Diane M. Hurns
(847) 768-3413


      DES PLAINES, IL (March 21, 2000) - International interest in safety continues to grow, as evidenced by the recent information-gathering tour of the U.S. by representatives from the Japanese Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) which included a fact-finding stop at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) last week. Yukata Nakazawa, manager of JISHA's research division, and Mikimasa Ishii, manager of JISHA's management system division, met March 16 with ASSE staff to discuss safety certification processes, certificate programs, and international safety and health issues.

     The JISHA representatives were particularly interested in the basic guidelines for attaining and retaining designations such as the CSP (Certified Safety Professional) and OHST (Occupational Health and Safety Technologists), and the government's role and influence in the accreditation process.

     "The Japanese currently have some certificate programs, but are considering the development of more advanced programs in the safety arena," Tim Fisher, ASSE's manager of professional affairs and standards, said. During the meeting, ASSE staff explained the history of ASSE's relationship with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, as well as the Society's role in the certification process as a non-credentialing body. The groups also discussed the proposed ANSI Z590 standard, "Criteria for Establishing Levels of Competence and Certification in the Safety Profession" in addition to the "National Registry of Safety Professionals and Other Registrants." ASSE is committed to seeing the ANSI Z590 standard promulgated and implemented in its ongoing effort to establish, influence, promote and maintain effective standards for the protection of people, property and the environment around the world.

     In addition to ASSE, the delegation met with representatives from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. Founded in 1911, ASSE is the world's oldest and largest professional safety organization with 33,000 members.

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