National Safety Month: A Time to Focus on Safety at Work, at Home and in the Communities in Between

National Safety Month: A Time to Focus on Safety at Work, at Home and in the Communities in Between

A message from the Chairman of the National Safety Council

Mark P. Vergnano is chairman of the National Safety Council and president and CEO of The Chemours Company.

I don’t know about you, but I completely obsess when I’m trying to make a big change, achieve a personal goal, adopt a new behavior or switch to a new way of thinking. Whether it’s getting in 10,000 daily steps, eating more fruits and vegetables or drinking eight glasses of water every day – it takes unwavering focus and effort to change our actions, and even more continuous effort to change our mindsets and convert our behaviors long-term.

At the Chemours Company, one of our five core values is Safety Obsession – an unwavering focus on safety designed to change not just our behavior but our mindset about what it means to be safe. As a chemistry company, Chemours’ commitment to the safety of our employees is critical. We don’t have the luxury of regarding safety as a mere priority – even a top priority. It has to be an obsession, something we think about, teach about and preach about at every opportunity.

But safety at work is only half of the equation. The other half is what happens outside of work. Why? Because we want all employees to return safely to their families, homes and communities at the end of each work day. We need to think about safety not just through the lens of work; we need to think about safety from all angles and all sides – every day in every activity. I call this idea Safety 360°.

As chairman of the NSC Board, I want to drive home the idea of Safety 360° and bridge safety practices at work with our practices when we’re not on the job by focusing on three safety concerns that are relevant both inside and outside of the workplace: auto crashes, substance abuse and falls.

Consider the facts: Nearly 1.3 million people die each year (and millions more are injured) in motor vehicle accidents – 40,000 each year in the U.S. alone. And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, we lose more than 100 people each day to opioid abuse. Finally, falling is the third leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death over all age groups.

At Chemours we are rooted in the conviction that every death and injury – whether the result of an auto accident, a drug overdose, fall or some other cause – is preventable. But they are preventable only to the extent that we adopt a Safety 360° mindset, which means embracing an ever-vigilant, always-on safety obsession for ourselves and others at work, home and every place in the community between.

I look forward to exploring in future blogs the practices, behaviors and commitments required to build a Safety 360° mindset. For now, I hope you will join me, not just for National Safety Month, but every day, in making your own safety and the safety of others a priority — no, an obsession. Make sure safety always comes first, and move forward with me in believing that we can prevent all injuries, and save lives.

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