VIDEO: NSC honors safety ‘heroes’ at annual conference

ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Safety Council (NSC) kicked off its annual conference on Monday with a tribute to all the “heroes” of health and safety – men and women who work hard to keep workers and the public safe – and the awarding of outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of environmental, health and safety.

Schneider Electric North America received this year’s Robert W. Campbell Award, which recognizes organizations that “demonstrate how integration of environmental, health and safety management into business operations is a cornerstone of their corporate success.”

“The people of at Schneider Electric North America have an inventive and dedicated approach to employee safety that creates a successful, profitable workplace,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president an CEO, in a statement.

The NSC also handed out the Distinguished Service to Safety Award during the opening ceremony. The awardees include: James Dougherty, chief safety officer at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; Timothy McClain, president of T. McClain and Associates; Dennis Rourke, director of risk management at First Data; Kenneth Schriner, safety and occupational health specialist with the Western Area Power Administration; Raymond Wagner, president of Company Safety Inc. and safety training specialist at DiVal Safety; Garland Whitworth, director of safety and education at the Southern Illinois Builders Association, and; James Wick, global emergency and business continuity programs manager with Intel Corporation.

Watch: Opening Ceremonies (video courtesy: National Safety Council)

In her opening message, Froetscher likened all environmental, health and safety practitioners to popular caped crusader Batman, and NSC as the enabler that helps them accomplish their heroic deeds, much like the reliable Lucius Fox in the Batman series.

Froetscher also announced some new initiatives from the NSC, including a new self-assessment survey tool available for health and safety professionals who would like to gauge their company’s health and safety performance against other organizations. The survey will be available on the NSC’s website.

Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, delivered the opening keynote discussing “successful strategiers through turbulence.” Putnam emphasized his zero tolerance philosophy when it comes to safety.

“The employee is number one,” Putnam said.

This year’s conference features over 800 exhibitors in the environmental, health and safety space, more technical sessions and professional development seminars. A new feature this year is the Executive Edge Track, sessions specifically targeted for decision-makers and strategists.

The National Safety Council Annual Conference and Expo runs October 23 to 30.