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Making Sure Workers Come Home Safely Focus Of Annual North American Occupational Safety And Health Week This May

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DES PLAINES, IL — Safety at work means always coming home and during North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, to be held May 3 -9, 2009 and the May 6, 2009 Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and more than 40 OSHA Alliance Program participants representing thousands of businesses worldwide will illustrate the value of workplace safety in helping workers return home from work to their families injury free. Alliance Program participants include organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), American Red Cross, Dow Chemical, Abbott, the Brick Industry Association, the National Association of Home Builders and more.

To raise awareness about the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses during NAOSH Week, ASSE, OSHA and CSSE will have a national NAOSH Week Kick-off in Washington, D.C., Monday May 4, with events at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Capitol as well as worldwide. In 2008, NAOSH Week expanded globally with events held in Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and more. ASSE will also recognize the winners of the seventh annual ASSE kids' ‘Safety-on-the-Job’ poster contest for children aged 5-14 during the NAOSH Week award ceremony.

Over the years many of ASSE’s kids’ poster contest entrants have said in their posters, ‘Safety Always Means Coming Home’ for their moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends. However, not all workers have made it home safely this past year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5,488 people died due to work injuries in 2007. In addition, the number of fatal falls rose to a series high of 835 deaths, representing a 39 percent increase since 1992. Though transportation related workplace deaths decreased in 2007, transportation incidents remain the number one cause of on-the-job deaths. Workplace homicides increased by 13 percent in 2007. Additionally, every year millions of people are injured at work and also sustain workplace illnesses.

"Each year more than 5,000 people lose their lives from on-the-job injuries, millions more are injured and become ill and even more telling is the ultimate impact on families and communities,” said ASSE President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM. “Many of these deaths are preventable. During NAOSH Week we will be working to get valuable tools and information out to employees, employers and businesses worldwide with a focus on prevention. We also know that every day millions of people go to and return home safely from work due, in part, to the work and influence of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals."

ASSE provides tools for members, partners, businesses, individuals and organizations to use in support of NAOSH Week events and activities available at www.asse.org/naosh09. These tools include: an overview of NAOSH Week and OSHP Day; lists of past and current activities; 7th annual ASSE kids’ “Safety-on-the-Job” poster contest entry form and rules; brochures; draft proclamations and letters; statistics; past event photos; and more.

Brown added, “We look forward to working with our members, OSHA, the OSHA Alliance Program partners, CSSE and other international entities in getting the word out about the importance of occupational safety, health and the environment, and hope to make a difference by making sure more workers come home safely. As past ASSE poster contest winners have shown through their artwork, safety means always coming home for their families. We want to make a difference and help save lives.”

Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to safety and health, including businesses, trade or professional organizations, unions and educational institutions, to leverage resources and expertise to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and share information with employers and employees to help prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information go to www.asse.org

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