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ASSE forming accreditation institute to recognize quality safety programs

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An independent accreditation institute is being created by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) that will debut this summer, further driving the evolution of workplace safety and health worldwide. The fee-based program will certify an applying organization’s occupational safety and health products and services based on recognized voluntary national and international consensus standards.

The ASSE Board of Directors approved the new initiative in April, forming a separate entity under the Society. The institute will not conduct the actual audits, but instead partner with a third-party registrar that will carry out the assessments. The institute will verify the results and issue a certification mark when all requirements are met.

“As the market for workplace safety and health products and services becomes more global, certifications become more valuable and are more frequently pursued,” said ASSE President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP. “ASSE has been leading the evolution of workplace safety for more than 100 years, so it makes sense to leverage our experience and create a seal of approval that identifies a strong commitment to safety and health.”

The first certification provided by the institute will be on the new ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The global standard was published in March, offering a framework that enables companies to increase employee safety, reduce workplace risks and improve business outcomes. The practical solutions for worker safety in ISO 45001 can be used within global supply chains in all industries, applying to contractors and subcontractors in every country. The certification will confirm adherence to the ISO 45001 standard.

Examples of where the institute might expand its certifications following ISO 45001 include hydrogen sulfide safety training, management of confined spaces, environmental safety and health training, construction and demolition operations, and other safety and health management systems.

“I think companies will have a competitive advantage when displaying the institute’s certification mark,” Smith said. “It will demonstrate compliance with quality-driven standards that are geared to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Investors and customers will gain confidence in knowing that.”

In an ASSE survey of more than 500 companies, half responded they are “very interested” in pursuing certification for their implementation of ISO 45001. If ASSE’s name is behind the ISO 45001 certification, 80 percent of respondents said they would consider applying for it.

For more information about the accreditation institute and proposed timeline for implementation this summer, please contact ASSE Standards Development Manager Ovidiu Munteanu at OMunteanu@asse.org.

About ASSE – Working together for a safer, stronger future

For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Engineers has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of over 37,000 professionals covers every industry, developing safety and health management plans that prevent deaths, injuries and illnesses. ASSE advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards development and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit www.asse.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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