The theme of NSC this year is “The pursuit of continuous improvement,” which Froetscher stressed is a core element in the journey to safety excellence. This year at NSC, part of that journey may even include becoming a member of the “Safety Patrol,” a lighthearted approach designed to immediately recognize the men and women who work to keep people, workplaces and the environment safe.
Former VH1 host and recurring NSC emcee Scott Bloom helped launch the Safety Patrol by showing his earlier interviews with NSC attendees – many of whom also received an “official” Safety Patrol badge. (Performing a victory safety dance upon receipt of the badge was purely optional.) When Bloom asked attendees what “continuous improvement” meant to them, he elicited comments such as, “We have to put the focus on people and bring [safety] home so employees know it 24/7” and “We can’t bypass the heart of safety.”
Benjamin Franklin, one of our nation’s founding fathers and the noted scientist and inventor who founded the nation’s first firehouse in Philadelphia, also stepped on stage to share some safety wisdom. He pointed out that “You don’t get to be as old as I am without being safe,” (the real Franklin would be more than 300 years old today) and made suggestions that included encouraging all employees to learn first aid. All audience members received an NSC first aid guide.
Froetscher and Kent McElhattan, chairman of NSC and Industrial Scientific Corp., followed in Franklin’s footsteps to share NSC’s four main areas of focus: workplace safety, distracted driving, teen driving safety and off-the-job safety. After all, encouraging workers to take safety to the heart and bring their safe behaviors home means a stronger safety culture everywhere.
“When people think of safety 24/7, it becomes it becomes instinctive,” Froetscher explained.
Finally, NSC announced its award winners during the opening session, including UTC Fire & Security, winner of the 2011 Robert W. Campbell Award; The Dow Chemical Co., winner of the 2012 Green Cross for Safety Medal; and the winners and of the 2011 Distinguished Service to Safety Award: Joseph A. Branco, CSP, CUSA; Gary Catapano; J. Terrence Grisim, CSP, CDS, CPSM, ARM; Lonnie Logan; and David F. Matthes, CSP, CSHM.
EHS Today is onsite in Philadelphia to cover the conference. Stay tuned to EHSToday.com for the latest news and updates from NSC 2011.