Model Legislation Safety Professional Title Protection Act

An Act relating to the Safety profession; Enacting the Safety Professional Title Protection Act; providing Title Protection to the profession of Safety.

Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of (Insert State):

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act may be cited as the "Safety Professional Title Protection Act."

SECTION 2. PURPOSE

The purpose of the Safety Professional Title Protection Act is to provide legal recognition to the profession of safety as well as provide assurance to the public that individuals representing themselves as being involved in the profession of safety as safety professionals, have met the listed minimum qualifications, thereby protecting the public health and safety from harm.

SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS

[A] "Accredited College or University" is one that is accredited by one of the following accrediting agencies: Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. A college or university that is located outside of the United States will be considered on the basis of its accreditation status in the education system that has jurisdiction.

[B] "Accredited Program" is one that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

[C] "Associate Safety Professional (ASP)" is a person who has been recognized by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and whose recognition has not lapsed.

[D] "Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)" is a non-profit corporation established to improve the practice and educational standards of the profession of safety by certifying individuals who meet its education, experience, examination, and maintenance requirements.

[E] "Certified Safety Professional (CSP)" is a person who has been certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and whose certification has not lapsed.

[F] "Education" means a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in safety, engineering, chemistry, physics, or closely related physical or biological science.

or

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university that contains at least 60 semester hours in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, with at least fifteen (15) hours at the upper level. An unacceptable bachelors degree may be remedied by additional course work from an accredited college or university or by completion of a cognate (related) graduate degree.

[G] "Full-time professional safety experience" is experience in which safety accounts for, at least 50% of the position's activities. Safety shall include experience in conducting evaluations, providing recommendations, problem resolution, training programs, consultations, analyses of accident causes, system analysis, ergonomics, and other similar safety/health services. The individual shall have demonstrated work experience including the ability 1. Anticipate, identify and evaluate hazardous conditions and practices, 2. Develop hazard control designs, methods, procedures and programs, 3. Implement, administer and advise others on hazard controls and hazard control programs, 4. Measure, audit and evaluate the effectiveness of hazard controls and hazard control programs.

[H] "Occupational Health and Safety Technologist" is a person who by virtue of education, experience, and examination is jointly certified as such by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH).

[I] "Construction Health and Safety Technician" is a person who by virtue of education, experience, and examination is jointly certified as such by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH).

[J] "Safety Profession" is that science and discipline concerned with the preservation of human and material resources through the systematic application of principles drawn from such disciplines as engineering, education, chemistry, the physical and biological sciences, ergonomics, psychology, physiology, enforcement, and management for anticipating, identifying and evaluating potentially hazardous systems, conditions and practices; developing, implementing, administering, and advising others on hazard control design, methods, procedures, and programs.

[K] "Safety Professional" is a person who by virtue of his or her knowledge, skill, education, and training has acquired accepted competency in safety as demonstrated by meeting one of the following criteria:

  1. Possess certification from a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards. or
  1.  

    A Professional Engineer (PE), registered in the safety discipline from a state which offers specific examinations in Safety Engineering through the state body controlling/issuing engineering licensing and meeting the continuing education requirements of a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards. or

     

    Ten (10) years of documented professional safety experience in the safety profession in accordance with subsection [3][G], and meeting the continuing education requirements of a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards. or

     

    A bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree in safety from an accredited program, within an accredited college or university, and meeting the continuous education requirements of a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards. or

     

    A bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree in safety within an accredited college or university, eighteen (18) months of professional safety experience, and meeting the continuous education requirements of a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards. or

     

    A bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree in science or engineering within an accredited college or university and meeting the professional experience and continuous education requirements of a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards or

     

  2. Any bachelors degree from an accredited college or university and meeting the professional experience and continuous education requirements of a nationally recognized professional safety organization accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the Council of Engineering and Scientific Speciality Boards
SECTION 4. PROFESSIONAL REGULATION

Individuals shall meet the requirements/qualifications as set out in this act before such individual may represent themselves to the public as an: Associate Safety Professional, Certified Safety Professional, Occupational Health and Safety Technologist, Construction Health and Safety Technologist, or Safety Professional.

