The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is joining thousands of people and businesses worldwide, including members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Alliance Program participants, in celebrating North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week. This year’s observance of the annual event, which raises awareness of the importance of safety at work, will be from May 2 to 8.
The NAOSH 2010 theme is “Mission NAOSH 2010: Safe Workplaces.” NAOSH Week kick-off events in Washington, D.C., will be held May 2 and 3 at the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian and the National Zoo. The events will feature discussions of new industry workplace safety and health efforts, as well as recognizing the winners of the 8th annual ASSE kids’ ‘safety-on-the-job’ international poster contest for children aged 5-14. Other events will be held around the country and abroad, including a roadway safety event May 5 in Portland, Oregon.
“Safety is important year-round, but NAOSH Week is a valuable tool to continue efforts to educate engineers and the public about the positive benefits of protecting people, property and the environment,” said Scott Berger, executive director of CCPS.
While millions of people go to work each day and leave there injury and illness free, due in large part to the efforts of occupational safety, process safety, health and environmental professionals, still close to 6,000 people in the U.S. die each year from on-the-job injuries and 4.4 million more suffer illnesses.
“Today’s economic downturn is tough for everyone and some businesses believe they can save funds by cutting back on safety. That’s not a good move from a business perspective,” ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP, said. “Businesses have spent about $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and health care, and about $1 billion every week on injured employees and their medical providers – costs that take away from company profits, research and growth-- costs that continue to go up as cuts in safety are being made. Indirect tangible costs of injuries may be as much as 20 times the direct costs, including costs from accident investigation, low employee morale, retraining workers and repairs and production delays, while the intangible costs of losing a loved one, a friend and a co-worker go beyond a price tag.”
For more information on how you can participate in NAOSH Week please go to www.asse.org/naosh10.
Founded in 1985 by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in response to the accident in Bhopal, India, the Center for Chemical Process Safety serves as the focal point for information exchange on chemical plant safety and security. Through its more than 100 publications, focused workshops, annual international conferences, and other programs, CCPS provides tools to manage, implement, and continually improve process safety programs. More than 120 of the world’s leading chemical, energy and pharmaceutical companies have joined CCPS. Additional information is available at http://www.aiche.org/CCPS/index.aspx.