For Immediate Release Contact: Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413, dhurns@asse.org
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SAFETY ENGINEERS, OSHA, BUSINESSES TO SHOW TANGIBLE RESULTS OF INVESTING IN WORKPLACE SAFETY, HEALTH FOR NAOSH 08
Des Plaines, IL (January 18, 2008) —
DES PLAINES, IL (January 18, 2008) – Safety does pay and during North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week this May the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and more than 25 OSHA Alliance Program participants such as the American Heart Association, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), Dow Chemical, Abbott, the Brick Industry Association, the National Association of Home Builders and more representing thousands of businesses worldwide will illustrate how safety is not only good business, but saves lives.
These groups will be providing information, solutions and best practices throughout NAOSH Week. Additionally, ASSE, OSHA and CSSE will have a national NAOSH Week Kick-off in Washington, D.C., with events at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Capitol as well as countrywide. ASSE will also celebrate the annual Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day (OSHP) May 7 as well as recognize the winners of the sixth annual ASSE kids' "Safety-on-the-Job" poster contest during NAOSH Week.
"Effective management and implementation of workplace safety and health programs add significant value to individuals and companies by reducing the extent, severity and consequences of work-related injury and illness," ASSE President Michael W. Thompson, CSP, said. "We strive to demonstrate for businesses and employees alike the advantages investing in safety has on people, property and the environment. This focus and investment has a significant positive impact on the economy as well. "
For instance, a recent study done by Goldman Sachs JBWere showed valuation links between workplace safety and health factors and investment performance. The research showed 'that from November 2004 to October 2007 companies who did not adequately manage workplace safety and health issues underperformed those who did.' The results, according to Goldman Sachs JBWere, suggest workplace safety and health factors have potentially greater effectiveness at identifying underperforming stocks, allowing investors to better understand the risk and return of companies they are looking to invest in.
"Those are the investment numbers," Thompson added. "Each year more than 5,000 people lose their lives from on-the-job injuries, thousands more are injured and become ill and even more telling is the ultimate impact on families and communities. Many of these are preventable. During NAOSH Week we will be working to get valuable tools and information out to employees, employers and businesses worldwide with a focus on prevention. We know that every day millions of people go to and return home safely from work due, in part, to the efforts of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals and their employers."
During NAOSH Week ASSE will also be celebrating and recognizing the effort of these occupational safety, health and environmental professionals efforts by honoring long-time practitioners on the May 7, 2008 Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day.
The number one cause of workplace deaths continues to be roadway incidents, accounting for nearly one out of four fatal work injuries, followed by falls, then by being struck by objects. Workplace homicides was the fourth highest cause of on-the-job deaths with more than 80 percent of those workers being shot.
In a 'Prevention is the Cure' presentation (found at www.asse.org/naosh08), ASSE member Fay Feeney, CSP, ARM, notes an official from Oregon's SAIF Group Insurance was pleased with the agency's collaboration on safety with the construction industry in returning $11.7 million to member businesses and said, "yet, the real success story here is that these savings reflect the thousands of Oregon construction workers who went home injury-free day after day as a result of the hard work of all those involved."
In the same presentation Feeney noted that in 2003 OSHA, the US Postal Service, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NMHU) entered into an ergonomic strategic partnership aimed at reducing an existing high injury level. Following a program that included a small capital investment, simple work changes and more, the program realized several achievements including a 38 percent reduction in musculoskeletal disorders; a 40 percent reduction in handling and lifting injuries; a $1.8 million savings in workers' comp medical costs (a 39 percent reduction); and, a 71 percent reduction in work day loss at the Ergonomic Risk Reduction (ERR) sites.
Last July Laidlaw International Inc. noted that in the latest quarter the company continued to benefit from safety initiatives implemented in recent years. A report noted that insurance and accident claim costs, a major element in its operating expenses, had dropped 47 percent as a result.
"There are many success stories out there," Thompson said. "During NAOSH Week we will work to provide examples of how designing and putting into place strong safety management processes help keep employees safe, the company reputation in tact, customers happy and have a positive impact on a company's bottom line. We look forward to working with our members, OSHA, the OSHA Alliance Program partners and CSSE in getting the word out and hoping to make a difference."
Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to safety and health, including businesses, trade or professional organizations, unions and educational institutions, to leverage resources and expertise to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and share information with employers and employees to help prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 31,000 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 'Safety is Good Business', NAOSH and OSHP Day information and tools please go to www.asse.org/naosh08.

-- 30 --
--30--
American Society of Safety Engineers • 1800 East Oakton Street • Des Plaines, Illinois • 60018-2187
Phone 847.699.2929 • Fax 847.296.3769 • www.asse.org