SECTION 5. ENFORCEMENT

It is an unfair practice for any person to represent themselves as an Associate Safety Professional, Certified Safety Professional, Occupational Health and Safety Technologist, Construction Health and Safety Technician, or Safety Professional unless they comply with the requirements of this Act.

or

A person who violates the provisions of this Act can be subject to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand ($1,000) dollars.

SECTION 6. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

No entity of state or local government shall by rule or otherwise prohibit or restrict the practice of safety or injury/illness prevention by any qualified individual who complies with the provisions established by or pursuant to this Act, except where authorized by state statute to regulate a specific activity that may include the practice of safety or injury/illness prevention.

SECTION 7. EXEMPTIONS

This Act does not apply to:

[A] A person employed as an apprentice under the supervision of an Associate Safety professional, Certified Safety Professional, Occupational Health and Safety Technologist, Construction Health and Safety Technician, or Safety Professional;

[B] A student of safety engaging in supervised activities related to safety;

[C] Any person legally regulated in this state under any other licensing act or regulation from engaging in the activities permitted under his or her license, provided he or she does not represent himself or herself to the public as an Associate Safety Professional, Certified Safety Professional, Occupational Health and Safety Technologist, Construction Health and Safety Technician, or Safety Professional.

[D] Individuals practicing within the scope of the meaning of safety or injury/illness prevention, so long as the individual does not use the title, initials, or represent themselves to the public as an Associate Safety Professional, Certified Safety Professional, Occupational Health and Safety Technologist, Construction Health and Safety Technologist, or Safety Professional.

Drafting Note - Section 7. This section assures other professions and safety practitioners that this Act will not restrict them from practicing. It allows individuals to perform safety functions, but prohibits individuals from calling themselves safety professionals. The importance of including this section can not be over-emphasized. Other professions must be assured that safety professionals are not attempting to limit the practice of these other professions or require people working in these professions to become safety professionals.

SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on (insert date)

     

ASSE Model Protection Bill Questions and Answers

  1. Why does ASSE support title protection?
  1. As this issue is brought up during title protection discussions in your Chapter please remember that the official ASSE Model Title Protection Act includes the title of "Safety Professional". The model bill is crafted in such a manner that all qualified members would be included. It is also important to note that title protection will do three (3) things for the safety profession. First, it provides official state recognition for the entire safety profession; second, it positions all safety professionals to be treated more equitably in the legislative/regulatory arena, and third, if ASSE does not take the initiative in defining the profession, there is the possibility that another entity will do it for us, and the outcome of such an action could be detrimental to our members and the safety profession overall.

    The GAC and ASSE staff are looking at ways of energizing the total ASSE membership and becoming more active in state-level governmental affairs. Success at this level will be crucial to maintain the integrity of the Society. The federal government is apparently stepping back, and letting the states reassert control. Title protection is an opportunity for you to take control of your profession, and ensure that you set the parameters of practice. Care and enhancement of the profession through title protection is paramount. It is up to you to proactively respond to this issue. During a title protection discussion involving ASSE and another safety and health organization, staff was told that if ASSE did not accept an alternative position we could be faced with action that would leave ASSE far behind. ASSE is the world's oldest and largest professional safety society. If we can energize our almost 33,000 members, and become proactive we can greatly improve the awareness of the Society, profession, and treatment of the entire ASSE membership.

     

    What does the model bill actually do?

    Title Protection is designed to recognize the safety profession. The model legislation provides for titles and key word definitions used by the profession, establishes legal recognition for the profession, and has the state legally protect the professional safety titles.

     

    How does the bill impact me as a safety professional?

    The legislation allows safety titles to be used only by those who meet the criteria outlined in the definitions that are part of the title protection legislation. In order for a person to call themselves a safety professional, they would be required to meet one of the seven (7) criteria.

     

    If I do not meet the criteria would I be excluded from working in the safety profession?

    Absolutely not - the bill does not prevent anyone from working in safety. It only protects the professional titles.

     

    What if I do not meet any of the listed criteria, but work in safety due to a transfer within my company? (e.g.: from Facility Services to Safety, Health, and Environmental Management).

    The bill would not have any impact such individuals as long as they do not refer to themselves as safety professionals.

     

    I do not meet the criteria, but my company recently gave me an assignment as the Safety Director. Can I use this title?

