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New Partnership Brings National Expertise to Minnesota Safety Council Members

Quality Safety Edge and the Minnesota Safety Council

In reaction to a number of traffic injuries and deaths in Minnesota, that state’s Governor Theodore Christianson convened the Minnesota Conference on Street and Highway Safety. The year was 1926. Two years later the Minnesota Safety Council was formed to address its citizens’ safety on the road, at work, and at home. Today, 85 years later, the Minnesota Safety Council continues to meet its charge to promote on-the-job and off-the-job safety.

qse safety alliance brochureCurrently the Minnesota Safety Council’s over 3,000 member companies range from employers of small to mega organizations including manufacturers, service and other private industries as well as public employers such as school districts and entities of state and federal government. “It’s a broad range of organizations. The common factor is they’re all employers, or represent employee groups,” says Carol Bufton, president of the Minnesota Safety Council. “We offer consulting, customized training, walk throughs, site audits, off-the-job safety tools and driver training as some of our services.”

An offering especially appreciated by its members is the annual Minnesota Safety and Health Conference, which will be 80 years old in 2014. The largest and most respected regional safety conference in the Midwest, the gathering features speakers from many areas of safety specialization. “We have a large exhibition of safety products and we are very deliberate about infusing a sense of fun in the conference,” explains Bufton. “It’s not just about learning, but also about enjoying the experience.”

In fact, Bufton and Quality Safety Edge’s (QSE) Dr. Angelica Grindle became acquainted through the conference, when Grindle presented there. Grindle, a worldwide speaker on the subject of behavior-based safety, says of the Minnesota conference, “I’ve spoken at many venues and this one is absolutely top notch!”

Following a recent conference, Bufton interviewed Grindle for a Website Video. “The more I listened to Angelica the more I realized the goals that she was expressing were the goals that our members have been expressing,” says Bufton. Via member surveys and focus groups, Bufton had been receiving a consistent message: “We want to continue to focus on compliance because it is important, but we want to move to the next level. We want to be more deliberate in building a strong safety culture.”  “It became crystal clear to me that QSE’s goals and our goals in that area meshed,” she says.

The result of subsequent meetings, discussions, and planning is a new alliance between the Minnesota Safety Council and Quality Safety Edge. “We have outlined a spectrum of services to provide to our members to help them build their safety culture and also to build our own expertise in that area. We wanted to find a partner who could deliver along with us to our members and we think QSE is that partner,” says Bufton.

 “They truly have been incredibly impressive and the level of services to their member companies is amazing,” says Grindle, who along with Dr. Grainne Matthews will be offering a series of workshops to Minnesota Safety Council members. Grindle, Matthews, and Bufton are especially enthusiastic about a new workshop developed specifically as a response to member demands on managing workplace safety from the middle. “Many of our members responsible for safety have to manage up and down the org chart and they were looking for some help with that,” Bufton explains.

The Minnesota Safety Council will also partner with QSE to offer a full range of consulting services through QSE’s Values Based Safety process. “It’s about helping our members to approach building their safety culture in a systematic, science-based way,” Bufton says. “A lot of organizations out there service the big companies and employers in behavior-based safety, but QSE is able to serve organizations of all sizes. That’s really important to us because our members come in all sizes. This alliance represents new ground for QSE and for us. I think both organizations are really looking forward and have a strong commitment to making this partnership work.”