American Society of Safety Engineers Renew Alliances With OSHA & NIOSH
Des Plaines, IL (June 20, 2008) — The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) last week renewed its Alliance between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U. S. Center for Disease Control’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the 47th annual ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition held this year in Las Vegas.
Following their exuberant and thought-provoking plenary session at the conference last week before 2500 attendees, Assistant Secretary for Labor Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., and NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard joined ASSE President Michael Thompson, CSP, to sign the Alliance agreements.
The OSHA/ASSE agreement extends the continued goal of fostering a culture of prevention for safety and health hazards at U.S. jobsites. The Alliance will continue to focus on ergonomic hazards, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and motor vehicle safety. OSHA and ASSE will also address issues impacting non-English speaking and youth employees, and will continue to promote the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week to be held May 3-9 in 2009 along with Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day May 6, 2009.
“ASSE greatly values the positive relationships and resources for our members and others that have grown out of our Alliances with OSHA,” Thompson said. “OSHA has been a committed partner to this agreement, resulting in unprecedented involvement of the safety and health community in NAOSH Week and in opportunities for our members to contribute to OSHA’s outreach activities and interact with its leaders and staff. The Alliance program in general has resulted in a more open OSHA that has honed its ability to reach out to our members and their employers without taking away from the agency’s enforcement capabilities.”
The OSHA Alliance has featured OSHA and ASSE working together to develop and disseminate information that helps to protect the health and safety of employees through outreach and communication. In 2007, for instance, ASSE representatives, along with other OSHA Alliance Program participants, helped develop a Safety Alert document for Electrocution and Shock Hazards in Shipyard Employment. OSHA and ASSE have also worked together to sponsor a number of events and exhibits, including the NAOSH Week kick-off events in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, aimed at fostering safe and healthful working environments. In addition, a number of local ASSE chapters have established cooperative agreements with local OSHA offices. These Alliances give ASSE members and OSHA the opportunity to work together to advance best practices and technical knowledge while raising awareness about occupational hazards.
Through their Alliance, NIOSH and ASSE will collaborate to advance the protection of workers, promote best practices, and encourage employers to develop and utilize safety and health management programs and effective prevention strategies and technologies. They will continue to work together to provide outreach, communication and professional development opportunities regarding occupational safety and health.
“ASSE looks forward to continued opportunities to build on its valuable partnership with NIOSH. This agreement signals a significantly increased understanding between ASSE and NIOSH of the valued relationship between the work our members do every day in protecting lives and preventing injuries and illnesses on the job with the research and educational opportunities that NIOSH uniquely offers our members and their employers,” Thompson added.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. It has more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members. For more information and to view copies of the Alliance agreements go to http://www.asse.org/professionalaffairs/docs/asse-osha-alliance-2008.pdf.