Best Diversity Communications

Underwriters Laboratories Safety Smart® program has global reach

In 22 countries, using educational kits produced in 20 languages, the program works to prevent the 830,000 deaths of children worldwide caused by unintentional injuries each year.

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There’s a killer on the loose, claiming the lives of more than 830,000 children each year around the world, more than any other cause of death. It doesn’t discriminate based on race, color, creed, language, or ethnicity. 

The killer is unintentional injury— traffic-related crashes, drowning, burns, falls, and more. The World Health Organization characterizes these unintentional injuries as predictable and preventable. 

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is hard at work to save young lives with its Safety Smart® program. The organization’s efforts earned it top honors in the Diversity Communications category of PR Daily’s 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

UL, a global, not-for-profit, independent safety science company founded in 1894, believes “standards, certifications, and regulations alone are not sufficient in addressing all aspects of injury prevention.” 

That’s why it developed Safety Smart, “a program allowing employees to improve a child’s awareness and understanding of safety, health, and well-being, thereby helping children to manage themselves and their surrounding by conscious action, not chance.”

The organization says its safety program is helping children the “[build] a consciousness and a knowledge which they draw upon in making better life-sustaining choices helping all children to ‘die of old age’.”

Thanks to UL employees and volunteers, teachers, and organizations worldwide, Safety Smart has reached more than 117 million children and adults. 

In locations around the world, the organization’s employees volunteer as Safety Smart Ambassadors. They bring the Safety Smart program to classrooms, camps, youth groups, daycare centers, scout meetings, and community fairs. Educational materials include animations, flash cards, activities, and more in 20 languages. 

Safety Smart includes programs on topics such as home, water, fire, and online safety. It has programs about going green and being healthy and fit, and plans to introduce additional programs this year. 

Employees choose their language of choice and safety topic, based on their own interest, experience, and comfort level. 

UL’s Safety Smart Ambassador program also includes non-UL employees. It has partnerships with the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, more than 600 fire departments in the US, the US Embassy, Disney, and organizations in Europe, Africa, and in nations such as China, India, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan. 

UL provides the training, educational materials, and know-how for partners to bring the Safety Smart Program to children in their own communities. 

With a reach so far of 22 countries and 117.6 million people, UL is a winner in the way it draws upon employees’ and volunteers’ diversity to reach a world where there are no differences in pursuing this common goal—working together to save the lives of its children. 

Learn about Safety Smart here

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