"A third-party audit program and providing more useful information in OSHA closing conferences are ideas that can complement and strengthen OSHA's enforcement role, which our members strongly support," said American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) member Jon Turnipseed, CSP, addressing a House subcommittee hearing on worker safety.

"Enforcement is never enough," said Turnipseed, safety program manager for the San Bernardino, Calif., Municipal Water Department. "The challenge ASSE members face in today's workplace is to help employers move beyond compliance toward establishing proactive workplace safety and health measures."

"ASSE has long supported legislation that would encourage employers to engage in voluntary safety and health audits," he continued. "Voluntary audits will not supplant OSHA enforcement and cooperative efforts… OSHA simply is not given enough resources to provide the inspections or consultation services that can reach as many employers as we would like."

Turnipseed noted that auditors should have professional safety and health credentials — such as the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) — that meet requirements of quality accreditation bodies: the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Board (CESB), or ANSI/ISO.