industry during the 1990s as an example of how competing organizations with wide-ranging goals can come together in the name of saving lives. The collaborative effort led to an 83 percent reduction in fatal air crashes in a decade, Hersman said.

“Seize the day,” Hersman said. “Because every minute counts, every life counts, and every single one of you count. You can improve the human condition.”

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