Green Cross Quarterly - National Safety Council

Green Cross Quarterly

November 2021

2021 Green Cross Celebration Highlights

On October 11, the National Safety Council proudly hosted the 22nd annual Green Cross Celebration; a fundraising event to celebrate safety heroes and raise money for mission critical initiatives, including safety research, education and advocacy. We are happy to report this year’s event helped raise more than $600,000.

The benefit, co-emceed by Louis Bolden of Orlando News 6 and Courtney Hall of NBC Chicago Today, also featured a silent auction with incredible packages, inspiring stories from a survivor advocate (who is also featured separately in this edition of the Green Cross Quarterly), and informed audiences of the latest NSC efforts to save lives. 

During the Green Cross Celebration, NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin shared a few remarks about just how personal safety is:

“Among its many impacts, the global pandemic has put safety in the spotlight. It’s underscored what the National Safety Council has always known: safety is personal. Whether it’s one’s personal safety during a pandemic, on the roads, at work… or any other place, safety must be pursued and protected. It cannot be taken for granted. 

Like all leaders, I’ve grappled with deeply difficult decisions about how to keep workers safe while carrying out our vital mission over the past 18 months. 

COVID is clearly the single greatest workplace safety challenge in a generation, and NSC exists precisely for moments like this. Our nonprofit safety experts, in counsel with our members and stakeholders, jumped into action and worked tirelessly to develop our SAFER initiative, which has helped guide employers through every phase of the pandemic.

Our 15,000 member organizations represent 7 million employees. These organizations support the work of NSC to keep people safe on the job and everywhere else, too. This really emerged during the pandemic, where the lines between work and home have blurred.  

Many outside of safety don’t realize that transportation-related incidents have long been the leading cause of occupational fatalities—often on roadways where mothers and fathers, teachers and doctors, and so many others travel each day. 

That became very personal to me and my family at the start of the pandemic last year. My brother-in-law, Steve was involved in a crash while on the job. Steve works as a roadside assistance first responder in New Hampshire, helping to keep motorists out of harm’s way. One day, his emergency vehicle was rear-ended.

Fortunately, the crash wasn’t fatal… but the result has been disastrous. Steve sustained an extensive shoulder injury that kept him out of work for over a year. He’s spent his days in painful physical therapy sessions to recover. The situation has affected the entire family, especially his wife, Kayla, and their two young sons—my nephews.

Yet as difficult as his ordeal has been, Steve is one of the lucky ones. 

NSC estimates more than 21,000 people lost their lives on our roadways in the first six months of this year, following a deadly 2020 that negated more than 15 years of progress in preventing death on our roads. Our work, undertaken with dedicated partners, to promote safe driving behaviors and fight for zero traffic deaths is more important than ever.

The Council has been America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate for more than a century. 

And that’s why NSC needs your support. Your support will help NSC continue its vital work to save lives and prevent injuries, from the workplace to any place. That includes on our roads. 

Safety heroes like Steve deserve nothing less.”


During the Green Cross Celebration, we also honored three organizations that have led the way in preventing injuries and saving lives with our renowned Green Cross for Safety® awards. This accolade recognizes the best and brightest in three categories: safety advocacy, safety excellence and safety innovation. Our 2021 award recipients are:

Lastly, NSC shared a special impact video during the ceremony - click here to enjoy.

NSC Advocacy and Impact

Safer Report: COVID-19 Employer Approaches and Worker Experiences

NSC created the A Year in Review, and What’s Next: COVID-19 Employer Approaches and Worker Experiences report to review lessons learned as the pandemic unfolded in order to better address future safety challenges and continue to keep workers safe in a COVID-19 world.

NSC conducted three national surveys as well as interviews with employers to gain insights and perspectives on: 

  • Employer Pandemic Response
  • Worker Experiences and Perceptions
  • Vaccine Policies and Requirements
  • Vaccine Hesitancy
  • Health Care Access
  • Spread of COVID-19 Variants
  • Future World of Work

Highlights:

Employers requiring vaccinations had a 35% increase of vaccinations among their workforce, highlighting employer vaccine policies as a key driver of vaccine uptake. 

Companies are trending toward keeping remote work and virtual meetings in place, both as a time and cost-saving measure – many workers prefer flexible work arrangements. 

Office workers and those who worked from home had the highest satisfaction rates of their employer’s pandemic response, while those in public-facing roles and/or primarily working in vehicles had the lowest. The most commonly cited concern from frontline workers involved the public, customers or clients not following COVID-19 precautions. 

Download the report, and check out the infographic and report highlights.

Work to Zero Debuts Digital Readiness Tool for Safety Technology

Each year, more than 5,000 workers are lost to preventable causes. The Work to Zero initiative at the National Safety Council believes technology will play a pivotal role in saving worker lives, and now has an online assessment and report to help organizations advance in their readiness to implement safety technologies. 

