Instructor Newsletter

You Make Workplaces, Homes, Communities and Roads Safer

As an NSC instructor, you bring safety training to people who want and need it most. Whether you teach defensive driving, first aid, workplace safety courses – or more than one of these – you are a vital part of helping NSC achieve our mission of eliminating preventable deaths in our lifetime.

So we want to partner with you. This newsletter will bring you:

  • Articles on becoming a more effective instructor
  • Resources of interest
  • News and ideas to incorporate into your classroom instruction
  • NSC news and upcoming events

What else would you like to see in this newsletter? Send us your article ideas and suggestions!

First Aid News & Resources

Tips for Icing Injuries Safely and Effectively

As an instructor, you already know that first aid guidelines include applying ice to an injured body part, such as a bone, joint or muscle injury. However, questions that often arise in class are:

  • What type of ice is best?
  • What shouldn’t be used?
  • How long should ice be applied?

Here are some facts to remember when applying ice to an injury:

“Frozen water” ice is best: Several studies show that crushed ice, shaved ice, and ice cubes are the most effective at cooling the body. Instant ice packs are not as effective at cooling the body, and often do not last as long as frozen water ice.

Frozen vegetables: A makeshift ice bag of frozen peas can also be effective in a pinch, as peas have a high water content and the bag can conform to any body part. However, frozen peas may warm up more quickly than ice and not provide as much of a therapeutic effect.

Be careful with instant ice packs: The temperature of Instant ice packs, which become cold via a chemical reaction, can vary greatly. Some instant ice packs can become too cold initially, which can damage the skin. Others may not become cold enough, or stay cold long enough to have a meaningful effect on an injury.

Use a wet barrier: If a barrier is used between the skin and ice, it should be wet. This helps the cold application penetrate deeper into body tissue.

Do not ice continuously: NSC First Aid programs recommend icing an injured body part for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes if icing produces discomfort), remove for 30 minutes, then reapply. The “more is better” approach should not be used when icing an injury. Continuous icing can potentially cause tissue and nerve damage, and some studies show that it may actually have the reverse effect by increasing swelling.

Reminder: Use Correct Terminology on Course Completion Cards

NSC has received an increase in the number of inquiries from regulatory agencies looking to verify the validity of NSC First Aid completion cards. It is important for all instructors to remember to use correct terminology when filling out course completion cards, and that the exact course name must be printed on the upper right-hand corner of the card. Please consult your Instructor Manual or the Instructor Resource Center for a complete list of accepted course names. Also, please remember that completion cards must be typed or printed, and cannot be handwritten.

First Aid Instructor Resources:

Defensive Driving News & Resources

Study Shows DDC Instructors Can Save Lives

Suspending the licenses of repeat traffic offenders doesn’t keep our roads safer. According to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administration, as many as 75% of suspended drivers continue to drive, and 19% of fatal crashes involve an unlicensed driver.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided to try a different approach with problem drivers. Drivers face suspension when they are responsible for three or more surchargeable incidents (at-fault crashes or traffic law offenses) over a two-year period. Rather than automatically suspending their licenses, the state offers violators the opportunity to complete an advanced (behavioral) driver improvement program. The NSC training offered in Massachusetts is Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving, a Defensive Driving Course that specifically addresses behavioral change.

NSC evaluated this program to determine if this training could result in long-term improvement in driving behaviors. The driving records of nearly 50,000 drivers were evaluated over a five-year period: one year before they completed the program, the year they completed the program, then three years following the completion of the program. The results were astounding:

  • 84% decrease in minor traffic violations
  • 78% decrease in major traffic violations
  • 88% decrease in surchargeable incidents

Most impressive was that in the second and third years following the training, drivers did not revert back to getting traffic violations; they continued to improve in the second and third years after taking the training.

It’s clear that Instructors teaching Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving have a lasting impact on the drivers they teach.

If you teach first aid or workplace courses, you already have many of the skills you need to teach defensive driving courses (DDC). For more information on how to become a Certified DDC Instructor, call (800) 621-7619 or visit

Defensive Driving Instructor Resources:

Workplace News & Resources

Work Zone Technician and Traffic Control Instructors Keep Workers Safe

These instructors support the NSC mission by making our roads and communities safer for the workers who build and maintain them. Work Zone Technician and Temporary Traffic Control instructors teach construction workers, Department of Transportation employees, and utility and municipal workers about best practices and required standards for safe efficient traffic control on all public roads. These classes were developed from the “National Manual on Uniform Traffic Controls,” as well as the “Geometric Design Standards” developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Instructors for these courses bring real-life experience to the classroom. Most have engineering degrees or have years of experience working for a construction engineering firm. NSC is always recruiting for these part-time positions. If you know anyone who might be interested, send them a link to the NSC job description or forward this newsletter to them.

Workplace Resources:

NSC News & Resources

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Every day, at least nine people die and 1,000 are injured in distracted-driving related crashes. NSC urges all drivers to stop interacting with their cell phones and in-vehicle technology. Visit the NSC Distracted Driving Awareness Month webpage to download free resources such as posters, infographics, videos, and ready-to-go social media posts. We encourage you to take the safe driving pledge and ask your family, co-workers and students to do the same. Let’s all put down the phones and #justdrive.

Green Cross for Safety Awards Celebration May 16

This annual celebration of safety brings together mission-driven advocates, safety professionals, corporations and government officials from around the country with the common goal of creating a safer world. The funds raised will be used to carry out all facets of the National Safety Council mission to eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime.

Celebrate National Safety Month in June

Unintentional injuries have been increasing for decades and are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. You can help reverse this trend by sharing National Safety Month messages in your classroom, at your workplace and in your community. Free resources will help you engage your students on hazard recognition, slips, trips and falls, fatigue and impairment.

Active Shooter Training

Tragically, active shooter incidents are in the news on a regular basis, and 80% of these shootings occur in workplaces. You can incorporate elements of the NSC Active Shooter Best Practices into your safety talks or other coursework. Learn more on the NSC webpage “Do You Know What to Do if Someone Opens Fire at Work?”