Giving Thanks for Safety, On and Off the Clock

Safety is personal. Exciting new NSC initiatives will help workers stay safe so they can continue to do the things they love.

Lorraine M. Martin
November 22, 2021

Last week, I humbly asked you to keep NSC in mind as a nonprofit organization worthy of your generosity as we head into this “season of gratitude.” Today, I want to remind everyone that we’re not just about saving lives — but also preventing injuries. 

Two years ago, we deliberately expanded our mission to include this critical safety component. Supporting NSC means ensuring people can feel better, both on and off the clock. That way, everyone can spend more time doing things they love, like scooping up a crying child, helping a friend move or playing a game of catch with a niece, nephew or grandkid. This is precisely why safety is personal

As we head into the holidays, more than half of Americans are expected to turn to online retailers to fulfill their holiday gift lists. However, while many shoppers may be focused on this year's top deals and must-have items, for many employers, this season brings another important topic to light: ergonomic issues, which account for the most workplace injuries. 

Formally known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), this issue affects one quarter of the global population. Easily brought on by repetitive motions, awkward or static posture, and excessive strain, research shows that employees in retail, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare industries are especially prone to these types of ailments. In fact, the U.S. private sector experienced over 265,000 MSD injuries or illnesses involving days away from work in 2019, the latest year of available data. 

In June, NSC and Amazon announced a first-of-its-kind $12 million collaboration, which has been named the Ergo SolutionsLab and is aimed at preventing exactly that: MSDs. Through this five-year partnership, we will work with businesses, experts and students around the world to invent new ways to prevent these injuries. 

We’re making steady progress and are excited to share more news soon about the following:  

  • Ergo SoultionsLab Advisory Council: The Council will bring together volunteer leaders across a variety of industries to advise and support the innovative work – from inventing new technologies to scaling results – of the Ergo SolutionsLab. Keep an eye out for more information in the next few weeks.
  • Inaugural Ergo SolutionsLab Hackathon Challenge: In 2022, individuals and organizations alike will have the opportunity to develop cutting-edge solutions to prevent and eliminate workplace-related MSDs. Prizes and grants will be awarded during this competition to honor innovation and help fund these solutions. 
  • The MSD Pledge: The Ergo SolutionsLab is dedicated to helping all workplaces advance their safety journey. Through the MSD Pledge, companies small and large will be invited to have a seat at the table to help tackle this global challenge. 

Sign up here to receive the latest information about this exciting work. 

Support NSC and you support initiatives just like this — so everyone can remain unharmed at work and can get home safely to their loved ones, not only this holiday season, but every day. 

I can hardly think of anything to be more grateful for than that. 

Lorraine M. Martin

Lorraine M. Martin is president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

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