Last year, 2011, saw the Centenary of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and of course during that past one hundred years the world, society, business and employment conditions have changed beyond recognition. The concept of safety moved from being one beyond that of just an ‘injury-oriented’ approach to encompass the broader, accident-oriented approach.'
Let me at the commencement of this paper endorse such a concept. I shall certainly attempt later to expand on this move, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. It has been my belief for a number of years that just being concerned with "injuries" does not represent best use of safety professionals' talents and certainly does not present best value for employing organisations. But it has to be stated that this move is not endorsed by a lot of companies or industrial sectors. Heretic that I am, I would also suggest that there is a great deal of resistance within the profession as well.
Let us turn for a moment to the Centre for Safety and Health Sustainability launched at the ASSE PDC June 2011 in Chicago. (1)
The Centre came about after it became apparent that safety professionals were in need of a voice in the shaping of sustainability policies. It will provide new insights into the measurement, management, and impact of safety and health sustainability, with the goal of being a recognised thought leader for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It will seek to educate the business community on the importance of safety in good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. The hope is that, through the work of the Centre, all organisations will recognise their responsibility to protect the health and well-being of workers, customers, and neighbouring communities in any business practices, operations, or development.