Today's News

ASSE says unchanged worker fatality rate should be a “call to action”

August 31, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

ASSEA U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released last week that showed little change in occupational fatality figures from 2009 to 2010 is no cause for celebration, says the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

“A statistical plateau of worker fatalities is not an achievement but evidence that this nation’s effort to protect workers is stalled,” said ASSE President Terrie S. Norris, CSP, ARM. CPSI. Norris said the fact that worker deaths are not decreasing despite the dedicated efforts of the safety community “should be a call for action, not complacency – especially at an economically challenging time when some of the most dangerous industries are not at full employment.”

Norris criticized the politically charged approach to occupational safety and health that in recent years has failed to advance worker protections. “This oppositional approach leaves too many of this nation’s workplaces mired in efforts that do not achieve better safety but merely meet the most minimal standards for safety. That needs to change.

“Instead of a tug of war over compliance to prescriptive standards that cannot address each workplace, this nation’s approach to workplace safety must encourage a specific dialogue about the most important risks in each workplace that engages employers, workers and OSHA in a cooperative effort to address those risks, supported not only enforcement but by NIOSH research and education resources.”

Norris reiterated ASSE’s support for an OSHA injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard. “This standard, if done well, can begin to move OSHA’s focus from prescriptive approaches to safety to risk-based and more cooperative efforts.”

As examples of measures that could improve occupational safety in the U.S., Norris cited the ASSE’s establishment of a Risk Assessment Task Force and a Sustainability Task Force, as well as the federal occupational safety and health reform bill, which he described as “a platform for compromise” that addresses inadequacies of the four-decades-old OSH Act by helping make the standard-setting process work and allowing the adoption of updated permissible exposure limits (PELs).

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN SEPTEMBER 2014 COVER

2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.