The National Safety Council (NSC) presented its prestigious "2018 Community Advancement Award" to Rockford Systems LLC for its continued dedication to safety in its hometown of Rockford, Illinois and beyond.

The NSC's distinguished panel of experts honored the company for its multifaceted community achievements over the past year, which included its planned donation and installation of safeguarding equipment on 25 machines in the machine shop of Guilford High School in Rockford, IL. Expected to be completed by December, the installation came about after company employees learned that two students at the high school had suffered hand injuries in the shop. Along with the installation, Rockford Systems professionals will instruct students on basic machine safety techniques, as well as how to properly use their new equipment to prevent accidents.

Another endeavor the panel highlighted was the company's youth programs within the community that encourage students to pursue careers in the manufacturing workforce. For example, Rockford Systems conducted a well-attended Manufacturing Day in October where hundreds of local students learned machine safety at the company's headquarters. Later in the year, the company took more than 200 students  to the FABTECH tradeshow in Chicago to see firsthand the critical role machine safeguarding plays in modern manufacturing.

As it aims to reach a younger audience, Rockford Systems has employed the social media platforms of choice for teenagers -- Instagram, Twitter and Facebook -- to convey the importance of safety. The company's #Selfieforsafety campaign has drawn hundreds of followers who post pictures online of themselves standing next to machinery. For every "Selfie for Safety" it receives, Rockford Systems donates resources towards conducting surveys of local high schools' machine shops to determine the safeguarding equipment required for OSHA CFR 1910 and ANSI B11 compliance, as well as for its purchase and installation.

"Rockford Systems has been a leader in the innovations that underpin many aspects of today's machine safeguarding technology, making the sharing of this lifesaving equipment with our community a natural extension of our corporate mission," said Joe Nitiss, President/CEO of Rockford Systems, LLC. "I would like to thank and congratulate our employees for their hard work, time, and openness to embrace new opportunities to give back to our home town."

The National Safety Council Community Advancement Award, presented each year during NSC Congress & Expo, celebrates local companies, organizations or locations dedicated to employee health and safety on the job and at home and to advancing safety in the community in which they operate.

"Our award winners recognize that safety is a journey rather than a destination. These individuals and organizations constantly ask, 'What more can we do?' We are proud to honor the winners and to recognize all the outstanding nominees that share the Council's goal of eliminating preventable deaths and injuries  in our lifetime," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council.

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