American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) President Terrie S. Norris, CSP, ARM became a member of an international committee during the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work conference, which wraps up today in Istanbul, Turkey. Norris joined colleagues from Germany and France, becoming a vice-chair of the newly-formed International Section of the International Social Security Association's (ISSA) "Prevention Culture Section."
The new section, set up by the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), will promote the underlying ideas of the 2008 “Seoul Declaration on Safety and Health at Work” signed by several countries and agencies during the previous world congress, which was held in S. Korea.
The Declaration, found at www.seouldeclaration.org, recognizes the serious consequences of work-related incidents and diseases: 2.7 million fatalities from on-the-job injuries occur each year worldwide, resulting in an economic loss of four percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Declaration states that improving safety and health at work has a positive impact on working conditions, productivity and economic and social development. Section participants commit to taking the lead in promoting a preventative safety and health culture and placing occupational safety and health high on national agendas.
The ‘Prevention Culture Section’ is charged with exchanging knowledge and experience on prevention and with collecting and disseminating information, knowledge and publications regarding prevention culture at work.
Norris said he was proud to accept the invitation to join the group, noting that ASSE members believe a safe and healthful place to work is a fundamental right.
"Our dedication to protecting people, property and the environment is based on our core value of service to humanity. Every day our members work to make sure that those workers who come to work leave injury and illness free to return home to their families and friends.
“Companies who prevent injuries and illnesses save lives, keep morale up, contribute positively to the communities in which they do business, see a reduction in employee turnover and health costs, experience an increase in their bottom line, and continue a positive reputation,” Norris said.
The theme for this year's conference is ‘Building a Global Culture of Prevention for a Healthy and Safe Future’ with a focus on comprehensive, proactive and preventative approaches to safety and health at work; systems approach for occupational safety and health; social dialogue, partnerships and innovation on occupational safety and health; and, new challenges in a changing world of work and the global economy.