In August 2017, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization ASSE voted to change its name to the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). This change will go into effect in June 2018.
For over one century, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has helped occupational, health, and environmental (SH&E) practitioners identify hazards and implement safety advances in all industries and at all workplaces, enhancing work safety and even preventing injuries and fatalities.
Founded as United Association of Casualty Inspectors in 1911 before shifting its name in 1914, ASSE represents over 37,000 members and develops standards oriented towards keeping construction and other workplaces safe from hazards. Currently, ASSE is the Secretariat for 11 ANSI committees responsible for over 100 occupational safety and health standards and has members in over 80 countries, some of which serve on over 40 safety and health standards committees, including 3 with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
However, after a 45-day voting period that ended on August 13, 2017, ASSE members voted to change the organization’s name to the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).
This entire endeavor originated in 2016, when research conducted with ASSE members, customers, and stakeholders worldwide indicated that an updated brand with a clearer vision would better reflect the organization’s current membership and position it for growth.
To complete this task, ASSE members voted on the proposed name, with 74% of members (3,651) in favor of the change. This was with 14% of eligible members casting ballots.
As said by ASSE President Jim Smith, “Our members have clearly voiced that the American Society of Safety Professionals better reflects our diverse membership. Engineers made up our entire membership when we were formed, but today the occupational safety and health profession encompasses many disciplines.”
In response, ASSE’s logo will undergo small adjustments, with the “E” being changed to a “P.”
While adequately reflecting the status of the organization’s interests and therefore helping bridge the gap between ASSE’s brand and membership, many professionals should be aware of this name change. Currently, ASSE standards are widely used in industry, providing provisions for fall protection (ANSI/ASSE Z359 series), laboratory ventilation (ANSI/AIHA/ASSE Z9 series), general construction and demolition operations (ANSI/ASSE A10 series), and numerous other topics.
With this change, future ASSE American National Standards will bear the designation ANSI/ASSP instead of ANSI/ASSE. All users of these occupational health and safety standards should be aware of this fact, as it will likely lead to a slightly different name of the standards they depend on (e.g. ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 would be ANSI/ASSP Z359.2).
We will keep our readers updated as this change is carried out.