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Our data-driven and solutions-based policy positions are developed by members and used for educating government officials and other critical stakeholders.

ASSP Public Policy and Position Statements

ASSP takes various positions on public affairs issues that affect occupational safety and health and its members' professional practice. This includes developing data-driven and experience-tested recommendations for improving the federal regulatory approach to workplace safety and health.

In addition, as part of our strategic efforts to advance OSH, we actively engage in professional relationships that enhance our external reach and broaden our members' competencies. Because such relationships can have implications for governmental policy in addition to business and industry, ASSP:    

  • Supports the creation, enhancement and use of alliances, memorandums of understanding and strategic partnerships
  • Engages with organizations that operate at the highest levels of transparency and integrity
  • Partners with private and public-sector organizations if the activities are consistent with the goals and objectives of our strategic plan.

Government Affairs Position Statements

ASSP has long viewed government action as a cornerstone of the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession. Legislation and regulation affect every OSH professional, so it is vital that members are able to view and understand the positions of the Society.

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) strives to elevate the safety profession and the individuals who choose it. We set the occupational safety and health community’s standards for excellence and ethics. ASSP strives to uphold and elevate the value of the safety profession through innovation and thought leadership, and supports the development and dissemination of objective, data-driven, solutions-based safety and health practices.

OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) strives to elevate the safety profession and the individuals who choose it. We set the occupational safety and health community’s standards for excellence and ethics. ASSP strives to uphold and elevate the value of the safety profession through innovation and thought leadership, and supports the development and dissemination of objective, data-driven, solutions-based safety and health practices.

On Sept. 9, 2021, the Biden Administration announced the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will develop an emergency temporary standard (ETS) related to COVID-19:

  • Requiring All Employers with 100+ Employees to Ensure Their Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.

ASSP has published a technical report, ASSP/ISO TR - 45005-2021, Occupational Health and Safety Management – Safe Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic – General Guidelines for Organizations, registered with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) addressing COVID-19. It is available on a complimentary basis:

  • This ANSI registered technical report gives guidelines for organizations on how to manage the risks arising from COVID-19 to protect work-related health, safety and well-being. This document is applicable to organizations of all sizes and sectors. . . .

To address the anticipated ETS, ASSP takes the following position:

  • During the past 18 months, ASSP has supported public and private sector initiatives intended to stop the spread of this deadly disease.
  • ASSP has provided produced significant COVID-19 content, all of which is available on a complimentary basis to all stakeholders.
  • We support public policy initiatives backed by good science and sound technology.
  • ASSP recommends that instead of implementing an ETS based primarily on an employee count, OSHA consider an approach based on risk assessment.
  • ASSP recommends that OSHA review the exemption of employers with less than 100 employees. The size of a company or organization does not affect how the disease affects workers.
  • In addition, our members believe that regardless of workforce size, employers can implement controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, including contractors that have fewer than 100 employees and operate on multiemployer worksites.
  • ASSP will provide technical comments on the ETS when it is released to address any issues it believes warrants additional review.

Following release of the ETS, ASSP will notify and provide resources to its members and stakeholders on the topic.

Approved: Oct. 8, 2021

OSHA Standard and Emphasis Program on Heat Stress

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) strives to elevate the safety profession and the individuals who choose it. We set the occupational safety and health community’s standards for excellence and ethics. ASSP strives to uphold and elevate the value of the safety profession through innovation and thought leadership, and supports the development and dissemination of objective, data-driven solutions based safety and health practices.

On Sept. 20, 2021, the Biden Administration announced the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will take the following actions to address extreme heat exposure:

  • To combat the hazards associated with extreme heat exposure – both indoors and outdoors – the White House today announced enhanced and expanded efforts the U.S. Department of Labor is taking to address heat-related illnesses.
  • To emphasize its concern and take necessary action, OSHA is implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard. In addition, the agency is forming a National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group to provide better understanding of challenges and to identify and share best practices to protect workers.

To address these initiatives, ASSP takes the following position:

  • ASSP supports public and private sector initiatives intended to prevent occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
  • We support public policy initiatives backed by good science and sound technology.
  • Heat stress is a well-known and largely preventable hazard, and ASSP has long supported the development of a standard for heat stress.
  • Our members stress the need to keep the standard simple from an implementation perspective and encourage OSHA to review the regulatory approaches taken by state-plan states.
  • ASSP will provide technical comments on the heat stress initiatives, including the national emphasis program, at the time of their release to address any concerns it believes warrant additional review.
  • ASSP is working with the A10 Committee for Construction and Demolition Operations to create a voluntary national consensus standard on heat stress for construction and demolition operations:

American Society of Safety Professionals New BSR/ASSP A10.50-201X, Standard for Heat Stress Management in Construction and Demolition Operations (new standard): This standard establishes the minimum requirements for the prevention heat illnesses and management of heat stress hazards and exposures encountered during construction and demolition operations. It establishes procedures for the management of heat stress hazards and the selection and use of appropriate controls and practices to reduce risks presented by heat stress and prevention heat illnesses for construction and demolition environments.

