All About Safety: ASSE’s Annual Conference Addresses the Importance of HSE
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) hosted the Safety 2013 Conference & Exposition last month in Las Vegas, NV, an annual event in which an executive panel comprised of CEOs, presidents and vice presidents from a range of industries conduct sessions giving guidance based on their expertise and experience intended to help health, safety and environmental professionals better understand what is expected of them from an executive team.
Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, unveiled OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program designed to protect workers from exposure to isocyanates, defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals widely used in the manufacturing of foams, fibers, pants, varnishes and elastomers. Isocyanate exposure poses an increasing risk to workers in the automotive industry and can result in irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, severe asthma and cancer.
In addition, Dr. Michaels addressed OSHA initiatives designed to protect the health and well-being of temporary and contingent workers, a large area of focus for the agency in recent campaigns. This includes programs that provide training in workers’ native languages on fall prevention and heat related illnesses.
Michaels also stressed the importance of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2), which addresses employers implementing injury and illness prevention programs in the workplace, calling the program his “highest priority.”
“I2P2 would require employers to have an ongoing, investigative, preventative process in place instead of being reactive and addressing problems after an accident occurs,” Michaels said. “Small employers will be able to get information from the Web, from trade associations [and elsewhere] … they shouldn’t be running an operation that isn’t safe.”
Other presenters discussed such topics as the role human error plays in incidence rates and how to sell reluctant employees and managers on the importance of safety programs. Workshops were also conducted addressing the preparation of safety professionals for higher certifications. More than 160 session videos from Safety 2013 are available for purchase on the ASSE website.
ISN team members were on hand to provide live demonstrations of ISNetworld benefits to members and non-members alike, many of who were interested in tools to help manage subcontractors.
The Safety 2014 Conference & Exposition will take place in Orlando, FL on June 8 – 11. Those interested in presenting should submit their proposals by July 19, 2013.