Membership Advantage Newsletter

Summer 2019

A Passion for People Means a Passion for Safety

Dear NSC Member,

The National Safety Council examines trends and follows the data to help employers, government, advocates and other organizations do what must be done in order to save lives at work, at home and on the road. The opportunity to help advance that effort is exciting, and I know that together we can make a difference in eliminating preventable deaths.

My job as a leader is to create an environment where people can reach their highest potential. I am also an engineer by trade, having spent three decades in the aerospace industry. With every challenge I’ve undertaken, from building complex computer systems to fighter jets, from overseeing a major acquisition to establishing a successful workplace culture, I have strived to be an asset and an advocate for the people around me, enabling teams and individuals to reach their dreams.

Stepping into this leadership role, I’ve discovered that not only is NSC an organization with a great mission, it’s also a dedicated team of professionals passionate about keeping people safe wherever they are. This is also what drives safety professionals. I know that many of our members are whole-heartedly committed to this critical work.

I look forward to hearing and learning from our members, to make sure that we continue to bring maximum value to dedicated safety professionals who are out there every day, doing the hard work and making the right choices in keeping people safe. My goal is to create a place for growth where success depends on a passion for people, and ensure that we bring together diverse voices and expertise to create better solutions for the safety challenges ahead.

In working hand in hand with our members and the organizations they serve, we can address the emerging threats that workers face every day, leverage promising technology, and spread a culture of safety both on and off the job so that people can live their fullest lives.

Thank you for all you do in protecting those around you.

Lorraine M. Martin
NSC President & CEO

The Power of Philanthropy

As the nation’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, the National Safety Council empowers individuals, employers and community leaders with the knowledge and tools to reduce risks, and prevent injuries and fatalities.  But we do not do this work alone.  Philanthropic contributions provide the financial power needed to help us achieve our mission.  Hundreds of donors support the work it takes to identify risks to human safety and create effective solutions to keep each other safe at work, on the roads and in our communities. 

One special donor, the Pittsburgh-based McElhattan Foundation, recently provided NSC with a gift of $500,000 to help us launch the Work to Zero initiative, which will help educate employers about new technological safety advancements that promise to reduce and ultimately eliminate preventable deaths in the workplace. NSC also will develop tools and resources for employers who want to integrate potentially life-saving technology, including comprehensive reports and a training program. Members should save the date for the Work to Zero Summit, planned for Feb. 13 and 14, 2020 in Bonita Springs, Florida. For more information, email [email protected].

The McElhattan Foundation was established last year by Kent McElhattan, co-founder and chairman at Industrial Scientific and former NSC Board of Directors chairman, and his family. McElhattan expressed his commitment to the work.

“This year, in the USA alone over 5,000 men and women will lose their lives on the job," he said. "Each fatality is a catastrophic, unrecoverable loss for their families, co-workers and communities. We are delighted to partner with the National Safety Council to fulfill Industrial Scientific’s vision of ending death on the job by the year 2050.”

Workplace deaths increased for a third straight year in 2016, with work-related serious injuries totaling 4.5 million and costing society an estimated $161.5 billion. A 2017 Pew Research Center report indicates that Americans anticipate technology will impact their work environments in the coming years. The National Safety Council surveyed its 15,000 member companies to gauge their interest in workplace technologies and found 100% have a strong interest in knowing more about technologies and how to implement innovations, such as augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, sensors, wearables, drones and robotics.

Technology holds immense promise when it comes to mitigating human error. The National Safety Council is grateful to the McElhattan Foundation for providing us with the financial resources needed to advance safety in the workplace.  It takes everyone working together to get to zero deaths at work, on the roads and in our communities.  Through your membership, your purchases of our products and services, and through your philanthropic giving, NSC works for you and with you to keep you safe. 

Participate in Safe+Sound Week

Join us in observing this nationwide event taking place Aug. 12-19, 2019. Led by OSHA, Safe+Sound Week is meant to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.

Why Participate?
Safe workplaces are sound businesses. Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe+Sound Week can help get your program started or energize an existing one.

Who Participates?
Organizations of any size or in any industry looking for an opportunity to celebrate their commitment to safety to workers, customers, the public, or supply chain partners should participate.

