August 25, 1999

The Honorable John Edward Porter, Chairman
House Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies
C/O Katherine Fisher, Legislative Director
2373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-1310

ASSE NATIONAL STAFF SUPPORT OF THE SAFETY PROFESSION

Chairman Porter:

As you are aware from past experience, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has been committed to the protection of people, property, and the environment since 1911. We have enjoyed our relationship with your professional staff, and have worked with them before on numerous safety and health issues. Yesterday, this office sent a letter to you calling for assistance in maintaining, and hopefully increasing, the current level of appropriations for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The letter is the collective voice of our 33,000 members.

However, in addition to that letter it is also appropriate for the employees of ASSE to call on you as well. Over fifty (50) employees work for ASSE in areas ranging from chapter administrative services to delivering mail and packages. Government regulation is not the only driver of safety and health in the workplace, we know that, but it is an important one. We know from past experience that such a driver has been critical in helping protect workers and increasing awareness and appreciation of the safety profession. Our concern is that if the safety and health budget is significantly cut this national focus could be impaired, leading to increased number of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. We do not want to see this happen and implore you to take appropriate action.

While ASSE does not fall into your district, there are a number of employees here who are your constituents. The next time you are back in your district, we would like to extend an invitation for you to visit ASSE, meet the staff, and have lunch. If you would be interested in visiting we would also invite representatives from some of the other safety and health organizations in the area, (e.g.: National Safety Council) so we could hear directly from you what your plans are for federal safety and health agency appropriations.

This letter is being sent under my signature since I have the privilege of serving as Executive Director of this esteemed organization. However, since this issue is of such importance you will also see that the ASSE employees have also signed this letter en-masse as a way of indicating our concern with the current situation.

I thank you for your attention to this matter. Our hope is that you will be able to tour the Society at a date and time of convenience to you. If ASSE can be of any further assistance please feel free to contact the Society at 847/699-2929.

Sincerely,

Fred F. Fortman, Esq.
Executive Director

Copy To:        ASSE Board of Directors
                        ASSE Council on Professional Affairs
                        ASSE Chapter Governmental Affairs Chairs
                        ASSE Governmental Affairs Committee

FF/TRF/CORRS1225
encl.


     

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