ASSEThe American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has launched a new Risk Assessment Institute to facilitate occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) risk assessment's inclusion into the organizational risk management process, allowing businesses to "proactively prioritize, resource, and mitigate risk in advance of injuries or catastrophe."

ASSE president-elect, Kathy A. Seabrook, CSP, said SH&E professionals, having the required competencies to manage a wide range of risks, will be key to successfully educating executives and the business community at large on issues related to proper risk assessment within the management process. "Safety, health and environmental professionals have the valued expertise and leadership to collaborate with senior managers in the implementation of effective risk assessment and the ongoing oversight of productive risk management."

Training and policy development

To that end, the ASSE Risk Assessment Institute will support improved risk-related training and education while providing a platform for the SH&E community to contribute to the development of new evidence-based risk-related policies, processes and solutions. The Institute will also serve as a clearinghouse for risk-related information and the tools relevant to professional SH&E.

Stagnant injury rates require a new approach

"Recent injury and illness trends within companies and their global supply chains indicate that overall incident rate improvement has slowed and rates of fatal and serious injuries have remained steady for a number of years. Clearly, a different approach is required if further improvements are to be made," Seabrook said, concluding that, "now is the time for a transformation of safety leadership through proactive, preventive approaches that have the potential to identify risks and enable action in advance of injury, illness or loss."

The Risk Assessment Institute will operate out of ASSE headquarters in Northwest Suburban Chicago beginning July 1 under the leadership of current ASSE president Rick A. Pollock, CSP, who will move over from his elected office at the same time Seabrook assumes ASSE leadership. More details on the Risk Assessment Institute's immediate and long-range plans are available at