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National Safety Council's Campbell Award Recognizes Safety

Posted by John Dony

Jun 22 2018
Jun 22 2018

The National Safety Council's Campbell Award recognizes leading nsc-logo-topcompanies in safety that share the NSC’s mission and vision of eliminating all preventable death in our lifetime. We believe safety starts with every individual, every work team, and every organization — and cascades from there into homes, communities, the road, and the workplace.

The Robert W. Campbell Award recognizes safety across all industry sectors— from manufacturing to chemical to aerospace to oil and gas to transportation and everything in between. But it also seeks to establish a measurement process through the award. We wanted to measure excellence, and in doing so capture the successes we saw in a formalized way that foster sharing best practices, recognizing outstanding EHS performance, and awarding those organizations that we think are doing particularly well.


5 Characteristics of EHS Excellence

We found several characteristics common across the winning organizations. While their risk profiles may be slightly different, they all held up to the same five tenets of excellence. 


1. Leadership

Leadership isn’t limited to the C suite. Leadership is about empowering all to lead on EHS, from the CEO to the frontline employee. Within strong leadership we saw four key components:

  • CEO Commitment to EHS excellence

  • Performance Evaluation

  • Employee Empowerment

  • EHS Leadership Training

One Campbell Asward went to the company Dow. Dow took the time and effort to say "We want to understand where our employees are in terms of their empowerment process." They defined Pre-Stage one, Stage One, Stage Two. And it really moves leadership from directing, to guiding, to supporting. And then from there you're really seeing the dividends and the results that performance is sustained.


2. Excellence in EHS Integration

To be effective, EHS must be incorporated into all facets of the business. Put another way, EHS management should be treated like a business process. Within EHS integration there are four key components:

  • EHS & Business integration

  • Auditing Program

  • Anticipating Challenges

  • Contracted Workforces

Another Campbell Award winning company, DuPont showed excellence by using their auditing program to drive operations. Instead of using the typical first-party and third-party sorts of assessments (such as using Lloyd’s of London for an independent evaluation, DuPont uses second-party auditors from other internal DuPont sites to provide objective feedback. Thus, EHS integration becomes an operations function and development tool, by exposing non-EHS professionals to other aspects of the business.

3. Data Management

The three primary areas we looked at were how organizations managed data to identify risk, what sort of leading and lagging metrics they used to quantity performance, and how they sustained performance. Then also using the other definition of the word “sustainability,” how they integrated that into their sustainability reporting and anything else they were doing beyond the day-to-day work of environmental health and safety.

Honeywell Aerospace was a good example of a balanced scorecard. In addition to lagging metrics, Honeywell layered on different leading metrics — anything from their meeting steering committee, gemba walks, audit scores, and days-to-close for corrective actions, for example. The combination created a compelling story that got buy-in from upper management.

4. Alignment of EHS Goals with the Organization

Linking EHS goals to other organizational objectives is to EHS integration, but it's more about the goal-setting and the organization’s overall vision. Many organizations focused on cost benefit analysis and ROI: the benefit of EHS to the overall business management, how EHS factored into review of merger and acquisition activity, and then operational readiness and how o to execute during a crisis or unexpected event.

Another winner, Cummins integrated EHS by putting their own spin on the famous S’s of lean management: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. Cummins added a 6th “s” for Safety. By including safety, they could directly align EHS into a site leader’ day-to-day, fitting it into the larger organization.

5. Corporate Citizenship

Being a good corporate citizen is more than just a good a CSR report. It means promoting off the job safety and environmental initiatives and looking at how those may be leveraged and connected to things inside the fence line as well. Corporate sponsorship, employee contributions and employee input into how that money is being spent, community outreach, holistic wellbeing, and employee recognition are all important components of good corporate citizenship.

We recognized USG Corporation for their clear five-point plan for developing wellness programs, which included involving stakeholders, creating communication and experimenting with incentive structures, and engaging employees with organized wellness activity. But what really stood out was how USG tied all wellness activities to safety.


Interested in learning more about the Campbell Award and the winners’ best practices? Watch the free webinar


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