Special Topics in Safety Management

Iconic Safety Group Seeks a Name Change

One of the country’s leading safety organizations is considering changing its name. Keep reading to find out why.

Team of construction workers

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The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is proposing to change its name to the American Society of Safety Professionals. According to the organization, the occupational safety and health career field has evolved and expanded over the years to include a variety of career paths.

“When we began, engineers made up our entire membership,” explained ASSE president Tom Cecich. “Today, the occupational safety and health profession encompasses many disciplines. Our name should reflect the diverse makeup or our membership.” ASSE’s board approved the new name and a new logo earlier this year. In June, the society’s house of delegates will provide feedback on the proposed change.

ASSE was created in 1911 in the wake of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which took the lives of 146 New York garment workers. The factory’s fire exit doors were locked, and the doors that were not locked only opened inward. The only safety measures available to the workers were 27 buckets of water. The tragic fire led to a number of changes, including a promise by then Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins to address safety and health regulations.

Today, ASSE represents more than 37,000 safety, health, and environmental practitioners.