December 2018

Divisions United Newsletter

A Message From NSC President and CEO Deborah Hersman

As I leave NSC and the team that fills me with gratitude every day, I will miss being part of an organization that educates, engages and empowers people to be safer at work, at home and on the road. I take comfort in knowing that our work together continues as we eliminate preventable deaths on our roadways. I have written in greater detail about my time at NSC and what the mission has meant to me. I would encourage you to visit the NSC SafetyFirst blog to read more of my thoughts on the chapter I am closing and the one that lies ahead.

Thank you for being a tremendous partner in safety, for embracing our mission and for continuing the fight to eliminate preventable deaths.

Stay safe until we meet again.

– Debbie Hersman

Become an NSC Safety Ambassador

The National Safety Council Safety Ambassador program encourages individuals to bring safety back home and into their communities to keep their friends, neighbors and loved ones safe. The program offers all of the tools and resources a person needs. All you have to do is choose an activity. Visit to sign up and get started.

New Excavation Toolkit Available

The Excavation Toolkit is an online resource available to all NSC members. The toolkit provides vital safety materials for workers in the excavation field. Resources include fact sheets and planning tools, as well as information about best practices, prevention and protection. Areas covered include excavation, trenching, dozer operation and more. Click here to sign up for the free resources.

Read What Others Have to Say

Keep up to date with the NSC Safety First blog at with our monthly digest. Click here to sign up.

Bloggers are always needed! Contributors may submit posts on the following topics: trends in safety at work, at home or on the road; commentary and analysis of recent events, either in safety or with a safety element; interpretation of surveys, data or reports; or safety observances and upcoming events. Readers are interested in both the technical aspects of safety, as well as data analysis, personal stories and specific examples of safety programs.

Contact Christy Maes to learn more.

Congratulations to NSC Award Winners!

Winners of the Distinguished Service to Safety, Rising Stars of Safety, Marion Martin and Community Advancement awards were celebrated in Houston at the 2018 NSC Congress & Expo. Congratulations to all of those honored this year for their work keeping others safe!

Nominations are open through Feb. 4 for the 2019 awards cycle. Learn more at

Division and Caucus News

Women’s Caucus

More than 30 women gathered at the Women’s Caucus meeting during the 2018 Congress & Expo in Houston, Texas, to listen to a panel discussion on empowering women in safety. The discussion, moderated by Women’s Caucus member I. David Daniels, included panelists and caucus members Shelley Brown, Juliana Ruggieri and Nicole Thunich. Members are encouraged to join the next meeting at 1 p.m. CT Wednesday, Dec. 5, via webinar. Details and a link will be provided soon. Save the date!

Young Professionals Division

The Young Professionals Division met Oct. 21. The meeting included Division members, as well as college and university students who were the lucky recipients of NSC Congress & Expo scholarships. Winners of the Rising Stars of Safety award attended as well. Those at the meeting were excited to hear Kevin C. Backus, senior vice president and general counsel for thyssenkrupp North America, deliver an impassioned presentation on how the ROI of safety can be used to improve areas such as employee morale. Following the presentation, meeting attendees were treated to a speech from Brian Fielkow, CEO of Jetco Delivery, who received a 2018 Distinguished Service to Safety Award. He spoke about leadership lessons and, specifically, how to lead employees safely.

In addition to the two presentations, the Young Professionals Division continued to accumulate more videos for its Safety Shorts video series. These short videos will be added here for all NSC members to view. Want to be part of this endeavor? Contact Christy Maes for information on how to submit a video from your smart phone.

Transportation Safety Division

The Transportation Safety Division hosted its 2018 fall meeting Oct. 22. Discussion included the update to the Motor Fleet Safety Manual from member and project lead Rich Carl, and several NSC policies from Julian Hoffman, senior manager for NSC Government Affairs. Division Vice Chair Rose McMurray previewed and solicited feedback on a presentation that is intended to introduce various audiences to the Transportation Safety Division. The presentation has an emphasis on fleet management. Once finalized, it will be available for download by all division members. In addition, several division section updates were given, then section leaders united to present a professional development “straight talk” roundtable. The section leaders were joined by division members Teresa Cole and Jack Van Steenburg during the roundtable.

Labor Division

The Labor Division fall meeting was a success, with nearly 160 in attendance. The closing keynote speaker was Tony Crow, whose world was changed forever when – in an instant – he was blinded for life. Tony stressed the importance of communication, wearing proper personal protective equipment and not taking risks or shortcuts. He relayed the importance of training, leadership and working together as a team to ensure the safety of every employee.

The Division recognized several individuals, and local unions were also honored for their dedication to safety and accomplishments during the annual Labor awards luncheon. Honorees included Dave Trumble of Power Workers Union Canada, who received the Distinguished Service to Safety Award, and Eric Bierbaum, safety director of IBEW Local 725 in Terre Haute, Indiana, who received the Edward Egan Soldier of Safety Award.

Additionally, the Labor Division contributed $2,110 in proceeds from its annual raffle to The Sunshine Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children with cancer.

