In late July, ASSE submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, which was holding a hearing on combustible dust—primarily focused on OSHA’s efforts to address this long-recognized workplace hazard. Congressional interest was piqued this year following an explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, GA, that killed 13 workers and injured 40.
In its statement, ASSE urges caution in moving ahead to address hazardous dust risks legislatively without developing a deeper understanding of current OSHA standards, their enforcement and the approach taken through national consensus standards. ASSE agrees with the approach taken in a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives seeking an OSHA standard no less effective than the NFPA 654 voluntary consensus standard. However, the Society also calls for inclusion of measures to address OSHA’s inadequate inspection resources and inspector training on dust issues; help for employers to deal with 17 different OSHA standards related to hazardous dust; inclusion of related NFPA standards; and an extension of the deadline for an OSHA standard from 18 months to 24 months.
ASSE has approved a new Fire Protection Practice Specialty in response to a growing interest in the fire protection area of the SH&E industry. Previously, the fire protection group was a branch of the Engineering Practice Specialty. It is the first branch to become a practice specialty under the current ASSE Council on Practices and Standards guidelines established several years ago.
Fire Protection Practice Specialty Administrator Frank Baker, CSP, CFPS, says the initial goals of the group are to continuously improve its technical publication, Fireline; build web-based resources in conjunction with key issues; and develop a resource network of technical experts who can participate on an e-mail distribution list to help members answer challenging questions.
“We have assembled a fantastic group of volunteers on our advisory committee, representing a wide variety of expertise,” says Baker. He also adds that as with any volunteer organization, the amount of participation influences the services the group can provide. “We are always looking for professionals with an interest in fire safety to write technical articles, volunteer for our committees and recruit new members. The more members we have the larger and more diverse our own network of technical expertise becomes and the more of a service we can be . . . as a whole.”
After a successful NAOSH Week this year, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead. NAOSH Week 2009 is set for May 3-9, and Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day is May 6. Encourage kids who are ASSE members’ children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or who attend chapter-sponsored schools to start thinking about a poster to submit for the 7th Annual ASSE Safety-on-the-Job kids’ poster contest. The contest opens Friday, Sept. 19 and runs until Feb. 14, 2009.
ASSE Foundation (ASSEF) will offer more than $135,000 in scholarships and professional development grants in 2009. These programs are open to students pursuing SH&E degrees and to ASSE members and safety professionals working to advance their credentials. This year, ASSEF has broadened the criteria so more students will be eligible. Students can now receive consecutive awards from year to year, and the graduation date requirement is now May 2009 or later, which allows graduating seniors to apply for scholarships. Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2008; awards will be announced by April 1, 2009.
ASSE’s Solutions in Construction Safety Symposium, scheduled for Nov. 20-21, is an opportunity to learn the most effective practices and solutions from recognized industry experts and leaders. The symposium will be held in Scottsdale, AZ, and it will focus on providing approaches and solutions to challenging issues—avoiding deaths and injuries related to cranes and falls, electrical accidents and workplace substance abuse. Attendees will learn how to identify resources to assemble a qualified safety team, implement solutions to reduce accidents, use leading indicators to measure safety performance, and increase knowledge of industrial hygiene, security, risk management and other safety fields. Symposium highlights include:
keynote speaker T. Shane Bush and special presentation speaker Jay Greenspan;
a panel presentation on the safety challenges and triumphs of grand-scale construction projects;
more than 20 concurrent and general sessions;
roundtables to discuss construction issues;
a mini-expo that offers information on the latest products and services.
The Z117 Accredited Standards Committee will conduct a public review of the proposed revised draft standard, “Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces” (ANSI/ASSE Z117.1-2003) until Oct. 6. The Z117.1 Public Review Package costs $65 and includes:
a proposed/revised Z117 standard with annotated changes;
a current ANSI/ASSE Z117.1-2003 standard;
ANSI Z117.1-1995 standard (historical document);
ANSI Z117.1-1989 (historical document);
ANSI Z117.1-1977 (historical document);
a comments template.
The Women In Safety Engineering (WISE) Mentoring Program allows experienced safety professionals to assist new or potential safety professionals in understanding the profession and obtaining certifications. The program’s goal is to encourage and empower women to identify and develop skills to more effectively advance their career objectives.
