New Award Recognizes Prevention through Design

On July 14, 2021, longtime occupational safety and health expert, Fred A. Manuele, received the inaugural Prevention through Design (PtD) Award for his outstanding foresight, wisdom, tireless effort and major accomplishments in preventing harm to workers by helping organizations avoid and prevent hazards.

The new PtD award recognizes individuals, teams, businesses, or other organizations that have improved worker safety and health by designing-out hazards or contributing to the body of knowledge that enables PtD solutions. The annual award is presented by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the National Safety Council (NSC).

PtD aims to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the inclusion of prevention considerations in all designs that impact workers. This includes the design, redesign and retrofit of new and existing work premises, structures, tools, facilities, equipment, machinery, products, substances, work processes and the organization of work. In addition to reducing the risk of serious injury and illness, significant cost savings are often associated with hazard elimination and the application of engineering controls to minimize risks.

NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. praised Manuele’s contributions to the field, “The work spearheaded by Fred Manuele was groundbreaking and inspired the NIOSH Prevention through Design effort. He has worked tirelessly to protect workers though design.”

Manuele is a pioneer in the PtD field. ASSP republished many of his influential professional papers in a book titled, Fred Manuele on Safety Management: A Collection from Professional Safety. Manuele also published numerous occupational safety and health textbooks that always included the need for designing-out hazards and the methods to do so.

“I can’t think of an individual who is more worthy than Fred to receive this first award,” said Deborah R. Roy, ASSP’s immediate past president. “I’ve known him for many years and served as a reviewer of the Prevention through Design standard that Fred guided. No one has been more dedicated or accomplished in this area of workplace safety and health.”

In 1995, Manuele led a focused 10-year NSC initiative, the Institute for Safety Through Design, which culminated in a textbook he co-authored titled, Safety through Design.

“Fred’s leadership at NSC and beyond has greatly advanced the field of design safety,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “We thank him for his myriad contributions to worker safety and congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”

In 2007, NIOSH and numerous partners launched a National Prevention through Design Initiative. Manuele volunteered to lead the effort to develop and approve a broad, generic voluntary consensus standard on PtD aligned with international design activities and practice. Under the standards-development arm of ASSP, the ASSP/ANSI Z590.3 Prevention through Design standard was published in 2011, reaffirmed in 2016, and is now under revision to expand its usefulness and impact worldwide.

Manuele has received many honors and awards for his accomplishments. He is an ASSP Fellow and a recipient of the NSC’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award. He is a former board member of ASSP, NSC and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, where he also served as president and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. In 2015, the University of Central Missouri presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. In 2016, Manuele received the ASSP President's Award for his dedication to advancing the practice of safety.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. For more information about NIOSH, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh.

The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a mission-based organization, NSC works to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing its efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. NSC creates a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

The American Society of Safety Professionals is a global association for occupational safety and health professionals. ASSP advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards and a professional community. For more information, visit www.assp.org.

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