From vaccinations to return to work notices to the number of vehicles on our nation’s roadways increasing to pre-pandemic levels, 2021 was a year of massive change to our daily lives.
At the National Safety Council, we reflected this past year on what safety means in this so-called “new normal” and how it impacts each of us in our workplaces, homes and communities.
What is it to be safe? To create safe environments? Especially in a year full of unprecedented safety challenges: the pandemic, mental health crises and increasing fatalities on our roadways. At a time when all those we serve were experiencing change and unplanned stresses, providing tools and services to prepare them for safety-sensitive tasks became ever more critical. Ensuring workers and drivers were unimpaired became ever more critical, as well.
While the issue of safety is a very complex one, NSC met the challenges of 2021 by further marking its position as the proven leader and voice in safety research, education and training. We were the non-profit expert of choice in national conversations to upgrade our nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems with safety at the forefront. Last year, NSC served as the trusted thought leader in high-level discussions on how best to create a post-pandemic, refreshed culture of safety in the workplace and beyond. And, we championed efforts to help employers maintain a safe workforce by addressing the leading causes of impairment, and giving employers the tools they needed to protect their employees from opioid and cannabis misuse, fatigue, mental health and more.
We recognized safety isn’t just professional, it’s personal. Safety in our workplaces and on our roadways enables us to live our fullest lives, and to get home to our loved ones each and every day.
NSC continues to follow the data, identify best practices, and help organizations anticipate and manage evolving safety issues. You can read more in this Annual Report about the Council’s work to:
- Advocate for safer roads and improved infrastructure. This year, NSC celebrated passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included many provisions long advocated by NSC and built on the Road to Zero strategy’s three-pillar approach. Passage of the act will make our roads safer and help save lives with a Safe System approach to roadway design.
- Improve membership value offerings. In 2021, NSC led more than 44 member webinars and roundtables with more than 9,400 total attendees, including hosting the inaugural, member-exclusive CEO roundtable on the “Future World of Work: Staffing, Culture and Safety,” featuring leaders from member organizations of the Campbell Institute.
- Partner with major employers to advance our workplace, roadway and impairment safety mission. NSC secured renewed commitments from Ford, GM, Stellantis, Toyota and Volvo to address unrepaired vehicle recalls with Check to Protect, our vehicle recall program. We created a first-of-its-kind partnership with Amazon to solve the most common workplace injuries — musculoskeletal disorders such as sprains and strains. And, together NSC and NORC at the University of Chicago launched a mental health cost calculator, with funding from Nationwide, helping companies see the value of investing in mental health resources for their employees.
- Continue development of SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns. This vital initiative addressed COVID policies in the workplace and kept employers informed about virus variants and other important developments.
- Provide best-in-class training and education to help save lives. As in-person training returned, NSC continued to offer virtual and blended virtual/live learning to fit each organization’s and individual’s needs.
- Remain America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. We are grateful to the individuals, corporations and foundations who contributed $5.7 million in philanthropic donations in 2021 to make a difference in people’s lives. We reinvest every dollar we raise, along with revenue from our training offerings and resources, back into our lifesaving mission.
We are proud to continue our century-long legacy of providing thought leadership, resources, research and advocacy to safety leaders and employers in a world that is ever-changing. Whatever the future brings, the National Safety Council will be there to lead the way.
Lorraine M. Martin, NSC President and CEO
Elaine S. Beitler, NSC Board Chair