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NIOSH, ASSE Extend Collaborative Partnership to Improve Workplace Safety, Health
Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
Diane Hurns, ASSE (847) 768-3413
December 17, 2004
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today signed an agreement that extends their formal partnership to improve safety and health conditions in U.S. workplaces.
Under the agreement, NIOSH and ASSE pledge to continue collaborative efforts to provide outreach, communication, and professional development opportunities, and to facilitate the transfer and use of effective workplace injury prevention measures. The partnership was established on Oct. 28, 2003, and the new agreement extends it for an additional three years.
"We are grateful for ASSE's continued partnership and support in our shared mission of preventing work-related deaths and injuries," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "Through this collaboration, NIOSH has already expanded its safety research portfolio significantly. We look forward to further successes as our teamwork continues."
"NIOSH is a dynamic agency with wide ranging talent and resources to conduct research that advances occupational safety and health and to communicate that vital research to the world," ASSE President Gene Barfield, CSP, said. "This is of great interest to our members, their employers and the workers they are committed to protect. NIOSH's work directly impacts more than 130 million American workers and we are proud to be able to continue our collaboration with NIOSH.
"Our members - occupational safety, health and environmental professionals in all industries - work day in and day out to ensure that the many millions of people who go to work every day return home safely," Barfield continued. "This agreement extends our reach in urging all businesses - large and small - to join us as we continue to identify risks at all workplaces, and develop and implement safety systems aimed at preventing fatalities, injuries and illness while on the job."
In 2003, more than 5,000 people died from on-the-job injuries and more than 4 million people suffered workplace injuries and illnesses.
It makes good business sense to protect people in the workplace, a key finding of the recent NIOSH program, "Economic Evaluation of Occupational Safety & Health Interventions at the Company Level". ASSE members note that preventing work-related injuries and illnesses cost far less than correcting them. Companies that invest consistently in safety realize positive bottom line results, reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, higher productivity, increased employee morale and a positive brand image. As illnesses, injuries and fatalities decline so to do health care and workers compensation costs.
As a result of the initial 2003 agreement, NIOSH and ASSE have strengthened several working relationships. For example, ASSE members participated in NIOSH's national symposium on "Steps to a Healthier U.S. Workforce" in October 2004. ASSE also appointed a NIOSH representative to serve on the ASSE Foundation Research Subcommittee that reviews and recommends research proposals for funding by the Foundation.
The renewed agreement calls on NIOSH and ASSE to partner in:
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. It is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information about NIOSH, call toll-free 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit the NIOSH web site, www.cdc.gov/niosh.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, Ill.-based ASSE is the oldest and largest safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 30,000 members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education. Check www.asse.org for more information on ASSE.