To get started, visit the Safe+Sound Week webpage and select the activities you would like to do at your workplace, or perhaps even host a public event. Once your event is over, you can download a certificate and web badge to recognize your organization and your workers.

America's Thoughts on Preventable Death

The results of a new National Safety Council poll shed light on the perceptions Americans have about preventable deaths.

Answers obtained through the poll underscore Americans’ overall misunderstanding of preventable deaths – commonly known as accidents – which are the third leading cause of mortality in the U.S. and have reached an all-time high, largely driven by the opioid crisis.

For example, the survey indicated that 77% of Americans believe they are safest from accidental death at home, with 8% indicating they feel safest in a work setting. However, a person’s risk of dying from a preventable injury at home is six times as high as dying at work, according to Injury Facts, the Council’s 99-year-old compilation of preventable death and injury data.

Meanwhile, survey respondents indicated they are more concerned about homicides (80%) and accidental shootings (79%) than they are about overdoses from prescription or illicit drugs (71%), when overdose is the leading cause of preventable death.

In addition, 52% of people polled incorrectly associated a plane crash with accidental death, and 45% incorrectly associated a natural disaster with accidental death. Correctly, 72% of survey respondents identified a car crash as an accidental death, and 63% identified falls as an accidental death.

Other areas the survey touched on were the impact of preventable deaths in the U.S. and how strongly the public feels about the ability to eliminate them.

A staggering four in 10 survey respondents indicated that they have been directly impacted by preventable deaths, and 21% of respondents noted their own actions have contributed to a preventable death or injury.

Despite the widespread devastation of these deaths, only 49% of those surveyed believe that the U.S. can eliminate most or all accidental deaths, with more than one-third viewing the task as hopeless.

When asked about the best way to prevent accidental deaths, 65% of survey respondents said education would be most effective, followed by design/engineering (53%), improving emergency healthcare response and services (50%), and legislation (34%).

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said individuals need to play the biggest role in eliminating preventable deaths, with only 25% saying government needs to play the biggest role.

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • Two in three people do not believe more enforcement or legislation will help eliminate preventable deaths, but both are necessary to change behavior and save lives
  • 60% do not know the leading cause of death overall, which is heart disease, followed by cancer and preventable incidents

To qualify for this poll, respondents had to be 18 or older and live in the U.S. A total of 2,000 surveys were completed from April 30 through May 9 of this year.

The full survey and methodology are available here. To access more preventable death and injury data, visit

Attend NSC Congress & Expo in San Diego

The NSC 2019 Congress & Expo is right around the corner!  Join us in sunny San Diego where 15,000 safety, health and environmental professionals will come together at the world’s largest annual safety event. See firsthand the latest products, services and technology and keep up to date with the latest trends and issues.

Attendees can experience:

  • Mick Ebeling, Founder & CEO of Not Impossible Labs and author of Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done will provide an inspirational keynote for Opening Session

  • Jim Carroll, leading Futurist, Trends & Innovation expert will explore what living (and working) in the era of acceleration means during his Leadership Keynote

  • Nine new Professional Development Seminars and more than 125 introductory to advanced level Technical Sessions focused on emerging safety topics

  • Behind the scenes technical tours of the USS Midway Museum and San Diego Gas & Electric

  • NSC Learning Lab Sessions

  • Top NSC speaker Jack Jackson, Senior Safety Consultant with SafeStart® will tackle the pressing issues of workplace security during the Occupational Keynote

  • Two dozen Case Studies and Personal Stories providing deep dive context and thought-provoking experiences

  • Opportunity to vote for game-changing new products, services and technology in the 5th annual New Product Showcase

Register by Aug. 2 and save!

Help End Overdose Deaths

Losing someone to a drug overdose is a heartbreaking and long-lasting devastation felt by families throughout the world. International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) gives those who grieve a place to share the legacy of lives lost too soon. IOAD is a global event held on August 31 each year and is dedicated to remembrance, awareness, education and actions aimed to put an end to overdose deaths. You can help raise awareness either on August 31 or anytime during the month. Whether you want to hold a candlelight vigil or host an educational program, there are many ways to remember those we have lost. Find a list of activities here.