May 28, 1999
The Honorable Stephen F. Lynch, State Senator
Massachusetts General Court
312-D State House Building
Boston, MA 02133
Thank you for the opportunity to provide additional details related to professional recognition legislation for safety professionals in the state of Massachusetts. From discussions with committee staff, we understand an ASSE national letter supporting the legislation could be useful and significant to your deliberations. After reviewing the enclosed information we hope that you will share our belief that such legislation protects the workplace, the professionals working in the safety and health arena, and the worker.
First, let me, introduce the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). ASSE is the oldest and largest Society of Safety Professionals in the world. Founded in 1911, ASSE represents in excess of 32,000 dedicated safety professionals. Included in this membership are Certified Safety Professionals, Professional Engineers, ergonomists, academicians, fire protection engineers, system safety experts, industrial hygienists, physicians, occupational nurses, and an impressive collection of other disciplines, skills, and backgrounds. We pride ourselves on our dedication to excellence, expertise, and commitment to the protection of people, property, and environment on a world-wide basis. We point out that Massachusetts is a very significant state for ASSE, and ASSE has the following Chapters in the state:
Professional recognition legislation for safety professionals has now been enacted in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, and with the impending signature of Governor John Kitzhaber, in Oregon. Professional recognition legislation has either been introduced, considered, or worked on in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The Society understands that the state of Massachusetts is does not want to add additional work to a system which is already over-burdened. We are not asking for the profession to be regulated. We monitor ourselves through our own existing Code of Conduct. We are requesting legislation which would prohibit individuals from falsely using designations they have not earned. These certifications are world recognized and respected, and their fraudulent use is an affront to not only the professionals who have earned them, but also to the very safety of the workers for which they are responsible. Here are just three (3) examples indicating why it is important for the state of Massachusetts to implement legislation protecting the credentials of professionals who work in the safety arena. Some of the enclosed examples include:
These are just some examples of what can happen where there is not significant inclusion of professional recognition legislation for the relevant people and organizations who work in the field of safety. We hope this information exemplifies why this legislation needs to be passed in Massachusetts. We encourage you to actively support this initiative. We look forward to working with you on this initiative, and hope that by working together we can further improve the safety of the Massachusetts workforce.
Fred F. Fleming, CSP, OHST
Society President 1998-1999
Copy To: ASSE Massachusetts Chapters
ASSE Region 8 Vice President Doug Pastore
ASSE Executive Committee
ASSE Council of Professional Affairs
ASSE Governmental Affairs Committee
ASSE Massachusetts Contact: Mr. Jim Rowlings, CSP
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