New Year, Same Steadfast Safety Commitment

A message from the Chairman of the National Safety Council.

Mark P. Vergnano - Board Term: 2007-2020
January 07, 2019

A very happy and healthy new year to all! It is hard to believe 2019 is officially here. It feels like just yesterday I was fortunate enough to assume the role of chairman, and more than a year later I can honestly say I feel more passionate and energized about safety than ever before.

I am truly inspired by all we accomplished in 2018 in the name of safety. Our collective passion resulted in more than 1.4 million people completing NSC workplace, first aid, and driver training programs, sharing over a million opioid Warn Me labels across the country, and welcoming a record 15,000 NSC Congress & Expo attendees, to highlight just a few triumphs. This epitomizes the power of a Safety360° mindset — extending our safety obsession beyond the workplace to our homes and communities — but we must remember, our work is far from done.

It may be a new year, but our mission remains unchanged: eliminating preventable deaths and injuries. As we settle into our post-holiday routine and begin letting our new year’s resolutions fall to the wayside, it is more important than ever to double down on our safety efforts. We cannot rest on our laurels or become complacent. Looking forward to 2019, we will build upon the concept of Safety360° as we expand workplace fatigue offerings, inspire safe driving environments through a new public education campaign, continue our critical opioid prevention and awareness efforts, and develop new tools and technologies that will make eliminating preventable injuries at work that much easier.

This year, I urge each of you to find a creative way to keep safety top of mind each day. It can be as simple as scribbling “360°” on a post-it note, or as involved as earning a new safety certification or creating a new health and safety program at your organization. The inspiration for this idea, and my daily safety reminder, are thanks to an exciting new program at Chemours: our Corporate Responsibility Commitment (CRC).

Three months ago, Chemours released its first Corporate Responsibility Commitment report, which included 10 bold goals we set out to accomplish by 2030 — or said simply, 10 by 2030.

Not surprisingly, as a chemistry company that manufactures and transports chemicals every day, one of our goals is dedicated to safety excellence. We will strive to improve employee, contractor, process, and distribution safety by at least 75% by 2030.

I keep a copy of these goals on my desk at all times, and every time the headline “Safety Excellence” catches my eye, I can’t help but pause. It reminds me to be present, to focus on the task at hand, and it sparks my Safety360° mindset.

I would challenge each of you to find a way to spark your Safety360° mindset each day, both on and off the job. Whether it’s a visual cue, an automated alert, a process change or anything in between. What’s important is that we take action. Find what works for you and share it with us on social media using #SafetySpark.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and most importantly SAFE 2019!

Mark P. Vergnano - Board Term: 2007-2020

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