courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Firefighters Hose

ASSE Remembers Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

March 27, 2009

In the aftermath of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, the modern workplace safety movement began with the founding of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) later that year. To commemorate this important event, the Des Plaines, Ill.- based ASSE announced today that it is moving forward in planning its centennial celebration in 2011.

"Our profession has and continues to work towards enhancing safety. When we look at the past and compare workplaces then to the workplace of today from a safety standpoint, it is daunting," said ASSE President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM. "From 1906 to 1911, a recorded total of 13,228 miners were killed in U.S. coal mines. That is unheard of today due to many factors, including the growth in the occupational safety, health and environmental profession; new laws and regulations; education; public awareness; communication; and new technologies.

"During our centennial, we will be sharing that history and relaying new stories of safety solutions for today's workplace in all industries from our more than 32,000 members."

The ASSE 100th Anniversary Committee will be led by ASSE Vice President of Professional Development Richard A. Pollock, CSP, of Plymouth, Minn. The committee recently announced the centennial theme as: "Your Safety is our Business. Your Future is our Mission." and unveiled the 100th anniversary logo.

"ASSE was founded as the United Association of Casualty Inspectors and formed in the wake of tragic events such as the March 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, where 146 young girls and women lost their lives in a workplace tragedy that drew the attention to the need for workplace safeguards and regulations," Pollock noted. "As the anniversary nears, the 32,000-plus members of ASSE, the world's oldest and largest professional safety organization, look forward to commemorating 100 years of dedicated service to workplace safety and health."

To commemorate ASSE's 100th anniversary, Pollock said the organization will be celebrating the accomplishments and professionalism of its members; building on its leadership in protecting people, property and the environment; and launching its vision for the future of the safety profession.

"The society plans to conduct a variety of events throughout 2011, including the cornerstone event Safety 2011 in June in Chicago," Pollock said.

More information about the anniversary and anniversary events can be found here.

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