Following release of the details for the OSHA heat initiatives, ASSP will notify and provide relevant resources on the topic to its members and stakeholders.

Approved: Oct. 8, 2021

The Value of and Access to Voluntary National Consensus Standards

ASSP supports the increased use of consensus standards in the formulation of legislation and regulation for occupation safety and health. Governmental agencies such as OSHA, CPSC, NHTSA and others should be encouraged to use these consensus standards as they provide an efficient/effective alternative to traditional public sector rule making.

ASSP supports reasonable public access to national voluntary consensus standards specifically referenced in regulatory provisions. However, this must be done without compromising the legitimate proprietary interests of the organizations that develop and maintain such standards.

ASSP opposes requirements that all such standards be made publicly available at no cost without permission of the developing organization.

ASSP opposes standards-developing bodies losing or having their copyright protections stripped due governmental incorporation of standards by reference.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Government Recognition Programs for Occupational Safety and Health

ASSP supports cooperative compliance efforts that recognize or promote employer or employee programs that reduce, or control, recognized workplace hazards and risks, along with fostering employee involvement. Examples of such efforts include the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Required by OSHA

ASSP believes that data and injury rates derived from the current rule (29 CFR 1904) reveal limited, to no, leading information regarding injury causation, hazards and safety performance. Instead, they reveal more about injury management than safety management.

ASSP further believes that a revision to the rule will help OSHA better achieve the purpose of developing “information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses” as set forth in the OSH Act. Such revision will also help align employer focus on leading metrics of performance as recommended by OSHA, called for in modern occupational safety and health management systems such as ANSI/ASSP Z10 and promoted by ASSP members.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Professional Safety Practice

ASSP supports legislation and regulations to ensure that critical workplace safety and health responsibilities are performed or managed by qualified professionals.

However, ASSP opposes legislation or regulation not including accredited certification(s) or licensure. This would include, but is not limited to, the certified safety professional (CSP) and certified industrial hygienist (CIH), or those individuals qualified by experience, education or training to perform such responsibilities.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Support for Occupational Safety and Health Activity by the Public Sector

ASSP supports adequate funding for federal OSHA and state OSHA plans at levels sufficient to achieve their mission. ASSP also supports continued funding of OSHA’s Susan Harwood grants and NIOSH’s research and educational functions. In addition, ASSP supports adequate funding for governmental agencies such as the Chemical Safety Board and the National Transportation Safety Board at levels sufficient to achieve their mission.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Universal Coverage of Government Employees

ASSP supports legislative and regulatory initiatives to provide OSHA coverage to all government workers.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Use of Independent Auditors

ASSP believes that regulatory agencies would benefit from the use of independent workplace safety and health auditors to augment the resources available to federal and state regulators. Such auditors must be qualified by experience, education, training or professional certification.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Workplace Violence

ASSP condemns all forms of violence in the workplace. ASSP supports public policy efforts to eliminate workplace violence through promulgation of an enforceable and effective OSHA standard, accompanied by comprehensive education and outreach.

ASSP is particularly concerned with an alarming rise of injuries associated with violence in high-risk industries, included but not limited to livery services, and retail, healthcare and social service industry sectors. ASSP understands that solid overall public policy will address all worksites. However, from an implementation perspective, it appears the most effective way forward is to start the process with high-risk industries.

Approved by ASSP Board of Directors on June 8, 2019

Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

Effective occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) are essential for workers in order to create and maintain safe, healthy and productive workplaces.

Opioids, Cannabis and Other Impairing Substances in the Workplace

Organizations should implement programs, policies procedures and other measures that contribute to a drug-free workplace, as well as a workplace free of workers under the influence of any impairment-inducing substance.

Role of Risk Assessment in Managing Worker Safety and Health

Occupational safety and health (OSH) programs and standards should incorporate a risk-based approach and promote the application of risk assessment methods.

The Value of Total Worker Health in Occupational Safety and Health Programs

Organizations should strive to create environments, programs, policies and procedures that integrate traditional safety and health approaches with holistic approaches to worker well-being. Doing so will reduce worker injuries and illnesses, lower associated workers’ compensation costs, help control healthcare costs, and improve worker morale and productivity.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert the driver's attention away from the primary task of driving. ASSP recognizes the risks to drivers and others from distracted driving and believes it is the responsibility of every driver to follow all applicable laws and regulations. ASSP promotes the establishment of policies, programs, practices, and regulations that promote safe driving. 

For More Information

Please contact ASSP's Government Affairs staff.

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