For Immediate Release Contact: Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413, dhurns@asse.org
May Occupational Safety & Health Professional Day a Chance to Thank Unsung Heroes
Des Plaines, IL (March 12, 2007) — Last year the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Board of Directors approved the creation of an “Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day” (OSHP) to recognize the ongoing efforts of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals to protect people, property and the environment. This year OSHP Day will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. It falls every year on the Wednesday of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), which runs from May 6- 12, 2007.

“They are the ones that make sure you go to and come home from work safely and without injury every day,” ASSE President Donald S. Jones Sr., P.E., CSP, said.

Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day also aims to further raise awareness and pride in the occupational safety, health and environmental profession, a profession where one is qualified by education, training and experience, who identifies hazards and develops appropriate controls for these hazards all aimed at preventing occupational injury, illness and property damage. Safety and health professionals follow a Code of Professional Conduct and bring to bear technical knowledge, skill and expertise along with management abilities developed through years of continued education and practical experience. Currently there are about 100,000 occupational safety, health and environmental practitioners in the U.S. today in what is one of the most challenging, growing and rewarding career fields.

Occupational safety and health practitioners have existed for a long time, but formed ASSE in 1911 following the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City on March 25, 1911. On that date nearly 150 women and young girls died in the factory fire because of locked fire exits and inadequate fire extinguishing systems. This was a major turning point in worker safety history as the tragedy led to changed government regulations and new worker protection laws.

Today millions of people go to and return home safely from work every day due, in part, to the work of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals.

"We still have a long way to go in increasing workplace safety for all," ASSE Past President Eddie Greer, CSP, of Texas, said. "Many women perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in 1911, yet even 80 years later we had 25 workers die and 49 more injured when a fire broke out at a chicken processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. The plant doors were padlocked trapping the workers inside. We are making a difference and workplace fatalities have gone down over the years, but we need to reach the businesses who don't have or ignore workplace safety and health processes."

“We take time this May 9 to say thanks to those invisible heroes, who work to make your workplace safer and healthier,” Jones said. “It doesn’t happen often, but when a call is made to a family member that their loved one has been injured or killed on the job several lives change forever. Work with your occupational safety and health professionals to make sure you and your family never receives that call.

“Thank your occupational safety and health professional today,” Jones said. “It will mean more than you know.”

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest and largest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its 30,000 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 check ASSE’s website at www.asse.org/newsroom or www.asse.org/naosh07.
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American Society of Safety Engineers • 1800 East Oakton Street • Des Plaines, Illinois • 60018-2187
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