As chief elected officer of the Society, ASSE's president promotes the advancement of the Society and the safety profession, and represents ASSE before members, other relevant professional societies and various governmental agencies. Professional Safety shares his latest thoughts on the Society, the profession and its practice.
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NAOSH Week is a powerful tool we can use to educate others on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace.
|2006-2007 ASSE President Donald S. Jones, Sr., MBA, PE, CSP|
North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week-which will be observed May 6-12-is a powerful tool we can use to educate others on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace. Last year, we partnered with many affiliated organizations-such as American Apparel and Footwear Association, Shipbuilders Council of America, NFPA, National Chicken Council, National Federation of Independent Businesses, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association-to share this important message with more than 30 million people and nearly 150,000 businesses worldwide-including those in countries such as Italy, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
NAOSH Week is a great opportunity to focus on improving attitudes toward workplace safety and health, and increasing the understanding of the importance of occupational safety. NAOSH Week activities also can foster a safety-minded culture, raise awareness, and improve communications among employees, safety committees and SH&E professionals. Whether you hold an event, distribute best practices information or brochures, or display NAOSH Week posters in your workplace or throughout your community, your support will make a difference.
This year, I encourage you to focus your NAOSH Week efforts on transportation safety. In the U.S., transportation-related incidents continue to be the leading cause of on-the-job deaths. In 2004, some 43% of the 5,703 workplace fatalities were transportation related. Overall, 6,159,000 traffic crashes were reported in 2005, causing 43,443 fatalities and 2.7 million injuries-and costing an estimated $250.6 billion.
Globally, the statistics are equally sobering. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 1.2 million people were killed in roadway crashes in 2002. Another 20 to 50 million are injured or disabled each year. The vast majority of these road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which WHO reports have seen a pronounced rise in numbers and rates since the 1970s. WHO estimates that road traffic injuries, currently the 11th leading cause of death worldwide, will rise to sixth place by 2020. More can and must be done to improve roadway safety and better protect people.
To help you organize NAOSH Week 2007 events and activities, ASSE has developed several tools, including best practices information, a special issue of the Transportation Practice Specialty's TransActions newsletter, the Preventing Roadway Crashes brochure and the NAOSH Week 2007 poster. To view and download these tools, visit www.asse.org/naosh07, where you also will find stories about the Society's NAOSH Champion Award winners and the events they organized last year.
ASSE members excel at implementing effective and comprehensive safety initiatives, including policies and programs designed to keep drivers safe and protect their employers' fleets. During NAOSH Week-and Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day (which is May 9)-take the time to publicize these types of activities, share safety ideas and solutions with local businesses and communities, and encourage workers, colleagues, friends and family to stay safe on the road.
Donald S. Jones, Sr., MBA, PE, CSP