Position Statements


Print Page
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 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 Safety and Health Management Systems

Effective occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) are essential to creating and maintaining 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.

Are You Passionate About Safety?

Volunteer with ASSP today.

Get involved


President's Message

Read the ASSP president's thoughts on the safety profession.

ISO 45001 Standard

This game-changing standard provides a global foundation for worker safety.