Highlights from the 2014 NSC Congress & Expo

Congress highlights

NSC launches ‘Journey to Safety Excellence’ initiative

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 in San Diego. During the Opening Session on Sept. 15, Hersman urged everyone in the audience to strive to improve occupational safety and reduce worker deaths, which totaled more than 4,000 in the United States in 2013.

As part of that mission, NSC announced the Journey to Safety Excellence, a workplace initiative to help organizations of all sizes to make their employees safer. The Journey is based on a strategy of continuous improvement that calls for committed leadership and engaged employees, sound safety management systems, removing risk in the workplace, and continuous measurement and improvement of performance.

In partnership with national founding sponsor Grainger, NSC 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 counts. You can improve the human condition.”

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