Membership Advantage Newsletter

Fall 2019

Free Toolkits Address Emerging Workplace Safety Trends

Dear NSC Member,

The opioid crisis our nation is facing is alarming. Today, you have greater odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash. The impact on our workplaces is growing as well – a survey released by NSC earlier this year indicated 75% of employers have been directly impacted by opioid misuse, but just 17% feel extremely well prepared to address it. Yet, more than two-thirds of people who have an opioid use disorder are in the workforce. Employers play a critical role in preventing opioid misuse, helping employees access treatment and supporting them in recovery.

To help employers, and especially our members, address the opioid epidemic, NSC – with launch partner, Stericycle – recently announced its free Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit at a press event attended by VADM Jerome M. Adams, Surgeon General of the U.S.; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Loren Sweatt; Eric Talbot, assistant director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation President Carolyn Cawley; Stericycle CEO Cindy Miller; and Rex Butler, a safety professional and advocate who lost his brother to an opioid overdose.

The toolkit includes information and resources for four specific groups found in a typical workplace setting: supervisors, human resources professionals, safety professionals and employees.

You can find more than three dozen resources in the Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit, including:

  • Educational materials about opioids, prevention, treatment and recovery
  • Information and guidelines for HR professionals to use when updating or creating a drug-free workplace policy
  • An overview of how impairment impacts safety
  • A guide for supervisors when communicating with employees about opioids
  • A PowerPoint presentation for company leadership to deliver to staff when the organization is ready to unveil its policy
  • Educational videos, including one from an emergency room doctor explaining how drugs affect the brain

Other relevant data and statistics can be found throughout the materials. If you need additional help, NSC experts are ready to assist you. Reach out by emailing [email protected].

We’d also like to share that the Council has launched a free Fatigue at Work Employer Toolkit. Nearly 13% of workplace injuries may be attributed to fatigue, and more than 40% of U.S. workers are sleep deprived. This toolkit provides the components that make up a comprehensive fatigue risk management system. It is set up so you can implement individual pieces, or launch the entire program all at once. NSC members also have exclusive access to policy templates that are designed to be plug-and-play, ready to use at your workplace.

NSC members understand that employers need to go beyond mere compliance when it comes to safety. By addressing emerging trends, like the opioid crisis and fatigue, you are making a difference that will save lives, including those of your workers, their families and communities. Take advantage of both of these free toolkits so you are better prepared to help your workers live their fullest lives.

Rachael Cooper
NSC Senior Program Manager, Substance Use Harm Prevention

Putting Leading Indicators Into Practice

The Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council has been researching leading indicators for several years. Its latest work, An Implementation Guide to Leading Indicators, uses a benchmarking exercise where each participant of the Institute’s Leading Indicators Workgroup submitted the leading indicator metrics their organizations were actively tracking in 2018.

The paper presents a comprehensive list of the leading metrics in place at Institute organizations, ranked and categorized by organizational maturity and complexity. That is, where does an organization have to be in its safety journey to implement the leading metric, and how complex of a process is it to track and calculate a given metric?

To help define the concept of organizational maturity, the workgroup turned to an established maturity model, the DuPont Bradley Curve™, which identifies levels of safety culture maturity from reactive to interdependent. The workgroup used the following rubric to categorize the leading metrics of the list:

  • Reactive: Base level of maturity where people may still believe that incidents and injuries will happen. Leading indicators have not been in place for very long, if at all.
  • Dependent: Intermediate level of maturity where people view safety as following the rules. Leading indicators are in place to achieve compliance or because of leadership mandate. Injury rates decrease.
  • Independent: More advanced level of maturity where people take responsibility and believe they can make a difference with their actions. Leading indicators are seen as vital to continuously improving safety performance. Injury rates decrease further.
  • Interdependent: Most advanced level of maturity where teams take ownership and responsibility for safety culture and believe that zero injuries is attainable. Teams seek out new leading indicators to go beyond compliance.

To define the levels of complexity for each leading indicator metric, workgroup participants considered factors such as the time and effort needed to collect the data for the metric, the risk profile of the organization and the size of the organization. They created a three-category scale for complexity: low, medium and high.

Below is a snippet of just one of the many tables of leading indicator metrics included in the new white paper, with each metric ranked on organizational maturity level and complexity level.

Leading indicator: Hazard reports/unsafe condition reports/proactive observations

Formula for calculation Organizational Maturity Level Complexity Level Explanation
Number of observations per month Reactive Low Basic information that can be gathered easily
Number of employees trained in hazard recognition Reactive Low
Ratio of safe to unsafe observations Dependent Medium An organization that implements BBS is already at a certain level of maturity. This metric may require more data collection to calculate.
Percentage of employees actively participating in BBS Dependent Medium

Number and percentage of previously unknown or uncategorized hazards discovered Dependent High This metric implies an organization that has been tracking leading indicators for some time; requires the tracking and categorization of hazards.
Ratio of high-risk observations to low-risk observations Dependent High An organization must be at a Higher maturity level to risk-rank observations and go beyond the mere safe/unsafe categorization.

