AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SAFETY ENGINEERS

1800 East Oakton Street
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018-2187
847.699.2929
FAX 847.296.3769
www.asse.org

March 19, 2004

John Henshaw, CIH
Assistant Secretary of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 20210

Re: Opportunities for Cooperation Between OSHA and ASSE on Motor Vehicle Safety Issues

Dear Assistant Secretary Henshaw:

On behalf of its 30,000 member safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) applauds you and the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) for its emphasis on proactively addressing motor vehicle fatalities and injuries.

Specifically, we would also like to express our appreciation to your staff for their recent overtures to ASSE to provide insight into the Safety and Health Topics Page, Motor Vehicle Safety . ASSE offered the name of Carmen Daecher to participate in that project. Mr. Daecher is a member who is a highly respected transportation safety expert and Administrator of ASSE's Transportation Practice Specialty. We look forward to this opportunity to expand the ASSE/OSHA relationship through the creation of proactive tools to address occupational safety issues. However, ASSE is involved in a variety of other transportation-related activities that offer still further opportunities for cooperation between OSHA and ASSE.

Transportation Practice Specialty

ASSE's Transportation Practice Specialty was created for all facets of transportation, including buses, airlines, fleets, railroad, shipping, public and private transportation. Its mission is to serve the needs and interests of safety and health professionals engaged in the transportation industry. Its purpose is to promote the advancement of the profession, foster the professional ability and development of its members, serve as a forum for exchange of knowledge, and provide an information resource for Chapters, Regions, and the Society as a whole. OSHA involvement and participation in this practice specialty would benefit the Agency and hopefully the Agency would see benefit in working with this group of dedicated professionals located nationwide.

In addition, the Transportation Practice Specialty publishes an award-winning newsletter, Transactions and has developed several innovative programs that take place concurrently with the annual PDC. The link for this practice specialty is at http://www.asse.org/dtran.htm .

ASSE Communication Opportunities

We encourage OSHA and its staff involved in transportation issues to submit articles for the newsletter or on the website. The distribution of the newsletter is in excess of 1,000 members having an interest in transportation related issues. This would be an excellent opportunity for OSHA to communicate directly with those SH&E professionals with responsibilities in this area. We would have significant interest in publishing articles addressing best practices and motor vehicle fleet operations.

ASSE's Professional Safety Journal is also another venue for communicating your message regarding traffic safety. We would strongly encourage OSHA to submit articles for our journal as a way to supplement OSHA's own publications and outreach materials. The selection of articles is a competitive process, but publishing information can be found at http://www.asse.org/bprofe4.htm

In addition, ASSE's Government Affairs area also sends out a regular, informal e-digest of public affairs developments. This tool is already in use to share OSHA information with respect to the ASSE-OSHA Alliance and can be an outlet for most any information that OSHA would like to share directly and quickly with our members.

Standards Activities

ASSE is the secretariat of the ANSI Accredited Z15 Standards Committee, Safety Requirements for Motor Vehicle Fleet Operations. In the past we unsuccessfully requested that OSHA name a representative to the committee. With OSHA's recent emphasis on proactively addressing traffic safety, the Agency may wish to reconsider its decision not to join the committee. The scope of the committee is as follows:

This Accredited Standard Committee sets forth safety requirements for the operation of motor vehicle fleets, including, but not limited to, nomenclature, definition, data gathering, statistical analysis, inspection, maintenance, training, and other related equipment and functions of motor vehicle fleet operations.

The Z15 ASC will meet at ASSE's headquarters in Des Plaines on March 30, 2004, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We encourage OSHA to send an observer to meeting. If you have any questions about ASSE's standards activities, please contact Tim Fisher, Director of Practices and Standards at 847/768-3411 or tfisher@asse.org .

Reaching Out to ASSE Members

ASSE's 150 chapters have consistently expressed an interest in having OSHA representatives speak during one of their monthly meetings as a way to build bridges to OSHA staff and enhance their own understanding of OSHA initiatives. As the Agency moves more into the traffic safety arena, you might wish to consider having OSHA representatives speak to our chapters on traffic safety related issues. Both our members and OSHA would benefit from this type of grassroots person-to-person communication.

ASSE is already preparing for its 2005 Professional Development Conference in New Orleans. This would be an excellent opportunity for OSHA to submit a proposal to speak on this issue during the conference. Selection of sessions is a competitive process, but if interested the application can be accessed on the ASSE website at:

http://www.asse.org/2005pdcallforpapers.pdf . In addition, each of ASSE's eight regions have their own professional development conferences and would likewise welcome OSHA participation.

More information about these opportunities to meet directly with our members can be directly obtained from Terry Wilkinson, Director of Member and Region Affairs at 847/768-3420 or twilkinson@asse.org .

Public Relations

As part of our ongoing Public Relations efforts aimed at helping reduce traffic crashes, ASSE has worked with the Transportation Practice Specialty members, ASSE Board members, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), officials from OSHA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (and Office of Hazardous Materials Safety), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State Emergency Response Commissions, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the U.S. Transportation Safety Board and many more partners in developing news releases, fact sheets and other communication tools. One such tool is our free “ASSE Hazardous Materials Safety Information Guide” (available at www.asse.org at ASSE News) distributed to the public, the media and our members.

ASSE Public Relations is also developing with our members a communication program aimed at increasing safe driving and would very much welcome including OSHA in this process. Please advise ASSE's Public Relations Manager Diane Hurns at 847/768-3413 or dhurns@asse.org if you are interested in participating. Also, ASSE Public Relations can assist your efforts by including any OSHA transportation related facts or tools in future news releases and activities such as during our annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week to be held this May 2 – 8.

Conclusion

Again, ASSE applauds your leadership in advancing transportation safety and pledges our assistance in bringing OSHA together with our members in these efforts. As we consider future directions of the Alliance with OSHA and ASSE, we may want to formalize inclusion of traffic safety activities in our cooperative efforts. As always, i f you or your staff should have any questions regarding any of the opportunities suggested in this letter, please feel free to contact ASSE's Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, Dave Heidorn, at 847/768-3402 or dheidorn@asse.org .

Sincerely,

James "Skipper" Kendrick, CSP

President

 

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