American Society of Safety Engineers

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Founded in 1911, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is the world’s oldest safety society. With 35,000 occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professional members who manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, and the environment in all industries, government and education. ASSE is a nonprofit organization.

ASSE was founded in New York City a few months after the March, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Due to the lack of safety measures this fire resulted in the death of 146 garment workers. This led to legislation requiring improved factory worker safety standards, the development of workplace safety initiatives and the establishment of ASSE.

The Society's members work to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

ASSE offers its members opportunities for networking, professional development, global media outreach, government affairs programs, standards development, publications and other resources.


ASSE has 151 chapters, 40 sections and 65 student sections located in 75 countries. Members live in regions including the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Categories for membership include; professional, international, associate, emeritus and student.

ASSE has 20 practice specialties, or groups that focus on a particular industry or field of safety. Practice specialties consist of academics, construction, consulting, engineering, environmental, ergonomics, fire protection, healthcare, industrial hygiene, international, management, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, public sector, risk management/insurance and transportation.

ASSE has industry groups in: Academics, Construction, Consulting, Engineering, Environmental, Ergonomics, Fire Protection, Healthcare, Industrial Hygiene, International, Management, Manufacturing, Mining, Oil & Gas, Public Sector, Risk Management/Insurance and Transportation. There are also eight branches; Agricultural, Health & Wellness, Human Resources, Legal Services, Military, Service, Training & Communications and Utilities. Members may also join one of ASSE’s common interest groups - Blacks in Safety Engineering (BISE), Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW), Women in Safety Engineering (WISE), and Young Professionals in SH&E.

Professional development[edit]

The American Society of Safety Engineers has been accredited as an Authorized Provider of by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (ICAT) and is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard. Programs include:

  • Certification Preparation Workshops
  • Certificate in Safety Management
  • The Executive Program in Safety Management
  • SeminarFest
  • Symposia
  • Live and Self-Paced E-Learning Events
  • On-site Training

ASSE’s annual Professional development conference (PDC) is the year’s leading SH&E professional event. Taking place every June, PDC’s exposition, which had record breaking exhibitor participation in 2012, with 77,900 square feet of exhibitor space and 506 booths.


  • Professional Safety, ASSE’s monthly flagship publication, is a peer-reviewed journal covering cutting-edge topics that affect today’s SH&E professional.
  • The Society Update, ASSE’s monthly member e-newsletter
  • ASSE practice specialty publications, published by each practice specialty, deliver technical content in a fully interactive digital format.
  • Journal of Safety, Health & Environmental Research, an online publication of peer-reviewed theoretical and empirical manuscripts, reviews and editorials.
  • ASSE is a major publisher of technical and management books, including the Safety Professionals Handbook.
  • The Body of Knowledge (BoK) provides members with a current collection of wisdom, experience, processes and facts from which change and improvements in the SH&E profession can occur. Contributors to the BoK include authors, editors, and peer reviewers.

Setting the standard for safety[edit]

ASSE is the administrator for the U.S. Technical Advisory Groups ﴾TAG﴿ to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO﴿ on fall protection and risk management. Also, ASSE members serve on over 40 safety and health standards committees.


ASSE is secretariat for several American National Standards Institute ﴾ANSI) committees and projects. The committees develop and maintain the standards, ensure that the revision process is timely and in accordance with ANSI procedures and publish the final product. ASSE serves as secretariat for the following standards:

  • Safety Requirements for Construction and Demolition Operations, A10
  • Protection of Floor and Wall Openings, A1264
  • Health and Safety Standards for Ventilation Systems, Z9
  • Occupational Health and Safety Systems, Z10
  • Motor Vehicle Safety Operations, Z15
  • Respiratory Protection, Z88
  • Confined Spaces, Z117
  • Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods, Z244
  • Fall Protection, Z359
  • Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training, Z490
  • Accepted Practices for Hydrogen Sulfide Training Programs, Z390
  • ASSE Canvass Standards, Z590
  • Prevention Through Design, Z590.3
  • ISO Risk Management Standards

Center for Safety and Health Sustainability[edit]

The Center is a global collaborative effort among ASSE, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the United Kingdom’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Hosted by ASSE, the Center is dedicated to advancing the safety, health and sustainability of the global workplace.

NAOSH Week[edit]

Along with the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), ASSE sponsors the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH Week) each year in May. ASSE members, industries, trade organizations and corporations throughout North America are host to community workplace safety and health activities during NAOSH Week. Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day is also observed during this time.

Held in conjunction with NAOSH Week, ASSE’s annual kids’ ‘Safety on the Job’ poster contest supports our members and educates children on the importance of workplace safety.

ASSE Foundation[edit]

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, established by and in partnership with the American Society of Safety Engineers, generates funding and provides resources for research opportunities, educational advancement, and leadership development in order to advance the safety, health, and environmental profession.

Chartered in 1990 by the ASSE Board of Directors, the Foundation exists to provide programs and opportunities to advance the safety profession. Focusing on research and education, the Foundation leads on research initiatives that benefit the global community, while also providing educational opportunities and financial resources to benefit safety professionals and their families.

The ASSE Foundation receives contributions from corporations, individual members, family of ASSE members, and ASSE Chapters and Regions interested in supporting the safety, health and environmental profession. As a 501(c)(3) organization, contributions to the Foundation are generally considered charitable contributions under IRC Section 170 and are tax deductible as provided by law.[1]

Programs and Funds[edit]

Safety Matters - Safety Matters is the Foundation's signature fund and is used to expand all programs, pledging to concentrate on three components that are crucial for the future of our profession: 1) A focus on promoting safety professionals as risk-assessment experts who play a key role in sustainability, rather than merely agents of compliance, 2) An investment in quality, ground-breaking research, and 3) A purposeful and targeted expansion of our workforce, taking into account the current trends of demography which show that by 2020, there will be thousands more EH&S jobs than trained EH&S professionals.

Research - The Foundation provides grants to research institutions and academics, and has been partner to numerous published scientific theses and reports.[2]

Scholarships and Grants - The Foundation's largest program is the Scholarship and Grant Program which, in 2014, awarded $227,000 to 108 students and professionals in the environmental health and safety profession.[3] Awards are sponsored by ASSE members, chapters, and corporate partners. Some award winners, including several sponsored by UPS and Liberty Mutual, are spotlighted during the annual ASSE Professional Development Conference.

Next Generation Board - In 2012 the Foundation announced the formation of the Next Generation Board.[4] Open to members between the ages of 23 and 35, the Foundation Next Generation Board will enable young Society members to support the safety profession while making a strategic investment in their own careers. The ASSE Foundation will secure the perspective and energies of ASSE’s next generation of leaders, and the Next Generation Board members will enjoy unique development and advancement opportunities. The Foundation Next Generation Board will increase awareness of the Foundation’s purpose, encourage participation in the Foundation’s programs, and cultivate intergenerational connections within the Foundation community.

Family Scholarship Fund - Announced in 2013 by Former Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw, the Family Scholarship Fund provides college funding for families affected by a workplace incident. The scholarships, open to spouses and children of those who have died from a workplace incident, help to minimize the financial impact of the loss while encouraging continuing education.


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