Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are renewing their partnership and agreeing to leverage their organizations’ expertise, best practices, resources and strategies in order to engage employers in the quest to eliminate preventable workplace deaths. As two of the United States’ foremost authorities on workplace safety, the Council and NIOSH will continue to jointly conduct research and evaluation, participate in occupational safety events and advance safety education, among other collaborative endeavors.
“Every worker deserves to come home safely at the end of each day,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “NIOSH is the ideal partner to help us meet this critical challenge head-on. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and making our workplaces measurably safer.”
While workers are 10 times safer at work than they are at home, the United States still lost 4,398 workers to preventable incidents in 2016 – the third consecutive year that preventable deaths in the workplace increased. That same year, an additional 792 people died from intentional incidents, such as homicide and suicide, at work. The costs to society for work-related injuries and fatalities totaled $151.1 billion. Costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor vehicle property damage, and employer costs.
Collaboration is critical to curbing these trends. Representatives from NIOSH and NSC will meet periodically to share information, assess progress, and modify activities accordingly and evaluate results. Council representatives serve on NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Manufacturing Council and Traumatic Injury Prevention Council, and NSC is a co-sponsor of the NIOSH National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS), hosted in Morgantown, WV, Oct. 16-18, 2018. Additionally, NSC staff have contributed to the NIOSH Total Worker Health initiative.
In the last five years, NIOSH has supported the Council’s various workplace safety initiatives, including disseminating information about how traffic safety issues and substance misuse impact the workplace.
“Worker safety is more pertinent than ever as unintentional injuries and fatalities continue to increase which adversely affects workers and their families,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “We look forward to continuing an active relationship with NSC, reinforcing prevention as key to health and safety, and disseminating the many scientifically-based resources and recommendations available to workers and employers.”