NSC's Culture Club Attracting Big Audiences

The technical sessions at the 95th Annual National Safety Congress in Chicago this week are arranged in six tracks, including training, research, and transportation/traffic safety. Quite a few of the sessions within these tracks concern safety leadership and effective safety cultures, and these were well attended Monday and Tuesday at the McCormick Place convention center.

Peter Furst, director of contracting services at Liberty Mutual Group's Boston office, delivered an impassioned talk Tuesday morning in which he urged his overflow crowd to go beyond Six Sigma (which stresses process excellence but does accept around 3.4 defects per million operations) to Seven Sigma or Eight Sigma because Six is not sufficient when human beings' lives are at stake, Furst said. His talk, titled "A Lean Sigma Scorecard -- Safety Excellence Framework," focused on the integration of safety into organizational systems to achieve injury-free results; dozens of safety professionals left their cards after the talk so Furst (peter.furst@libertymutual.com) could e-mail his presentation to them.

Tuesday afternoon's sessions included "Six Sigma: Improving Your Risk Management Program," delivered by two Zurich Insurance officials and another risk manager from Diversified Maintenance Services Inc., as well as "Leading Measures: Safety Metrics for Performance," where Barry Spurlock, loss control consultant for Midwestern Insurance Alliance, and Earl Blair, associate professor at Indiana University, offered case studies and a 10-point scorecard to help their listeners refocus from trailing indicators such as injury rates and training attendance to leading indicators that can help to prevent injuries.

Today's sessions include talks on workplace violence, the ANSI Z10 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard, perception surveys, aging workforces, lean manufacturing, electrical safety, school transportation, security breaches, and traffic safety.

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