2011 is the centennial year for ASSE, and the association plans a big celebration at its conference.

ASSE's 'Century of Safety' Film Debuts

Beginning with the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City, the 21-minute film "tells the story of how and why we are safer at work today" and how the occupational safety, health, and environmental profession developed.

Is it too early to predict a 2012 Oscar for "American Society of Safety Engineers -- A Century of Safety"? Probably, but the safety, health, and environmental professionals who visit this website will nonetheless enjoy the new ASSE film and share it with colleagues. The 21-minute film "tells the story of work safety and tragedy through the decades and why we are safer today," according to ASSE, as well as how the profession developed and the roots of today's workplace safety systems.

The film is part of ASSE's 100th anniversary being celebrated this year. Now with more than 32,000 members worldwide, it will celebrate the centennial throughout the year -- including June 12-14 at the annual conference in Chicago.

The film, narrated by Chicago-based actor Alan Wilder, opens with the March 25, 1911, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City that killed 146 people. ASSE was founded within months of that tragedy. ASSE produced the documentary as part of its work to raise awareness about the importance of workplace safety to everyone. ASSE members and non-members featured in the documentary discuss the past and future of all facets of workplace safety.

ASSE President Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, says in it, "One area that I've seen the profession change over the years is that it is beginning to focus on the business of safety. Whereas also demonstrating to the employer that safety is just not compliance or regulatory driven; that you as a profession or professional have to demonstrate the financial benefits to an organization."

"I don't know if it's genetics because I'm a third-generation safety engineer, but I know I've made a difference in the past and I know I can make a difference in the future. And that's a big driving factor," says Lawrence J. H. Schulze, Ph.D., PE, CPE, past president of the ASSE Gulf Coast chapter and associate professor in the University of Houston Department of Industrial Engineering. "It's a great joy when you know you can make a difference in somebody's life."

"This is not only our anniversary year, but the kickoff, the launch pad to the next 100 years," said society President-Elect Terrie Norris, CSP, ARM, of Long Beach, Calif. "We have much more to do."

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