#Safetyforlife, Impact

We’ve all heard the phrase: “Our employees are our most valuable asset.” For the companies that really believe in that, safety is a core value. And even these companies must be vigilant every day because it only takes one momentary lapse for tragedy to occur.

More than 4,400 workers were killed in the United States in 2013. That is more than 12 fatalities per day.

Globally, the statistics are much worse. The International Labour Organization estimates that 2.3 million people die every year from work-related incidents and diseases. Hundreds of millions more are injured while on the job.

That’s far too many heartbreaking — and preventable — deaths and injuries. All of us should have the right to return home to our families and friends after a hard day’s work. One’s job should not cost a life or cause a debilitating injury.

Bringing safety to the forefront

AECOM’s third-annual Safety Week shines a light on the importance of protecting workers everywhere. It resonates with the National Safety Council (NSC) and our mission to save lives and prevent injuries at home, at work, on the road and in the community.

Across every industry, a strong commitment to safety is vital for long-term success. Those who work in construction must account for safety tasks such as working at height, near vehicles and beneath heavy equipment. Workers in the oil and gas industry must recognize and respond to a variety of hazards that could lead to collisions, explosions, fires, falls and other incidents. Other industries face risks that pose life-threatening dangers if a single safety precaution goes ignored.

Transportation safety is paramount for anyone who drives as part of his or her job. Behind the wheel, one distracted moment can lead to deadly consequences. NSC began calling for a total ban on driver cell phone use in 2009, and now hundreds of employers have heard that call and banned employee use of cell phones on the road — reducing crash risk and limiting liability.

A continuous cycle of improvement

Last year, NSC launched a workplace safety initiative called the Journey to Safety Excellence, bringing safety resources to employees. The campaign addresses the four pillars of a strong safety program: Leadership and employee engagement, safety management systems, risk reduction and performance measurement. It also connects people to a community that focuses on safety, where they can network and share solutions.

We cannot be complacent. We have learned through the Campbell Institute — the global center of environmental, health and safety excellence — that safety is an intrinsic part of business success. As a Campbell Institute member, AECOM knows well the value of creating this “culture of caring.” NSC stands with AECOM during its 2015 Safety Week — an excellent opportunity to renew our resolve.

Employees deserve to return home to their loved ones at the end of the day. Let us see that they do.

What do you do to ensure your employees remain safe? Be sure to use the #Safetyforlife hashtag to share this post on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Hersman_89x100_BWDeborah A.P. Hersman is president & CEO of the National Safety Council, which has a mission to prevent injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads. Follow NSC on Twitter at @NSCsafety and like the Natlsafetycouncil Facebook page.

Originally published Apr 1, 2015

Author: Deborah A.P. Hersman