The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has announced plans to launch a new Center for Safety and Health in Sustainability (CSHS) at the group’s Professional Development Conference (PDC) and Exposition, Safety 2011, in June.

The ASSE says the Center, a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt organization, “will aim to provide a voice for occupational safety, health and environmental professionals in the shaping of sustainability policies. It will provide new insights into the measurement, management, and impact of safety and health sustainability, with the goal of being a recognized thought leader for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It will seek to educate the business community on the importance of safety in good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. “

The CSHS is a collaborative effort among ASSE, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), a United Kingdom-based safety and health practitioner organization. Collectively, the three organizations represent approximately 80,000 safety and health professionals located worldwide.

CSHS is an organizational stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a network-based organization that pioneered the world’s widely-used sustainability reporting framework. Mike Wallace, the director of GRI’s Focal Point USA, will be attending the CSHS launch and presenting at Safety 2011. The ASSE says the Center was developed out of a growing perception among its members of the need for safety and health professionals to have a voice in shaping sustainability policies both in business and public policy. It is intended to provide the safety community with a mechanism to make an impact on the development of new sustainability policies and approaches. Organizers note that the Center will encourage organizations to recognize their responsibility to protect the health and well-being of workers, customers, and neighboring communities in any business practices, operations, or development.