Government & Public Sector Division

The Government & Public Sector Division hosted its fall meeting Oct. 21. The meeting was particularly unique because one of its agenda items consisted of a joint divisions educational session, open to all division members. Peter Sullivan, member at large from the Young Professionals Division, was able to work with the leadership of Baker Ripley, a local community organization that managed mega shelters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Houston area in 2017. Gaby Conde, Baker Ripley’s on-the-ground expert in disaster recovery, presented a detailed presentation about how mega shelters are created and operate. Following the presentation, Jenny Burke, senior director of advocacy for NSC, provided an NSC opioid program update and spoke about the effect of opioids on the public sector.

Construction & Utilities Division

At this year’s fall meeting, more than 30 Construction & Utilities Division members gathered in advance of Congress & Expo to share ideas, discuss worksite issues and hear from OSHA. The group welcomed the Rising Stars of Safety, as well as NSC Congress & Expo scholarship winners, to the Division. One of the highlights of the meeting was the roll out of the Trenching and Excavation Resource Library, a project that members had been working on since last spring. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Scott C. Ketcham, a deputy director with OSHA. He provided an update on the OSHA top 10, regulatory issues, telecom towers, silica, trenching and upcoming Stand-Downs.

The Division elected new leadership:

  • David Payton, Hendry Marine Industries Inc. – chairman
  • Bob McCall, Master Builders' Association of Western Pennsylvania – vice chairman
  • Mike Hill, SMS, CHST, manager of corporate safety for Performance Contracting Group – secretary

A special thank you to Gary E. Tellish, CSP, CET, CUSP, for his dedication and leadership during his term as division chairman.

Business & Industry Division

About 25 members met Oct. 21 during Congress & Expo. In addition to hearing an update on Council activities, Chairperson Roberta Kloda presented a lock out tag out deck she uses to train workers and led a discussion on tips to keep them engaged, including comedy, games and video. Members also reviewed NSC checklists for updates and made recommendations for those that need to be further updated. Interested in participating in ongoing updates to these checklists? Contact Sarah Van Huis for more information.

Mark your calendar today for the next B&I Division webinar at 11 a.m. ET Friday, Dec. 7. Palmer Hickman will present on NFPA 70.

The Division elected new leadership:

  • Roberta Kloda – chairperson
  • Kent Mowry – vice chairman
  • Joann Dankert – secretary

A special thank you to David Jewell for his years of leadership to the division.

Alcohol, Drugs and Impairment

The Alcohol, Drugs & Impairment Division hosted its fall meeting Oct. 7. The group discussed development of a marijuana workshop. The purpose of the workshop would be to educate and inform audiences needing information about marijuana and other impairing drugs. Attendees would have the opportunity to learn best practices in policies, practices and procedures from leaders in the field. At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees would take away ready-to-use resources and practical tools.

Final Goodbye to an OSHA Director

Dean McKenzie, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, recently died as a result of a terminal illness. McKenzie served as director of the OSHA Office of Construction Services from 2012-13, then became deputy director in 2013, before ultimately becoming director in 2016.

With more than 40 years of experience in the field of construction, McKenzie had an exceptional understanding of the safety and health issues facing the industry. He started out in the steel mills of Gary, Ind., as a journeyman millwright in the mid-1970s. McKenzie worked in construction, particularly industrial, in Indiana, Florida, Colorado and the Caribbean. He had been a licensed general contractor, business owner, and project and operations manager.

In his years with OSHA, he accomplished many things, including addressing fatalities in the communication tower industry, building a strong relationship with the Advisory Committee on occupational safety and health, and taking a lead role in the Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction campaign.

McKenzie was a good friend to the Council, especially the Construction & Utilities Division, often speaking with the division about working together and how to best keep workers safe on the jobsite.

More about McKenzie’s life can be found here.

Call for Papers: NSC 2019 Congress & Expo, San Diego

We invite you to submit your session proposal for the NSC 2019 Congress & Expo in San Diego, Sept. 7-13. This is your opportunity to showcase your expertise and facilitate conversations about innovative best practices in the safety, health and environmental industry. Plus, inspire new minds while sharing with seasoned professionals emerging trends affecting the workplace. Learn more here. Deadline, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Should you have any questions, please contact Hilda Koskiewicz.

Webinars, Meetings & Other Important Dates

NSC Webinar Series

All times Central

NEW DATE: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18
Community Safety Investment - How Small Investments can Advance Your Business, Your Community and Safety (Rescheduled due to presenter conflict)

1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5

Women's Caucus webinar and call: Topics will be NFPA 70 and division business

10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7
Business & Industry Division webinar and call

10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10

Government & Public Sector Division webinar and call

10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12

Young Professionals Division webinar and call: Presenter Linda Martin, winner of the 2018 Marion Martin Award, will speak about safety leadership and the benefits of mentoring.

3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13

Transportation Safety Division webinar and call: Topics will be opioid use and its effects in transportation, and division business

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the Divisions spring meetings, which will take place April 28 to May 1 in Kansas City, Missouri. Details are available at

A New Workplace Fatigue Conference will take place Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 20-21, in Seattle. It will be preceded by the 2019 Campbell Institute Symposium, which starts Tuesday, Feb. 19. Featured topics at the Workplace Fatigue Conference will include fatigue risk management systems, sleep health promotion in the workplace, fatigue and technology, and regulatory and legislative policy change. To learn more, click here.

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