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ASSE’s ‘This Month in Safety’ Web Tool Promotes Education About History of Occupational Safety and Health

Posted in on Tue, Sep 13, 2011

One hundred years ago in 1911, the United Society of Casualty Inspectors began their work as the first professional safety society in the U.S.  Known today as the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), this  society dedicated to protecting people, property and the environment, has endured a century of global change that has continually impacted the modern safety and health movement.  In honor of its 100th Anniversary, ASSE  created a virtual tool, called ‘This Month in Safety,’ designed to help illustrate 100 years of safety milestones across the globe.

The ‘This Month in Safety’ virtual tool, found at, provides a detailed look at safety milestones for certain days of the year in a month-to-month timeline of events from 1911 to the present. The safety milestones presented represent a legacy of advancement in safety and health for the protection of all workers.  Through tragedies, technological advancements and changes in the evolution of business, this virtual tool provides a comprehensive view of events that impacted the development of the safety, health and environmental field.

From the ‘This Month in Safety’ tool, here are a few historical events that influenced safety and occurred in September during the last century:

  • On September 8, 1994, USAir Flight 427 crashed in clear weather just outside the Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 passengers and crew.  This event resulted in one of the longest and in-depth investigations in aviation history, and changed manufacturing practices.  The investigation lasted for nearly five years and led to the discovery that rudder problems were the most likely culprit for the crash.
  • To prevent roadway crash fatalities, on September 9, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act which allowed the federal government to regulate standards for motor vehicles and highways, with the ultimate goal being a decrease in the number of lives lost in motor vehicle accidents.  Since the passage of this act, hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved due to subsequent legislation such as regulations regarding seatbelts and air bags.
  • On September 11, 2001, workplace safety in the U.S. changed forever when nearly 3,000 work-related fatalities resulted from terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, NY.  More than 2,000 workers in the buildings and over 400 rescue workers were killed in NY, 125 workers lost their lives at the Pentagon, and more than 150 workers were killed on the planes that crashed in PA, VA, and in New York City.   This event changed homeland security, domestic and international travel, as well as workplace disaster preparedness.

The ‘This Month in Safety’ tool can be used alone as a teaching tool, providing students with  information about workplace safety and health and how to be safe at work as well as insight into how workplace safety and the safety profession has developed into what it is today.  It can also be used in conjunction with ASSE’s  ‘Safety Suitcase’ presentation, which provides students with an overview of what it is to be a safety professional.  For more information about ASSE’s ‘Safety Suitcase,’ please visit

To view ASSE’s ‘Celebrating a Century of Safety’ centennial video please go to

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.  Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more information, please go to




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