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ASSE gets set to increase global reach

around the worldAlthough it celebrated its 100th birthday in 2011, unlike most centenarians, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is not slowing down.

Plans for its next 100 years, according to ASSE President Terrie S. Norris, CSP, ARM, include an expansion of the group's global activities.

“I am pleased to see our international outreach efforts are not only leading to a discussion about work safety in countries around the world, but to see changes being made,” Norris said. “As more and more of our members over the years have implemented their work safety and health programs at international work sites, more workers in those countries and businesses are seeing the major positive benefits of developing and implementing work safety programs that contribute positively to their bottom line and reputation.”

ASSE has 150 chapters, 38 sections and 61 student sections located in 73 countries, including the Middle East, Kuwait, Nigeria, Philippines, Egypt, Ecuador, and Guam. An India chapter with close to 70 members will be chartered soon.

Additional international activities in 2011 included Norris being named a vice-chair of the International Section of the International Social Security Association’s (ISSA) ‘Prevention Culture Section’ at the 19th World Congress on Safety and Health at Work conference held in Turkey; Norris gave a presentation on ‘Preparing HSE Professionals for the Challenges of Tomorrow’ and held a discussion with the ‘Women in Safety Engineering’ group at the ASSE Kuwait Chapter’s ‘International Health, Safety, Security, Environment (HSSE) and Loss Prevention Professional Development Conference (PDC) and Exhibition’ last November; Norris served as keynote speaker at the annual ‘HSE Forum in Energy’ held in Qatar last October; and, an ASSE Brazil program led by ASSE past president Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, resulted in learning more about Brazil’s business practices that pertain to occupational safety and the environment with visits to several businesses, colleges and country safety organizations.

Norris said she encounters many "unsung heroes" when she talks to ASSE members and safety professionals around the world.

"Today millions of workers leave work injury and illness-free to return home to their families and loved ones, owed in part, to safety professionals. I tell our members that you many never know the people whose lives you touch, but many remember you. Much like a stone thrown into a still pond, the knowledge our members share resounds over and over. Their dedication and passion for protecting people, property and the environment reach farther than they can imagine.”

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is the oldest safety society. Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to

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