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History of ASSP

About ASSP

The American Society of Safety Professionals has a rich history that we continue to enhance as we help influence the future of safety.

Safety Starts With ASSP

Millions of people return home safely from work each day thanks in large part to occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals. Our members are dedicated to making the world a safer and healthier place, and their tireless efforts lead to fewer injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

ASSP, the world’s oldest safety society, shares in their commitment to and passion for workplace safety. We promote our members' expertise, leadership and commitment, while providing them with professional development, advocacy and standards development.

ASSP was founded more than 100 years ago, just months after one of the deadliest workplace disasters in U.S. history — the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 workers in a New York City garment factory in 1911. The investigation following the fire revealed great negligence in building safety practices, as well as a lack of regulations requiring such practices.

ASSP Vertical Logo Full Color-Not TransparentIn response to the tragedy, workplace safety legislation was introduced, and our safety society was born — first in 1911, as the United Association of Casualty Inspectors, then renamed as the American Society of Safety Engineers in 1914.

And just as the OSH profession is always evolving, so is our organization, prompting us to change our name once more in 2018 to the American Society of Safety Professionals.

While our name has changed, our mission remains steadfast: We continue to work hard to advance the profession and the individuals who choose it by supporting their efforts to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Our members serve on federal committees; support key safety, health and environmental legislation; participate in international safety and health efforts; and raise awareness of OSH with the public.

In addition, ASSP is the secretariat for 11 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committees responsible for more than 100 safety standards. Our members also serve on more than 40 safety and health standards committees, including three with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

But our work is not yet complete. ASSP members continue to work with businesses, employers, employees, regulators and legislators on all levels to increase workplace safety for all — an initiative of which we won’t tire until every worker returns home safely.