The head of the National Safety Council calls it their “moon shot goal.” The organization wants to eliminate accidental deaths in our lifetime.
In the 2016 NSC congress opening session in Anaheim, CA, CEO Deborah Hersman also called on employers and individuals to focus on their own personal moon shot. For companies, it would be zero worker deaths.
The moon shot refers to President Kennedy’s call to send a man to the moon and return him safely before the end of the 1960s, a goal that was met.
Unintentional injuries are the fourth highest cause of deaths in the U.S.
After the opening session, Hersman spoke to the media about the NSC’s priorities for workplace safety.
Motor vehicle crashes are still the No. 1 cause of workplace deaths, so Hersman said employers should consider buying company vehicles with the latest safety advances such as blind spot monitors and automatic braking.
To help all drivers learn about these safety advances, the NSC has launched MyCarDoesWhat.org, a website to help educate drivers about new vehicle safety technology.
Hersman notes that while we train workers on various safety gear, we think nothing of putting people in new cars with new equipment without much training. MyCarDoesWhat.org can help drivers who may find themselves in that situation.
While Hersman says technology in cars will be “a game-changer” to increase safety, she also acknowledges that some forms of tech are what gets us into trouble in our vehicles. For example, being able to talk on your phone hands-free.
“All of the connectivity is encouraging consumers to think it’s safer to use these devices in their cars,” Hersman said. “They think hands-free is safer. But studies show it doesn’t make a difference. If it were your hands that were distracted, we would have outlawed stick-shift cars. It’s your brain that’s distracted.”
Hersman says the brain can’t be engaged with driving and talking on the phone at the same time. “People are dying because we have all this technology in our cars,” she said.
Other NSC workplace safety priorities include:
- Helping employers get to the right place regarding the growing problem of opioid addiction and safety. A recent survey showed 80% of employers see the impact prescription drug abuse can have in the workplace.
- The NSC also has training available for companies on workplace violence, including active shooter drills.