ASSE calls for more action to improve occupational safety

As the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) enters into its second century, president Terrie S. Norris has issued a call for more action to the occupational safety, health, and environmental profession.

"As we move into the next 100 years of protecting people, property and the environment, we face many challenges," Norris said. "Despite the dedicated efforts of ASSE’s members, employers, workers, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the fact that fatalities are not significantly decreasing should be a call for action, not complacency."

Norris added that businesses need to be reminded to resist cutting back on occupational safety and health systems. He also noted that stakeholders in occupational safety and health need to work together to make sure the economy, jobs, and corporate bottom lines can benefit from a safe and healthy workforce.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,547 workers were killed on the job in 2010, compared to 4,551 the year before. Norris stated that this "statistical plateau" of worker deaths is not an achievement, and more must be done to protect American workers.

To help prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses, OSHA requires employers to provide employees with proper safety products relevant to the job being performed. This personal protective equipment can include hard hats, fall protection, and ear plugs.

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