The National Safety Council (NSC) focuses on eliminating preventable deaths at work, on the road and in homes and communities. Each year they host a safety conference that attracts safety professionals from all over the country. They have professional development seminars, learning labs, technical sessions (with a new technology topic) and trade show booths all available for attendees. This year’s event was held on September 7-13th at the San Diego Convention Center.

This week-long event hosted ample opportunities for safety professionals to learn, engage and discover something new. Topics that received more focus included active shooter and workplace violence prevention, where safety fits into the future, and what’s new with OSHA.

Active Shooter & Workplace Violence

Keynote Speaker – Jack Jackson

For years now, our society has unfortunately become more and more familiar with hearing about active shooter incidents on the news. Most people try to block out these horrific events because it can be too much to deal with.

It CAN happen anywhere. Don’t let denial equal delay.

Jack Jackson delivered a powerful presentation that included a personal story about how his friend was 1 of 4 people to die in a workplace shooting incident. He spoke about the importance of employers  putting together an active shooter and workplace violence prevention plan. “Denial equals delay” – if your employees don’t have active shooter training, they are likely to freeze in an active shooter event, which is the worst response!

Did you know? According to Jack Jackson, there have been 34 workplace shootings have occurred in the United States since the beginning of 2017.

Active Shooter Resources

The Future of Safety

Keynote Speaker – Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll, a Leadership Keynote Speaker at the NSC Congress and Expo, presented a discussion on the future of safety. Carroll addressed an interesting question:

“How are you going to mitigate safety risks for jobs and careers which are not yet in existence?”

Jim Carroll also made the audience at the NSC Congress & Expo think about the future of workplace tasks, such as welders or truck drivers performing their work from thousands of miles away through virtual reality. He also predicted that 65% of the next generation will work in jobs or careers that don’t even exist yet! Carroll stressed that we all need to consider the future of safety and assess the changes that will come.

Lancaster Safety Consulting, Inc.’s team considered how we would offer training solutions to the evolving safety industry and our clientele. One particular question we wanted to focus on was:

How can we get workers to safely experience workplace hazards that they’ve never encountered before?

Using Virtual Reality for Safety Training

One solution would be for companies to implement virtual reality safety training. Virtual reality safety training helps participants learn in a fully engaged and safe environment. It can really benefit new hires, be used for new positions and job tasks, and can truly be a fun addition to any company’s safety and health training program.

Lancaster Safety Consulting, Inc. can fully customize virtual reality training modules to fit a company’s specific needs, and might we just add, it is really cool. Discover more about VR safety and health training by contacting LSCI at 888-403-6026.

Current OSHA Activity

Speakers Patrick Kapust, Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs & Doug Kalinowski, Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs

Current OSHA activity is always a hot topic in the safety industry and the attendees at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo were able to get the latest updates straight from two OSHA Officials! Patrick Kapust, Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, and Doug Kalinowski, Director of OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, focused their presentation on:

  • OSHA’s National Emphasis Programs
  • Site Specific Targeting Program
  • How OSHA is using injury and illness data
  • Rulemaking activities for workplace violence
  • A sneak peek at the agency’s future plans

OSHA’s National Emphasis Programs

If you’ve never heard about OSHA’s National Emphasis Programs (NEPs), they are essentially temporary programs that allow OSHA to concentrate their resources on specific hazards, both existing and new, in an effort to curb and hopefully eliminate the rate of occurrence.

“The agency targets a specific industry or hazards (with NEPs),” Kapust said. “We want to have hazards reduced in the trenching industry, so it’s become an agency priority.”

  • Amputations are set to expire at the end of the fiscal year, and OSHA is planning to release a revised version. “It will probably involve different industries than what was in the last NEP,” Kapust said.
  • The National Emphasis Programs for combustible dust and silica are also “in the development phase,” for future revisions, Kapust said.
  • Visit OSHA’s website to view their current National Emphasis Programs.

OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program

OSHA is using its Site-Specific Targeting Program to include high-hazard rate worksites by analyzing injury reporting data from electronic submissions from employers. OSHA started requiring certain workplaces to submit their injury and illness information effective on February 25, 2019. For more information on OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements, click here.

According to Safety+Health® Magazine, Kapust noted that feedback on the agency’s Rapid Response Investigation program, in which it reaches out to an employer after a report of a severe injury to discuss that organization’s response, has been positive.

“If that response is adequate and the employer has abated the condition, we’ll close it and not do an inspection,” he said.

Amputations, however, do trigger an inspection, he added.

Other Key Initiatives OSHA is Working Towards

  • OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program continues to grow in popularity but as Safety & Health Consultants, we’ve witnessed companies struggle to get passed the application phase. In a 2018 examination, Kalinowski said that 63% of the applications the agency received needed “a significant amount of work”. Due to this discovery, OSHA is developing an online application that should help alleviate some of these issues.
  • Workplace violence incidence have been continuing to grow in the United States, particularly getting worse in the health care and social assistance industries. OSHA announced that they are in the early phase of rulemaking to decrease these incidents.
  • A stakeholder meeting on recent guidance the agency published on leading indicators of safety performance is being planned. OSHA is encouraging its use among small and medium-sized businesses.

For more information on highlights from the National Safety Council®’s Conference, visit the Safety+Health® Magazine’s website.

Video Summary: What You Missed

Lancaster Safety Consulting, Inc. is an OSHA Compliance Firm who shares a similar mission as the National Safety Council, but we are in no way affiliated with the National Safety Council.