Business professionals across all industries join trade associations to enhance their careers, and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is the oldest society of occupational safety and health professionals in the world.
While ASSE is a private organization, it has developed an ongoing network of subject matter experts in the discipline who have been influential in establishing standards for the industry over the years. Besides its contributions to the field of workplace safety and health, ASSE supports the professional development efforts of its individual members.
The association also promotes excellence within the discipline of health and safety by recognizing outstanding achievement of safety practitioners through its awards and honors program. ASSE sponsored committees assist in the development and maintenance of safety standards for occupations in a number of industries as described below.
Workers within the construction industry are exposed to more potentially hazardous situations than nearly any other segment of workers. Subsequently, the development and maintenance of safety standards within the construction industry have been high priority activities for safety related government agencies and private organizations like ASSE for many years. One of the construction operations standards that ASSE has drafted is used to help construction managers to perform pre-project safety and health planning. These planning activities include identifying potential hazards that workers are likely to face during the completion of building projects and taking measures to reduce or eliminate those risks. Providing training for construction project team members about the company’s safety and health procedures prior to project start is one example of construction hazard risk mitigation.
Safe Working and Walking Surfaces
When actual work is being done, work space surfaces and walk ways are more likely to become cluttered, dirty or hazardous. ASSE works with organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set forth safety requirements for work environments that may experience wet or greasy floors, falling objects from open stair cases or blocked walking paths due to the use of portable factory machines. These standards help industrial operations managers to create plans for cleaning up spills, installing safety guard rails for open stairs and keeping factory machinery out of clearly marked walking paths within work environments.
Personal Protective Equipment
The use of chemicals has become a part of everyday life in post industrialized societies. They are used to create all types of building materials for offices, homes, automobiles and boats. However, the laboratory and factory workers who must work with chemicals to produce durable goods are often exposed to life threatening toxins. ASSE has standards pertaining to personal protective equipment that mandate the use of certain types of clothing and devices that reduce the risk of harm to workers who are exposed regularly to chemicals, gases and even radiation. These safety requirements also extend to laborers who encounter excessive heat, light and noise while they work. A common example of the implementation of an ASSE standard pertaining to personal protective equipment is the use of respiratory masks by workers who apply paint to factory made products.
ASSE members are often some of the first in the industry to be made aware of new and revised safety standards. Through the ASSE resources available to them, they are also better equipped to meet the challenges of a competitive, 21st century job market. The American Society of Safety Engineers offers its members distinctive networking opportunities and educational tools that allow them to develop portable skills for a global job market.