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NSC-U.S. Department of Defense Alliance

National Safety Council and U.S. Department of Defense Alliance

The National Safety Council and the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General partnered to conduct safety perception surveys.
The Comparative Analysis Model: Mapping and Analyzing Safety and Health Management Systems
The U.S. Department of Defense also developed a summary matrix of existing occupational safety and health management systems. As illustrated in the following downloadable materials, their Comparative Analysis (CA) model identifies the common elements that are characteristic of the more notable, effective safety management systems and culture maturity models identified during this study.
  • Download the full detailed version, printable on 24'' x 42''.
  • Download the summarized version, printable on 8.5'' x 11'' or 11'' x 17''.

Organizations should consider the use of both tools when designing their safety program. Careful examination of these elements can be beneficial to organizations and decision makers when establishing a new or re-engineering an existing enterprise-wide safety and health program. The CA suggests that each system is built on an organizational safety philosophy that promotes a structured approach with measurable attributes and milestones.

This analysis validates the notion that creating and sustaining an effective organizational safety culture requires a deliberate architecture based on four elements:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Employee Relations
  • Measurement

The Conference Board also identifies and discusses these elements in their document "Driving Toward '0' Best Practices in Corporate Safety and Health, 2003."

Why best practices?
Because high performing organizations promote safety and adopt safety as one of their core values. Since employees expect to work in an environment that is safe and healthy, leaders and managers should continually evaluate their safety and health programs to ensure leadership, policies, resources, mechanisms and tools are achieving the intended outcomes.
Mutual trust and accountability among leaders, managers and employees are inherent in mature safety cultures; therefore, leaders and managers should continually assess the safety climate and culture, and identify improvement opportunities.
Additional Information
Information provided by Carol Brink-Meissner, program analyst with Office of the Deputy Inspector General for Policy and Oversight, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General. This comparative analysis was performed in support of the Evaluation of the Department of Defense Safety Program. Additional information on the mission of the Department of Defense Inspector General is available at
Employee Perception Surveys


NSC offers a series of standardized safety surveys to help you find the specific strengths and weaknesses of your safety program.


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