We encourage organizations to use these resources, created in partnership with DEKRA, in tandem to have the greatest impact. Organizations can start by completing the Organizational Readiness Assessment for Safety Technology in the Workplace to determine their organization’s digital readiness level. Then, read the Determining Readiness for Safety Innovation and Industry 4.0 report to better understand the benefits of digital transformation and how the organization can progress to the next level. 

Funded by the McElhattan Foundation, Work to Zero is making innovation more accessible by helping employers explore the importance of safety technology, what options are available and how to determine an organization’s readiness for adopting new technology solutions. NSC released a new white paper, Determining Readiness for Safety Innovation and Industry 4.0 that covers:

  • Barriers to implementing safety technology
  • Readiness and the importance of the human mindset
  • Phases of readiness, including observing, experimenting, adopting, integrating and transforming
  • Readiness to pilot technology

Cannabis Survey Results: It’s Complicated

On Oct. 5, we released the results of an NSC survey focused on the risks of cannabis in the workplace. The survey of 500 employers and 1,000 employees found that:

  • One-third of employees have observed cannabis use during work hours
  • Less than half of organizations have a written policy addressing cannabis
  • Despite what employers believe, less than half of employees reported they would feel comfortable telling supervisors they were too impaired to work

To accompany these results, we created an updated webpage, nsc.org/Cannabis, featuring many additional resources around cannabis and safety. We also designed a new infographic highlighting these survey results and put together new recommendations for employers around cannabis.

A Family's Journey Through Loss and Hope

Pennie Hunt has seen the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis and distracted driving first hand. During the years of her son J.T.’s addiction, Pennie’s family kept everything to themselves. The shame and guilt of what he went through circled the entire family. In 2007, before the opioid crisis had gained national attention, J.T. died of an overdose. It wasn’t until several years later that Pennie’s family realized they needed to tell his story. In 2015, Pennie’s son, Jeremiah, created the Celebrating Lost Loved Ones Map. The map gives families a place to share a photo and stories of their loved ones who have died due to the opioid epidemic.

Three years later, in 2018, Pennie was hit by a distracted driver. The crash gave her a concussion, impacted her balance and vision, and put her in physical therapy for a year. After these two live-altering events, Pennie left an executive position and dedicated herself to helping others and advocacy. She has written books, columns, and blogs. She speaks throughout the country at rehab facilities, conferences and other events.

Watch this video to hear Pennie tell more of her story.    

NSC works to address both the opioid epidemic and distracted driving. In addition to advocating for policy changes and federal leadership, NSC provides employers with education, resources and training to address impairment in the workplace and distracted driving on the job.

Learn more about how you can join our mission and get involved today.


Donor Spotlight

Car crashes are the leading cause of preventable death for teens, killing over 2,000 teens in 2019. Crashes involving young drivers also impact people of all ages, with over 46,000 people killed in such crashes in the last decade. Teen drivers are particularly at risk due to their inexperience, which can only be overcome with safe, quality practice time behind the wheel. While driver education courses are a crucial foundation for new drivers, parents and caregivers can make a difference by getting and staying involved as their teens learn to drive. 

Since 2013, General Motors has supported DriveitHOME™, an initiative of the National Safety Council designed for parents of new teen drivers. This program offers free resources parents can use to help their teens practice behind the wheel and build upon established Graduated Driver Licensing laws, which are proven to reduce a teen’s crash risk by 50%. 

This partnership between NSC and GM aims to equip parents with everything they need to strengthen the experience of their new drivers, including:

  • Pointers for Parents, a three-part collection of weekly driving lessons and practice ideas based around the changing skills of new drivers
  • The New Driver Deal, a customizable parent-teen driving agreement to get both parties on the same page about roadway risks and responsibilities
  • Employer Resources, a set of English and Spanish posters, infographics and instructional videos on tricky driving skills that can be shared with other parents of teen drivers

Thanks to the support of GM, hundreds of thousands of parents and caregivers have engaged with the program, using the Pointers for Parents, New Driver Deal and Employer Resources to increase awareness of the risks facing teen drivers and ensure their teens are prepared for them. 

To access or share these free resources and learn more, visit DriveitHOME.org.

Safety is Personal

Safety is real. Safety is about life’s irreplaceable moments. Safety is personal. 

When you go beyond the risks and the steps it takes to avoid them, you feel the result: You can be healthy and unharmed at work, get home safe to be with those you love, have your co-workers stay safe at work without being impaired, addicted, injured or worse. This is our mission.

Like other leading nonprofits, we position ourselves around a cause everyone can connect with and a pursuit everyone can be passionate about. It’s because we know who is at stake — employees, their families and everyone in their communities — that NSC as a partner, a nonprofit and a national resource, is so devoted to saving lives, from the workplace to anyplace. Learn how you can help us save lives.