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WISE Honors D.C.’s Deborah Berkowitz as One of 100 Women Making a Difference in Safety

Posted in on Thu, Aug 4, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) Common Interest Group has honored Deborah Berkowitz of Washington, D.C., for making a difference in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field as part of the WISE ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in Safety’ project.  Women from around the world and throughout history have been honored for their dedication to protecting people, property and the environment and for going above and beyond  to make a difference.

Berkowitz is currently the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and assists in making changes to benefit the health, safety and well-being of millions of workers across the U.S.  She formerly served as the Health and Safety Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, a Health and Safety Specialist, as well as the Director of the Health and Safety Program and the Food and Allied Service Trades Department.  Prior to joining OSHA in August, 2009, Berkowitz served as an independent consultant, providing policy and capacity-building services to nonprofits and the Federal government.

With a strong demonstrated commitment to the safety and health of workers across the nation, Berkowitz has gone above and beyond in her service to create and fortify programs for the benefit of the U.S. workforce.  In 2010, Berkowitz coordinated the first National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety in Houston, TX, with more than 1,000 participants coming together to discuss critical issues.  She also organized the first “OSHA Listens” event, where stakeholders shared their comments, concerns and suggestions with OSHA leaders.  In her current role with OSHA, Berkowitz continues to work diligently for the benefit of worker safety and health and promotes transparency through ensuring the most up-to-date information is available to all.

The ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in Safety’ project honors women who, throughout history, have dedicated their careers to promoting innovation in safety, health and environmental issues.  The valuable contributions of women to the SH&E profession have been recognized through this project and later this year WISE will consolidate the profiles of all 100 honorees into a single publication, titled 100 Women, Making a Difference in the Safety, Health and Environmental Profession as part of ASSE’s (1911-2011) 100th anniversary.

WISE was established to foster the advancement of women in the SH&E profession.  The group provides professional development opportunities, evaluates the ongoing state of women in SH&E, mentors women in the profession, provides opportunities for women to obtain professional certifications and promotes the development and peer review of written material related to issues specific to women in the SH&E workplace.  For more information about WISE and upcoming events, please visit

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 and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go to



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