Fair's fair. After signing an agreement with the American Industrial Hygiene Association, you knew it wouldn't take long for OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) to join in a formal alliance. And as with the AIHA alliance, the new agreement with ASSE also focuses on reducing ergonomics-related injuries.

"Safety and health professionals are the key to further reductions in workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Combining our resources through this alliance will have a tremendous impact on improved worker safety," says OSHA chief John Henshaw.

The working relationship between OSHA and ASSE will provide information and guidance on reducing and preventing exposure to ergonomic hazards, and for developing, implementing or improving ergonomic programs in the workplace.

"Our members are on the front lines when it comes to workplace safety," says ASSE President Mark Hansen. "Their commitment to safety and their expertise combined with the excellent caliber of OSHA staff will provide an unending well of resources that corporations and organizations from all industries can tap into in an effort to reduce injuries."

Similar to OSHA's agreement with AIHA, this alliance calls for ASSE members with industry-specific expertise in the ergonomics field to participate in stakeholder groups and other forums. ASSE members will also mentor and assist OSHA personnel as they progress through professional certifications. Both organizations will share information through educational opportunities regarding ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders.

A team of OSHA and ASSE reps will meet quarterly to develop an action plan, determine working procedures and identify roles and responsibilities of participants.