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100 years

ASSE Fact Sheet


Founded in 1911, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is the oldest and largest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Based in Des Plaines, Illinois, ASSE has more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professional members who manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and the environment in all industries, government, labor and education. ASSE is a 501 (c) (6) nonprofit organization.

ASSE was founded in October in New York City after the March 25, 1911, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City. This fire resulted in the deaths of 146 garment workers – some caught in the factory and others who jumped from the ninth floor to their deaths. The factory fire exit doors were locked and reportedly, the only safety measures available for the workers were 25 buckets of water. This workplace tragedy led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and the development of several workplace safety initiatives.

Today, ASSE is a full-service organization for its members and the public, providing key information and action on occupational safety, health and environmental issues and practices. ASSE members work to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, to create safer work and leisure environments and to develop safer products, enhancing the quality of life.

These efforts lead to positive bottom line results for businesses as they realize a reduced rate of injuries and illnesses leading to a reduction in lost work time, absenteeism, workers compensation costs, health care costs, and lower employee turnover rates. They also experience increased production rates, increased employee morale and a positive corporate reputation.


ASSE has over 32,000 members located in 151 Chapters, 35 Sections and 60 Student Sections across the globe. Chapters and sections provide local professional development and networking. ASSE members are in 75 countries, including chapters in the Middle East, Kuwait, Nigeria, Western Australia and Egypt, along with a section in Ecuador.

ASSE members can join in multiple categories of membership including professional, member, international member, associate and student. The Society currently recognizes members with a BS degree and one of the following certifications or designations to be a Professional Member: P.E., CSP, CIH, CHMM, CHP, CPEA, CFPS, CRSP, CMIOSH, and CFIOSH.


ASSE, along with the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and U.S. federal agencies, sponsors North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH) each year in May. ASSE members and nonmembers, industry, trade organizations and corporations throughout the continent are host to community workplace safety and health activities during NAOSH Week. The ASSE board recently approved the creation of Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day that falls on the Wednesday of NAOSH Week each year (NAOSH, NAOSH).


ASSE is secretariat for several American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committees and projects. ASSE organizes the committees that develop and maintain the standard(s), ensures that the revision process is timely and in accordance with ANSI procedures and publishes the final product of the consensus process.

ASSE serves as Secretariat for the following committees:

  • Safety Requirements for Construction and Demolition Operations, A10
  • Protection of Floor and Wall Openings, A1264
  • Motor Vehicle Safety Operations, Z15
  • Confined Spaces, Z117
  • Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods, Z244
  • Fall Protection, Z359
  • Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training, Z490
  • Accepted Practices for Hydrogen Sulfide Training Programs, Z390
  • Competence and Certification in the Safety Profession, Z590
  • Guidelines for Mold and Fungi Control and Remediation for Worker Protection in Indoor Work Environments, Z690
  • Prevention through Design, Z790

ASSE is the Administrator for the U.S. Technical Advisory Groups (TAG) to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on fall protection and risk management. ASSE members serve on 40+ safety and health standards committees.


Members can participate in ASSE’s 16 Practice Specialties (PS) and six branches. Practice Specialtiesinclude Academics, Construction, Consultants, Engineering, Environmental, Fire Protection, Healthcare, Industrial Hygiene, International, Management, Manufacturing, Mining, Oil & Gas, Public Sector, Risk Management/ Insurance and Transportation. Branches include Agricultural, Ergonomics, Human Resources, Service, Training & Communications and Utilities. Members can also participate in the ASSE Common Interest Groups—Women in Safety Engineering (WISE), Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW), Blacks in Safety Engineering (BISE) and Young Professionals in SH&E.


ASSE provides a multitude of professional development programs to enhance and enrich the SH&E profession. Reviewed and accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), ASSE is an authorized provider of continuing education and provides continuing education units for the following:

  • Certification Preparation Workshops
  • Certificate in Safety Management
  • The Executive Program in Safety Management
  • The Annual Safety Professional Development Conference and Exposition
  • SeminarFest
  • Symposia

In addition, Technical Conference Calls, Webinars and on-site training are also offered. ASSE is a significant publisher of technical and management books.


Secondary Education — ASSE advances opportunities in occupational safety and health education by helping set educational standards and increasing the number of safety programs at the undergraduate and graduate collegiate levels. As a member of the Applied Science Commission of the ABET, Inc., ASSE’s Educational Standard Committee establishes safety curriculum critical for associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in safety. ASSE program evaluators visit schools to accredit their safety programs.

ASSE annually honors outstanding accomplishments in the profession. The highest ASSE honor, the Society Fellow, recognizes individuals with significant and career-wide contributions to the profession and to ASSE. Other awards include the Edgar Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) award and the Dr. William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator of the Year award.


Established in 1990, by and in partnership with the ASSE, the ASSE Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, generates funding and provides resources for scholarships, applied research, academic accreditation and related academic initiatives in order to advance the safety, health and environmental profession. Funding comes from ASSE, its chapters and regions, individual members and corporations. For more information visit


ASSE provides its members with a host of products and services including:

  • Professional Safety, ASSE’s monthly peer-reviewed journal features in-depth articles that cover a wide range of cutting-edge topics and focuses on innovative research and analysis of successful, real-world applications
  • Members Only section of the Society’s website offers ASSE members online access to the membership
    directory and network enhancing listserves as well as SH&E information
  • Localized and global media outreach and public relations programs on SH&E issues, the profession and members
  • Society Update, ASSE’s e-newsletter, shares the latest news, activities, upcoming events and member
  • Nexsteps® — an online career center where employers can post SH&E jobs and members can post resumes and find career counseling information
  • Global and localized networking and professional recognition
  • Proactive government affairs programs and activities at both the federal and state levels, including member-led alliances and partnerships with key federal safety agencies


ASSE is a founding member of the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations (INSHPO,, a resource for worldwide practitioner organizations to promote, develop and
access international occupational safety, health and environmental information.