ASSE, OSHA to Examine Work Safety Systems During NAOSH Week

Thousands of people and businesses worldwide will join the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and OSHA’s Alliance Program participants in raising awareness of the importance of being safe at work during the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week this May 2-8 and Occupational Safety and Health Professional (OSHP) Day on May 5.

The NAOSH 2010 theme is “Mission NAOSH 2010: Safe Workplaces.” Federal and state officials, ASSE members and their families and officials from ASSE, CSSE and OSHA and OSHA’s Alliance Program participants will attend the events.

In addition to activities scheduled by ASSE members and OSHA Alliance Program participants, NAOSH week events and educational programs are scheduled for Washington, D.C., May 2 and 3, along with a roadway safety event May 5 in Portland, Oregon. The NAOSH kick-off events in D.C. will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian and the National Zoo and will feature panel discussions on new industry workplace safety and health efforts as well as recognizing the winners of the 8th annual ASSE kids’ ‘safety-on-the-job’ international poster contest for children aged 5-14.

“NAOSH Week is another tool we use to educate people on the positive benefits of protecting people, property and the environment. While millions of people go to work each day and leave there injury and illness free, still close to 6,000 people in the U.S. die each year from on-the-job injuries and 4.4 million more suffer illnesses,” said ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP. “NAOSH helps us reach millions of people and tens of thousands of businesses on the importance and long-term benefits of workplace safety and health and provide them with resource information.”

Past NAOSH Week events have included fleet safety classes, ergonomic awareness events, a workplace-oriented one-day free preparedness Web Expo, update on mining safety programs, a laser safety seminar, roadway work zone safety programs, corporate workplace safety and health days, teen worker safety programs, city and state work safety fairs, symposiums on a variety of topics, projects to assist charities, PPE fashion shows and much more.

“Today’s economic downturn is tough for everyone and some businesses believe they can save funds by cutting back in safety. That’s not a good move from a business perspective,” Patton added. “Businesses have spent about $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and health care, and about $1 billion every week on injured employees and their medical providers – costs that take away from company profits, research and growth – costs that continue to go up as cuts in safety are being made. Indirect tangible costs of injuries may be as much as 20 times the direct costs, including costs from accident investigation, low employee morale, retraining workers and repairs and production delays, while the intangible costs of losing a loved one, a friend and a co-worker go beyond a price tag.”

For a listing of activities from last year’s NAOSH Week, along with photos, please visit http://www.asse.org/naosh09.

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