NSC Teams with Human Factors and Ergonomics Society to Advance Workplace, Roadway Safety

Global collaboration drives safety innovation; NSC is proud to join forces with HFES to advance workplace and roadway safety for all.

Lorraine M. Martin
March 21, 2023

It should go without saying: Everyone deserves to return home safely after running out to grab a quick bite, picking up kids at school or at the end of the workday. Too often, however, this is not the case. That is why the National Safety Council is working to eliminate risks we all face at work and on our roads.

U.S. roads are more dangerous than ever, and motor vehicle incidents remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities. And, for those on and off the clock, an estimated 2.2 million individuals were seriously injured in roadway incidents in the U.S. in 2020, including my brother-in-law Steve who was hurt while providing roadside assistance in New Hampshire a few years ago. While on safety patrol, his emergency vehicle was rear-ended and he sustained an extensive shoulder injury that kept him out of work for more than a year. This musculoskeletal injury caused Steve a painful road to recovery, yet we know he was one of the lucky ones. In both 2021 and 2022, 46,000 people tragically lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes.

Using our roads is not the only risk people face every day – when it comes to injuries, nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide are impacted by musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs. These painful, life-altering injuries include tendinitis, back strains and sprains and carpal tunnel syndrome, and are often caused by repetitive movements and forceful exertions performed on the job. What’s more, these injuries don’t just go away at the end of a shift. They too are deeply personal and hinder people from doing the everyday things they love.

NSC was among the first to sound the alarm on workplace MSDs, launching the MSD Solutions Lab in 2021 with the support of Amazon, and it’s no secret that reducing MSDs and developing new safety solutions so all workers may benefit has been a strategic priority for the Council ever since. However, we can’t eliminate risks at work and on the road alone. Global collaboration is the fuel that drives safety innovation and progress, which is why NSC is proud to join forces with the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) to advance workplace and roadway safety for all. 

HFES is the world’s largest scientific association for human factors and ergonomics professionals, and as part of their endeavor to better understand how human beings interact with the designs, systems, products and tools around them, the organization has conducted extensive research on highway safety, distracted driving and automated systems for road vehicles, as well as occupational safety and reducing instances of MSDs in industrial settings. Together, with this collaboration, we stand to:

● Support the future of mobility and work through the introduction of new technologies and research. 

● Promote technical expertise to assist in the development of programs affecting the future of MSD prevention.

● Increase awareness of human factors in occupational and roadway safety. 

As safety leaders, our ultimate goal is to enable all people to live their fullest lives. It’s an ambitious goal but one we know is achievable through partnership with an ever-growing network of organizations, business leaders and experts that are just as committed as we are to making people safer – from the workplace to anyplace.  

Lorraine M. Martin

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

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With a century-long legacy, the National Safety Council is a global center for safety expertise. Let's work together to align resources. We look forward to learning about ways we can join efforts to expand safety everywhere!

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