NSC, McElhattan Advance Challenge to Eliminate Workplace Deaths Through Emerging Technology

$3 million grant helps fuel the NSC mission to save lives from the workplace to anyplace.

May 27, 2021

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council is proud to continue its work with the McElhattan Foundation to eliminate workplace fatalities by 2050 through the work of the NSC Work to Zero initiative. Launched with an initial grant from the McElhattan Foundation in January 2019, Work to Zero focuses on educating employers on technological safety enhancements that promise to reduce and ultimately eliminate deaths in the workplace. This additional grant to NSC for $3 million over three years will further support this work to increase employers’ adoption of life-saving safety technology to eliminate fatalities by 2050.

With this essential support of the McElhattan Foundation, NSC plans to reach this goal by demonstrating the benefits of safety technology, guiding employers to the best technology solutions available, helping employers prepare to innovate and providing guidance on how to implement solutions.

“In a year full of unprecedented unknowns, getting our workers home safely is important now more than it ever has been,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Technology is key to continuing this life-saving work of improving safety in the workplace, and we thank the McElhattan Foundation for their continued support. Without it, these efforts would not be possible.”

Over the past three years, NSC has launched a new web experience for companies to view common hazardous situations, understand how safety technology can help save workers’ lives and explore other Work to Zero resources and research. Additionally, NSC created a free tool to identify top hazardous situations and locate relevant technology solutions for organizations, developed educational materials and webinars on four emerging technologies – drones, fatigue monitoring and wearables, proximity sensors and VR/AR – and hosted the Work to Zero Summit each year, bringing together leading EHS experts to discuss the latest life-saving technology. 

“The Work to Zero team has done great work since day one, and we’re proud to continue funding this initiative. Our foundation’s vision is to have every worker return home safely after their shift, and wider use of technology like AR/VR, drones, AI and robotics is essential to achieving this goal by 2050,” said Lesley Carlin, executive director of the McElhattan Foundation. “We look forward to seeing Work to Zero expand its reach to new industries and audiences, helping more employers see the benefits of protecting their workers through safety technology.”

Established in 1994, and previously the charitable arm of Industrial Scientific Corporation, the Foundation was founded by K.E. McElhattan and his son, Kent McElhattan. Kent was a member of the NSC Board of Directors for a decade, serving as chairman from 2010 until 2013. Under his leadership, Industrial Scientific was a founding member of the Campbell Institute. Kent’s personal achievements were honored recently with the Flame of Life award

In 2019, the latest year of available data, there were 5,333 work-related fatalities recorded in the United States, costing an estimated $171 billion and representing the largest fatal case count since 2007. NSC is committed to working towards “zero” by helping employers implement safety technologies. For more about the Council’s Work to Zero initiative, visit nsc.org/worktozero.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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