To view all the leading indicator metrics, including a table of the metrics for those organizations just beginning their leading indicator journey, visit the Campbell Institute site and download the white paper for free:

Also, register now to attend a free webinar on this new research taking place at 11 a.m. (CT) Oct. 22.

Check Out OSHA's Top 10 for FY2019

At the NSC 2019 Congress and Expo, the National Safety Council and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2019. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA directorate of enforcement programs, presented the Top 10 based on OSHA Information System data from Oct. 1 to Aug. 15. Kevin Druley, associate editor for Safety+Health magazine, moderated the session.

While the rankings for OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations typically vary little from year to year, it is important to refresh on this critical information. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) tops this year’s list for the ninth consecutive year. Meanwhile, Eye and Face Protection (1926.102), a newcomer to last year’s list, remains in the No. 10 spot.

The rest of the preliminary list also remained largely unchanged from FY 2018, with only one minor adjustment. Lockout/Tagout, which ranked fifth in FY 2018, climbed one spot to No. 4, trading places with Respiratory Protection.

During the presentation, Kapust said, “Look at your own workplace and see where you can find solutions. These are common violations. They’ve been around for a while. The answers are out there.”

The full list:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 6,010 violations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,671
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,813
  4. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,606
  5. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,450
  6. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,345
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,093
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,773
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,743
  10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,411

Too many preventable deaths and injuries still occur in our nation’s workplaces today. One injury or death is one too many. The OSHA Top 10 list serves a helpful guide for employers to pay extra attention to. Let this list also serve as reminder that we collectively need to do better to ensure all workers return home safely each day. As NSC members, the Council offers tools and resources to help you address many of these topics.

A more in-depth look at the Top 10 violations for 2019 will be published in the December edition of Safety+Health magazine.

Elevate Your Safety Career

Have you ever thought of advancing your career by earning a safety certification? The National Safety Council is excited to partner with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) to offer global, state-of-the-art, pre-exam training with examCORE by BCSP.

Certification demonstrates competency in one’s field and shows that professionals have met standards established by their peers. Certified professionals are more likely to be hired and receive more promotions and leadership assignments than those who do not hold certification.

The first online certification preparation training available will be for the Associate Safety Professional Certification. ASP examCORE provides the background, knowledge and skills to successfully complete the ASP Certification Exam. It is comprised of more than 40 learning modules, 1,000 practice questions, an eBook subscription to “Safety Professional’s Reference and Study Guide” by Dr. W. David Yates, an authorized BCSP exam calculator and other resources. Priced at $999 per course, it includes six months of access to the program.

When participants purchase through NSC, they also receive:

  • A one-year, digital subscription to Safety+Health magazine, to help earn recertification points
  • Special pricing on NSC books found in the ASP Blueprint References (NSC member discounts available)

For a limited time through Dec. 31, 2019, save $200 off the regular price of ASP examCORE. Everyone who enrolls in the course during this beta time period can become an examCORE Pioneer, providing user feedback and improving the learning experience for others. As a bonus, there is a free thank you gift from BCSP.

For more information, visit

Green Cross for Safety Award Nominations Open Through Nov. 22

Get well-deserved recognition for your safety programs and the people who run them. Awards are given annually in three categories:

ADVOCATE: Recognizes a community partnership, program, individual or coalition that has made a significant impact on a safety issue by advocating to raise awareness or change policy

EXCELLENCE: Recognizes a corporation, coalition or organization for its relentless pursuit of safety

INNOVATION: Recognizes a researcher, corporation or organization that has successfully addressed a long-held challenge in safety with a new or novel approach

The finalists and award winners for the three 2020 Green Cross for Safety Awards will be celebrated at the Green Cross for Safety Awards celebration on May 14, 2020, in Chicago.

Learn more and submit your nominations at

To explore how your company can align itself with NSC by supporting the 2020 Green Cross for Safety Awards celebration, please contact Jamie Arquilla at [email protected]

Nominations Open for Rising Stars of Safety

Do you know up and coming safety professionals under the age of 40? Nominate them now for the NSC Rising Stars of Safety Awards. Candidates should show demonstrated leadership in a workplace safety initiative producing measurable results and engagement of their peers around a safety culture.

Winners will be featured in Safety+Health® Magazine, announced publicly through a press release and highlighted at the 2020 NSC Congress & Expo in Indianapolis next Fall. Applications will be accepted through March 27, 2020.