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This Month in Safety

The modern occupational safety and health movement began in 1911, shortly after the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that claimed the lives of 146 garment workers who could not escape due to unsafe working conditions.  The American Society of Safety Engineers was formed in October of 1911, and began a new era of focus on workplace safety and health for the protection of people, property and the environment.  As ASSE celebrates its 100th Anniversary, it is important to remember how far we have come in the fight to bring the number of workplace fatalities down to zero.  The safety milestones on this page represent a legacy of advancements in safety and health for the protection of all workers.  Through tragedies, technological advancements and changes in the evolution of business, there is much to be learned about how far we have come, and where we are headed during the next 100 years.

To view ASSE's new 100th Anniversary film, visit or visit for the closed caption version.

For more information about ASSE's 100th Anniversary and upcoming events, please visit

September 1 – 10

September 1, 1979 The American space probe Pioneer 11 is the first spacecraft to visit Saturn when it passes the planet at 21,000 km.
September 1, 1985

The wreckage of the RMS Titanic is located by an American-French team.

September, 1988

The Student Section of Northern Illinois University was chartered.

September 4, 1988

West Virginia University Student Section of the Northern West Virginia Chapter was chartered.

September 7, 1919

U.S. Federal employees win the right to Workers’  Compensation by the Federal Employers Liability Act.

September 7, 1999 A 5.9 earthquake hits Athens, killing 143, injuring more than 500 and leaving 50,000 without homes.
September 8, 1988

Yellowstone National Park is closed for the first time in history due to raging forest fires.

September 8, 1994

USAir Flight 427 crashed in clear weather on its way to Pittsburgh International Airport, killing 132 passengers and crew and resulting in one of the most extensive aviation investigations in history.

September 9, 1966 The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
September, 2001 The Greater Houston Area Student Section of the Gulf Coast Chapter was chartered.
September, 2003 ASSE sponsors the first annual kids “Safety on the Job” poster contest.
September, 2004 ASSE sponsors its second “Safety on the Job” poster contest.
September, 2005 ASSE sponsors its third “Safety on the Job” poster contest.
September, 2006 ASSE sponsors its fourth “Safety on the Job” poster contest.
September, 2008 ASSE sponsors its sixth “Safety on the Job” poster contest.  It breaks a record by receiving 1,000 posters from the U. S. and international countries.
September, 2009 ASSE sponsors it seventh “Safety on the Job” poster contest.
September, 2009 Kilgore Jr. College Student Section of the East Texas Chapter was chartered.
September, 2010 ASSE sponsors its eighth “Safety on the Job” poster contest.

September 11 – 17

September 11, 2001 Workplace safety changes forever when 2,886 work-related fatalities resulted from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 2,198 workers and 412 rescue workers were killed in New York City; 125 workers were killed at the Pentagon, 151 workers were killed on the planes that crashed in PA, VA and New York City.
September 13, 1944

Colorado (Denver) chapter was chartered.

September 15, 1982 Middle East (Saudi Arabia) chapter was chartered.
September 15, 1961 Hurricane Carla hits Texas with winds of 175 mph.
September 16, 1911 Nine people died and 14 others  suffered from serious injuries as the result of one of the Syracuse, NY auto race catastrophe where a Knox racer jumped from the track and plunged into the crowd.

September 18 – 24

September 20, 1957

Greater Baton Rouge and Chattanooga chapter was chartered.

September 20, 1974

Alaska (Anchorage) chapter was chartered.

September 21, 2001 In Toulouse, France an explosion at the AZF fertilizer factory killed 29 and injured 2,500.
September 21, 1921 A tower silo storing 4,500 tons of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded at a BASF plant in Oppau, now part of Ludwigshafen, Germany, killing 500–600 people and injuring about 2,000 more.
September 22, 1993 A barge hit a railroad bridge near Mobile, AL, causing a deadly Amtrak train wreck where 47 passengers lost their lives.
September 23, 1946 East Tennessee (Knoxville) chapter was chartered.
September 23, 2001 13 miners were killed when a cave-in caused a release of methane gas that sparked two major explosions at the Jim Walter Resources No. 5 Coal Mine, 40 miles south of Birmingham, AL.

September 25 – September 30

September 26, 1911

A Chicago & Northwestern passenger train crashed into a hayrack load with 31 young people, killing 12 of them and injuring eight others.

September 28, 1962 The Paddington tram depot fire destroys 65 trams in Brisbane, Australia.
September 29, 1978

Piedmont (Greenville, SC) chapter was chartered.

September 29, 2005 Western Australia chapter was chartered.
September 30, 1999

Japan’s second worst nuclear accident occurred at a uranium reprocessing facility in Tokai-mura, northeast of Tokyo.