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The Distinguished Service to Safety Award (DSSA) is the most prestigious award given to individuals by the National Safety Council in recognition of outstanding service and contribution in the field of safety. The NSC Awards Committee has established the following guidelines to facilitate the nomination process for this award program.

Purpose: The purpose of the DSSA is to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals in the field of safety and/or who have expended considerable efforts through service to safety. The award should also inspire others to expend the time and effort necessary to accomplish such contributions.

Scope: The DSSA is designed to reward those individuals who have had a sustained impact on safety on a local, national, or international scope. The nature of the contribution should reflect exceptional service resulting in more effective or increased levels of injury and/or illness prevention, or assistance in furtherance of those goals. This may also include advancement of safety theory and research.

Eligibility: To be eligible for nomination, the nominee must have accomplished at least one of the following:

  • Made an impact on safety (international, national or local).  Impact can include affecting culture change around safety within an organization or locale; developing and implementing safety protocols previously lacking in an organization or industry; or public campaigns or advocacy with measureable success in affecting safety awareness and individual behavior.
  • Made significant and outstanding contributions to safety.  Contributions can include innovations, research, or other academic pursuits impacting safety.

Criteria: The criteria that will be used in evaluating nominations may include, but not be limited to:

  • Scope of the activity/activities
  • Impact of the activity/activities
  • Leadership and long-term dedication to injury and illness prevention
  • Professional affiliation and recognition
  • Business, community or other distinguishing efforts that merit consideration
  • At least one and no more than three letters of recommendation

Recipient: The nature of the contributions implied by the DSSA limits a single individual to receiving this award only once in his or her lifetime. This restriction is not intended to limit the breadth of contributions that an individual can make, but rather to emphasize the value of the DSSA.

Quantity: The nature of excellence implied by the DSSA requires a limit on the quantity of awards distributed in a single calendar year. All nominators should carefully consider the need to assure the award is given in limited quantity and submit candidates most qualified. Industry groups, referred to as Divisions, are limited to one honoree per division per year.

Nominator Guidance: Nominating individuals for the DSSA Award is an achievement in and of itself. When considering a potential nominee, it is important to consider the following:

  • Nominators should spend time early in the process discussing the nomination process with the NSC Award Manager, who can serve as a coach and mentor.
  • The nominator’s obligation to the nominee and the process includes preparing a professional nomination package. A nominator may inform and engage the nominee in preparing this. 
  • Powerful, successful nominations are crisp in form, clear, neat, organized and not encumbered with extraneous information and endorsements.
  • All nominations must be submitted through the online application with all required fields complete.  No other documents will be accepted in lieu of the online form.
  • Nominators must never assure a nominee that the award is theirs without the approval of the NSC Award Committee.

Nominations must be made through third parties; self-nominations will not be eligible. All eligible DSSA nominees must have at least one and no more than three letters of recommendation.

All criteria must be supported with metrics and appropriate documentation.

Deadline: All nominations must follow the DSSA guidelines. Final nominations must be submitted online by May 5, 2017.

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