Thought Leadership

Safety pro perplexed by dependence on Mother OSHA

May 20, 2014
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A Comment posted to regarding story (link at bottom):

I continue to be perplexed at the view that safety professionals depend on an aggressive OSHA for our livelihood. It is as though OSHA birthed us. That is simply not so!

ASSE, for example, is over 100 years old. Yes, its membership surged at the onset of OSHA but it leveled out. Increases in membership since then have been modest, mostly in response to aggressive recruiting by ASSE members.

If safety and health professionals had not been at work for many years before OSHA, OSHA would have never gotten off the ground with any standards to enforce.

While I am not at all in favor of OSHA's demise, I don't believe that safety and health professionals should expend valuable time and energy worrying about OSHA's budgets or other political problems.

OSHA, by definition, is horizontal standards for basic safety and health. Safety and health excellence, by comparison, is entirely site specific. It is what safety and health professionals are. It is achieved in our collaboration with our management teams and employee colleagues.

Government by its nature cannot be a significant contributor to achieving safety and health excellence.


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