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The National Safety Council released several reports documenting the most critical elements organizations need to achieve safety excellence. The reports detail findings from a series of presentations and panel discussions involving business executives and safety and health leaders, sponsored by NSC.
The reports identify corporate leadership as one of the most critical elements in creating a culture that values safety. Additional elements include worker engagement and integrated safety management systems. “Today’s executives need to understand the full benefits of having a sound safety and health program,” said Janet Froetscher, National Safety Council president and CEO. “Integrating safety as you would financial or ethical performance is essential in today’s competitive marketplace.”
The reports also document a significant return on investment for safety. Colonel James Grace, director of safety for the U.S. Marine Corps explains a $16 million cost savings resulting from reduced insurance payments alone. Additional benefits are realized through reduced medical expenses and worker’s compensation costs on top of positive impacts to quality, efficiency and reputation.
The role of the CEO also is stressed throughout the reports. “Safety is a day-to-day, relentless pursuit…there is no way to deliver safety unless the CEO is engaged,” said Mike Murray, former president and CEO, FirstGroup America. Joseph Angello, director, readiness programming and assessment for the U.S. Department of Defense stated, “Safety is readiness…you must have persistence. You must have a consistency of voice. You must provide the resources and live the example.”
Bill Williams, vice president, health, safety and environment at Maersk Inc. acknowledges that executives face competing demands for their time, but stated, “As I see it, when you take care of your people, everything else seems to fall into place.”
The role of EHS in an economic downturn – How do we deal with the conditions of the economy strategically
Operational excellence – EHS as a competitive edge
Additional technical session transcripts available exclusively to National Safety Council members include:
Driving EHS performance: Effective system implementation
Leading edge management: Leading indicators and risk management
World-class leadership: Lead with safety
*Member-exclusive reports can be provided to the media upon request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.