Women who are changing careers, working toward a professional certification, are new to the industry, returning to the workforce or looking to expand their knowledge make ideal candidates to be paired with a mentor. Women who have SH&E experience, have negotiated career changes or left and returned to work are ideal candidates to be a mentor.
The program is ongoing with matches made in March and September each year. The mentoring relationships continue for 1 year, with an option to continue for another year by mutual consent. The program will be driven by the mentee, beginning with identification of her goals. Both parties will have regular meetings, phone calls or e-mails.
Becoming part of ASSEF’s Legacy Trust is a great way to give back to the SH&E profession. Members can participate through a bequest in their wills or through a wealth-replacement trust in their life insurance policies. Making a planned gift is very easy—usually only requiring a few sentences in a will. Through the Legacy Trust, members can leave their mark on the profession through scholarships, research grants, professional development grants, fellowships, accreditation support programs and other endowment naming opportunities. ASSE’s Legacy Trust program has doubled in size over the past year—now boasting 14 members. Learn why ASSE member Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH, decided to participate in this unique planned giving program.
As part of its commitment to protecting people, property and the environment, ASSE offers many online resources. ASSE’s online newsroom provides members with safety tips on various industry issues. Some recent postings include farm safety tips, business resumption safety tips following storms and on-the-job heat protection tips.
With the upcoming Farm Safety and Health Week on Sept. 21-27, ASSE has updated its 2007 farm safety tips to help prevent tragic injuries and illnesses, especially among young farmers.
In the wake of recent storms and flooding, the business resumption tips offer communities and business owners advice on how to safely resume operations following such disasters. ASSE President Warren Brown notes that although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, businesses should perform a hazard evaluation and assessment and consider options such as implementing an emergency and procedures plan, and having a qualified professional evaluate the structural integrity of the facility.
The tail end of the summer months may still find some workers struggling to keep cool. ASSE’s heat protection tips are designed to help employers prevent heat-related illnesses and injuries. The tips also direct readers to OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional advice on how to prevent heat exposure.
ASSE is offering instructors’ guides to accompany the two-volume The Safety Professionals Handbook. Available at no cost to university or corporate instructors who have adopted the book as the primary text for students enrolled in their courses or seminars, the guides include questions and answers for all chapters in both volumes. Instructors interested in the guides should submit a request online or contact ASSE’s Mike Burditt or Jeri Stucka.
ASSE’s Kuwait Chapter, one of the Society’s fastest-growing chapters—49.6% last year—will sponsor its Fifth International Professional Development Conference and Exhibition March 17-19, 2009. The theme of the conference is “Moving to Sky.” The planning committee is seeking two types of proposals—paper presentations and poster presentations. Senior-level viewpoints are welcome, as are how-to approaches or case studies. Topics of interest include occupational health, process safety management, loss prevention, sustainability, social responsibility and industrial security. Electronic submission is encouraged. Abstracts are due Sept. 30, 2008.
|Safety goggles and hardhats were presented to the Monongalia County habitat Director Mark Kidder (back left) by ASSE's Northern West Virginia Chapter officers John Etherton, Daniel Della-Giustina, Mike Klishis and West Virginia University Student Chapter Member Ashley Ashby.|
ASSE’s Northern West Virginia Chapter recently donated safety goggles and hardhats to the Monongalia County Habitat for Humanity in Morgantown, WV. The donation resulted from a safety review of a Habitat home-building worksite by West Virginia Univeristy student Ashley Ashby, an ASSE student member. The safety gear was specifically identified in her report that assessed the hazards, risks and needed protective measures at the jobsite.
|ASSE Nigeria Chapter members, including Chapter Delegate Felix E.K. Nakpodia (third from left), at Safety 2008.|
ASSE’s Nigeria Chapter was well-represented at Safety 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. The chapter has 80 members and was chartered during the Global Task Force meeting on June 23, 2007.
The latest additions to ASSE's Honor Roll.
ASSE’s Loss Control Experience Symposium will be held Oct. 7-8 at CNA headquarters in Chicago.
ASSE’s newsroom website now features a “translate this page” option.
ASSE and ASTM have teamed to create a compendium of slip, trip and fall prevention standards.