    Yes, the use of this title is not impacted by the legislation. The Society acknowledges that the use of the word safety cannot be controlled. Titles such as Safety Director, Safety Manager, Safety Consultant, Safety Practitioner, and Safety Representative are not impacted by the legislation. ASSE's objective is to establish sound criteria to indicate what constitutes a "Safety Professional".

     

    The Chapters in my state are considering a title protection initiative. Several other organizations have expressed interest in pursuing such legislation with ASSE. How do we decide which organizations should be included?

    The GAC suggests that you work with all organizations who have shown an interest in the bill (See GAC Handbook - Building Coalitions). Experience indicates that the more support you have before the bill is introduced, the greater your chances for success. The least desirable scenario is for a key stakeholder to show up at a legislative hearing and publicly oppose the bill. It is important to have a consensus on the legislation, and consensus requires discussion and negotiation. However, we also point out that consensus does not always mean inclusion. If organizations are requesting to have their designations and/or certifications added to the legislation, we recommend you proceed very cautiously. The Society does not want to be perceived as advancing the interests of other organizations/industries with the money and time of the membership. The general policy is to include only those certifications which are recognized by ASSE for professional member status. To become a professional member does not require possessing a certification, however, several certifications are mentioned in the Society guidelines. These certifications are Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), and Certified Health Physicist (CHP).

     

    Why didn't you recommend Certified Occupational Health Nurses, Professional Engineers, or some of the international designations recognized by ASSE?

    Nurses and Professional Engineers are already licensed by the states. However, we strongly recommend you work with both of these professional organizations when pursuing a title protection initiative. We recommend not including international certifications in state legislation for obvious reasons, (e.g.: trade and treaty obligations).

     

    If a certifying safety organization is accredited by one of the two (2) bodies mentioned in the bill would they be included?

    Yes they would. BCSP is not the only accredited, nationally recognized safety certification organization. The Society is committed to recognizing the quality of a certification, and the consensus is that if a certifying body can be accredited by one of the recognized bodies it should be included in the bill.

     

  2. Is ASSE trying to control the safety profession through title protection?

    Absolutely not - the Society is trying to set some type of measurable criteria for safety professionals. The key issue is that if federal/state governmental agencies set certification criteria as part of a regulation, we will not be successful in advocating the inclusion of almost 33,000 people simply because they belong to ASSE and claim they are qualified. Section 7 of the model legislation clearly indicates the Society does not intend to use the bill to detrimentally impact any organizations or individuals.

     

ASSE Position Statement on Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a national issue which affects the safety profession and members of ASSE. The Society believes that efficient/effective ergonomic systems benefit the American private sector. Eliminating ergonomic hazards increases productivity, quality, profits, and the country's ability to compete on a global level. To these ends, the American Society of Safety Engineers has taken the following position:

The Society believes there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to ergonomics. Control measures should be designed to eliminate ergonomic stresses specific to the results of the ergonomic evaluation and; provide for effective follow-up mechanisms. Safety and health professionals, ergonomists, engineers, and other trained specialists can provide valuable assistance in various aspects of the improvement process.

Efficient/effective systems are more successful when there is a partnership between management and employees. Successful ergonomic systems incorporate employee participation and results in discussion across all levels and directions of an organization.

The Society supports the use of voluntary national consensus standards when appropriate, and is currently a member of the Z365 Standards Committee, the American National Standard addressing cumulative trauma disorders. The Society recommends reviewing the standard if there will be public sector policy making addressing ergonomics.

Research should continue in both the public and private sectors. Public sector agencies, such as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), should continue researching ergonomic related issues and identifying sound hazard control mechanisms.

If research and data justifies the need for a mandatory federal standard, the Society's position is that the standard should:

  1. Be performance based and not use a one-size-fits-all approach to ergonomics.
  1.  

    Require an ergonomic evaluation, and that the evaluation be performed by a person competent in ergonomic related issues. Emphasis should be placed on improvement versus overly detailed specifications. Safety and health professionals, ergonomists, engineers, and other trained specialists can provide valuable assistance in the evaluation process.

     

  2. Be created through private/public sector partnership, such as the negotiated rulemaking process, or the multiple stakeholders input process as exemplified by the proposed OSHA Safety and Health Program Standard.

 

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