OSHA, ASSE Renew Alliance at Safety 2008

OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers extended their alliance last week in Las Vegas at the conclusion of the afternoon Plenary Session June 10. Both OSHA chief Edwin J. Foulke Jr. and ASSE President Michael W. Thompson, CSP, expressed the continued goal of fostering a culture of prevention for safety and health hazards at United States jobsites.

OSHA said the alliance will remain focused on ergonomic hazards, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and motor vehicle safety. OSHA and ASSE also will address issues impacting non-English speaking and youth employees, and will continue to promote the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week.

"The American Society of Safety Engineers is one of our country's leading voices in the campaign for occupational safety and health, and we are very pleased to continue teaming up with them," Foulke said. "I am proud of the joint effort by OSHA and ASSE to promote workplace hazard awareness during the past five and a half years, and we are confident that our cooperation will continue to bring rewards in the form of safer, healthier American employees."

The alliance has featured OSHA and ASSE working together to develop and disseminate information that helps to protect the health and safety of employees through outreach and communication. In 2007, for instance, ASSE representatives, along with other OSHA alliance program participants, helped develop a Safety Alert document for electrocution and shock hazards in shipyard employment. OSHA and ASSE have also worked together to sponsor a number of events and exhibits, including the NAOSH Week kick-off events in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, aimed at fostering safe and healthful working environments.

In addition, a number of local ASSE chapters have established cooperative agreements with local OSHA offices. These alliances provide ASSE members and others with best practices and technical knowledge while working together to raise awareness about occupational hazards.

"ASSE greatly values the positive relationships and resources for our members and others that have grown out of our alliance with OSHA," said ASSE President Michael W. Thompson. "The agency has been a committed partner to this agreement, resulting in unprecedented involvement of the safety and health community in NAOSH Week and in opportunities for our members to contribute to OSHA's outreach activities and interact with its leaders and staff. The alliance program in general had resulted in a more open OSHA that has honed its ability to reach out to our members and their employers without taking away from the agency's enforcement capabilities. We look forward to a continued positive and productive relationship with the signing of this agreement."

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