Amazon and National Safety Council (NSC) have announced a five-year partnership to invent new ways to prevent the largest category of workplace injuries in the U.S., musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Amazon and NSC have been working together for months on this first-of-its-kind collaboration.
“Through this partnership we’ll be able to solve problems that people face every day so they can live their fullest lives,” said Lorraine Martin, president and CEO of National Safety Council. “Going to work should be a positive, rewarding, and safe experience. We are grateful for the generous support of Amazon to help companies around the world solve this important issue while fueling our nonprofit mission to keep employees safe in the workplace.”
“As a member of Amazon’s onsite safety team, my goal is to do everything I can to keep my fellow employees healthy at work so we all go home safe to our friends and families,” said Chelsea Weimer, an hourly employee at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Baltimore, MD. “Amazon has a high standard for safety; this partnership is more proof of that and I can’t wait to see the work that’s done to help decrease MSDs.”
The partnership will aim to prevent MSDs across a variety of industries by engaging key stakeholders, conducting research, inventing new technology and processes, and scaling the results. The collaboration is made possible by Amazon’s $12 million contribution, the largest corporate contribution in the history of NSC, and will include five key components:
Advisory Council: Establishing an international advisory council to bring together safety experts, corporations, and researchers in public and private sectors. The advisory council will work together to review the most promising approaches to MSD prevention, shape the development of partnership components, and engage external parties on MSD prevention.
Pioneering Research: Conducting research utilizing next-generation artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning tools to explore current and future MSD innovations and trends. The research will be available to all industries to explore and glean insights.
Small Business and University Grants: Providing grants to small businesses, universities, and university students. These grants will fund research and innovation that help companies of all sizes achieve impact.
Innovation Challenge: Incubating and fostering innovative and practical solutions to address MSDs through Innovation Challenge competitions. These competitions will bring together experts to collaborate, iterate, and share techniques and ideas.
Industry Call to Action – The MSD Pledge: Amazon and NSC will share solutions discovered throughout the partnership to inspire change through the creation of The MSD Pledge and a call on other companies to also join the effort to:
- Track proactive indicators of injuries to ensure proper risk mitigation and implement prevention strategies based on data.
- Implement an MSD prevention program that includes educating employees and employers about injury prevention.
- Embrace and drive forward innovative solutions to prevent MSDs and share best practices with other organizations worldwide.
The partnership kicks off in June during National Safety Month and in its first year will focus on launching the advisory council, identifying research partners, analyzing existing data, and developing the grant and Innovation Challenge programs.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees, and this partnership will allow us to dive deep into the best way to reduce MSDs,” said Heather MacDougall, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide workplace health and safety. “National Safety Council has a long history of advancing safe practices in the workplace, and we look forward to working alongside them as well as many other businesses, experts, and students around the world to innovate and solve for this important issue.”
The NSC collaboration is another step in Amazon’s long-term mission to be Earth’s Safest Place to Work, which includes an investment of over $300 million into safety projects in 2021, and a goal to cut its recordable incident rate by 50% by 2025. Every day, Amazon works closely with health and safety experts, conducts thousands of safety inspections inside every building, and actively seeks employee feedback on how to improve their well-being at work. To see inside Amazon’s workplace and learn more about its team and technology, sign up for a fulfillment center tour at www.amazon.com/FCtours.
National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate—and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, it works to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing its efforts on the workplace, roadway, and impairment. It creates a culture of safety to keep people safer not only at work, but also beyond the workplace.