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Region III ASSE Members Participate In Houston Hispanic Work Safety Summit

Posted in on Mon, Apr 12, 2010

Des Plaines, IL (April 12, 2010) — American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Region III members from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas along with the ASSE Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW) group are providing their expertise for the Department of Labor’s (DOL) National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety to be held April 14-15 at the Hilton Americas Hotel and the “We Can Help Houston Safety Fair” to be held April 17 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall A – all in Houston.

The events help employers and workers by providing key workplace safety, health and environmental (SH&E) information and experience from SH&E professionals; state, city and federal regulators; consulate representatives; construction and contractor specialists; and more. The goal of the events, which may draw more than 800 people, are to continue to enhance workplace safety among Latino workers by providing key work safety resources and information from experts.

“We look forward to continuing our efforts in increasing workplace safety for all. These events give us an opportunity to share our expertise with those that may not understand the issues or the hazards,” ASSE Region III ARVP of Finance Cindy Lewis, of Houston, noted. “ASSE provides many resources for Hispanics and those that work with a Latin workforce on how to communicate workplace risks and solutions all aimed at enhancing workplace safety for all. And smart employers know that investing, developing and implementing effective workplace safety and health programs have a major positive impact on their business both tangibly and intangibly and on keeping employees safe.

“Education and knowing about work safety and health provides all workers with an edge when it comes to not only doing a good job, but preventing injuries and illnesses,” Lewis continued.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis will provide the keynote address April 14. Other officials addressing the attendees will be Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary, U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Dr. John Howard, director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

ASSE members will participate in many of the educational panels, safety and health classes, hazard recognition programs and provide on-the-spot insights for attendees and real-time experience from their work as safety and health professionals in all industries.

The ASSE SPALW group is assisting with the events as its objectives are to provide an arena for safety directors, managers, supervisors, consultants and others who have a common interest in this subject to discuss, research, develop and implement new suggestions, ideas and recommendations for issues related to the Latino workforce; to offer important and valuable networking experience whereby individuals interested in safety efforts for the Latino workforce can support each other through existing and new strategies; to create an avenue and welcome environment for individuals who have just entered the safety profession or who have existing safety responsibilities; to share and learn from one another using ASSE SH&E resources; to provide an environment and opportunity for one-on-one support through the development of a mentoring program in both English and Spanish; to lead by example in acknowledging our nation’s richness and ethnic diversity and to address issues of safety and cultural diversity, language, customs and traditions among different ethnic groups; and, to minimize and control accidents and fatalities.
“While workplace accidents nationwide are slowly decreasing, accidents among the Latino workforce were on the rise and we continue to help, through ASSE, to prevent those injuries and illnesses,” SPALW Chair Zeferino Banda
said. “Some of the reasons for this may be the misunderstanding of the cultural gap; communication barriers; and, inappropriate safety training for the Latino workforce. We are addressing those issues.”
For the past several years, ASSE has provided SH&E educational sessions at its annual Professional Development Conference (PDC) and Exposition along with information for employers and employees in helping, educating and working with those that don’t speak English in an effort to prevent injuries and illnesses.

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the 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 lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to, or

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