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Hundreds of Safety Experts Contribute to the New ASSE Comprehensive Safety Professionals Handbook

Posted in on Mon, Jun 9, 2008

Des Plaines, IL (June 9, 2008) — After eight years in the making involving more than 250 occupational safety, health and environmental professionals and incorporating information from more than 900 member survey responses, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) new two-volume comprehensive ‘The Safety Professionals Handbook’ is completed and now on sale.

Joel M. Haight, Ph.D., P.E., CIH, CSP, associate professor Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State University and editor-in-chief of ‘The Safety Professionals Handbook’ notes, “This is a valuable reference book. For information to be included it had to have been published or been proven by long-term, widely accepted or industry-wide practice. Each author was then asked to add the benefit of his/her vast experience through insight, supporting or challenging opinions, and results of the approach as well as his/her own creativity where appropriate.

“We enforced a rigorous peer review process in which each chapter was evaluated by three reviewers,” Dr. Haight said. “As we moved through the process of developing this book it became clear that it was going to be so thorough and cover the topic areas so well that it would be valuable to anyone in the safety profession at any level – students, new professionals, seasoned professionals and anyone needing to have access to additional information about safety and health.”

Including the authors and reviewers, close to 1,000 people volunteered their time on this book.

“The book is written by a group of people who cumulatively have nearly 2,000 years of work experience and is full of real-life examples. It was written by safety and health professionals for safety and health professionals,” Dr. Haight added. “This adds a real and applied nature to the book that comes from the foundation of the science and engineering of safety. Coupled with the insight and creativity of the authors, this has resulted in a book that will provide readers with the tools they need to learn the field and to continue its effective practice all the way to retirement.”

The Handbook features 79 chapters on such topics as management of safety engineering work, risk assessment, hazard control, physical hazards from an industrial hygienist perspective, fire dynamics, ergonomics, personal protection equipment (PPE) and cost analysis and budgeting. The Handbook is comprised of two volumes — “Management Applications” and “Technical Applications.”

The Handbook is for those who want to develop and implement or improve safety, health and environmental programs. It can also be used as a university text. The chapters are grouped into 12 topic areas which are: workers’ compensation; risk assessment and hazard control; fire prevention and protection; hazard communication and worker right-to-know; emergency preparedness; ergonomic hazards and repetitive strain injuries; personal protective equipment; safety and health training; environmental management; fleet safety; industrial hygiene; management of safety; and, engineering work.

Each of the 12 topic areas contain chapters on: regulatory issues; applied science and engineering; cost analysis and budgeting; benchmarking and performance criteria; and best practices. Cost analysis and budgeting information are also included in a chapter covering selected concepts of engineering economics and the financial aspects of safety.

The contributing authors–practitioners, researchers and academics—each average roughly 20 years of experience in the field. All chapters were peer reviewed. As an associate professor at Penn State, Dr. Haight teaches courses on several safety-related topics and conducts research in loss prevention and safety systems, human error, human factors engineering and biomechanics. He is a faculty member in the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was honored with the ASSE Outstanding Safety Educator Award, has served as the administrator of the ASSE Engineering Practice Specialty, received the first-place ASSE Professional Paper award for his article on human error and the aging workforce, founded ASSE’s first student section at Penn State and serves as faculty adviser. Previously, Dr. Haight worked in many capacities for the Chevron Corporation for 18 years before joining the faculty at Penn State eight years ago.

A percentage of the royalties for the Handbook will go towards the “American Society of Safety Engineers and Joel M. Haight Scholarship in Penn State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences” to be administered by the Penn State University. The scholarship will be for undergraduate students.

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. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education. For more information or to order a copy of “The Safety Professionals Handbook” go to or contact ASSE customer service at 847-699-2929 or

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