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Background With the industrial revolution, interest grew for making machines and workplaces safe. Prior to and following 1900, interest grew among engineers and others. In many cases the interest and social responsibility led to new professional organizations devoted to safety and health of the workplace. During the early 1900s, major attention was on machine safety, fire safety, railroad safety, and safety and health in many other industries. The need for additional areas of focus continued to grow over the years. Below is summary information about the origins of professional organizations and societies along with a chart of their involvement in worker safety and health. Not covered are industry groups, specific companies, government organizations, publishers, and other entities that also contributed. Should you have historical information on other professional organizations that should be included in this list and chart, please provide the information to the editor of The Archives of Safety and Health. Future editions of this publication intend to provide more details on the historical contributions of individual organizations and groups. We invite readers to craft draft articles on contributors for potential publication. ASCE

The American Society of Civil Engineers was founded on November 5, 1852. The origin name was American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects. The name was changed to American Society of Civil Engineers in 1868 after architects formed their own professional society. The society implemented sanitation, clean water, transportation, and many other public safety improvements.

ASME

In response to several steam boiler failures, a group of individuals established the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1880 and began publishing codes and standards for various mechanical devices.

NFPA

At a meeting held in New York City on November 8, 1896 that focused on sprinkler installation rules, the attendees also established a new association named the National Fire Protection Association. It’s first annual meeting was held May 18-19, 1897.

ASABE

The American Society of Agricultural Engineers began in 1907. With the expansion of the organization’s domain, in 2005 it became the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

ASSE

ASSE was founded in New York City on October 14, 1911 as the United Association of Casualty Inspectors shortly after the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that occurred in March of the same year and killed 146 garment workers. In 1914, the organization changed its name to the American Society of Safety Engineers.

NSC

At the Second Safety Congress in 1913, delegates formed the National Council for Industrial Safety as a clearinghouse of safety information available to all concerned.. A year later the organization changed to the National Safety Council.

ACOEM

The American Association of Industrial Physicians and Surgeons was formed in 1916. Later it became the American Occupational Medicine Association. In 1946 another organization was founded, the American Academy of Occupational Medicine. The two merged in 1988 to form the current organization, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

ISEA

The International Safety Equipment Association was founded in 1933 as the Industrial Safety Equipment Association. It changed to its current name in 2002.

NEHA

The National Environmental Health Association began in California in 1937 with a focus on environmental health practitioners.

ACGIH

The National Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists first met on June 27, 1938. In 1946 the organization changed its name to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

AIHA

The American Industrial Hygiene Association was founded in 1939 by non-physician members of the American Association of Industrial Physicians and Surgeons.

VOS

The Veterans of Safety was founded October 9, 1941in Chicago. Its full members have 10 years of experience in safety, health and environmental practice.

AAOHN

The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses began in 1942 as the American Association of Industrial Nurses. In 1977 it adopted its current name.

RIMS

The Risk and Insurance Management Society was founded in 1950 and has a focus on risk management.

SFPE

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers was established in 1950 and was officially incorporated in 1971.

HPS

The Health Physics Society had its organizational meeting in June 1955 in Columbus, OH with a focus on radiation protection.

HFES

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society was founded on September 25, 1957 in Tulsa, OK. At first it was the Human Factors Society of America, then the Human Factors Society, Inc. It adopted the current name in 1992.

ISASH

The International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health began as the National Institute for Farm Safety in 1962. It grew out of a division of the National Safety Council stemming from 1937.

ISSS

The practice of system safety engineering evolved from the aerospace industry. Shared interest in the practice led to the formation of the System Safety Society in 1962 and was formally incorporated on December 1, 1963 as the Aerospace System Safety Society. Now its name is the International System Safety Society.

NSMS

The Safety Management Society resulted from a meeting on September 28, 1966. Attendees shared a common interest in accident prevention based on a Value Management course they attended. Later, the name became the National Safety Management Society which formally incorporated in 1968.

NESHTA

The National Environmental, Safety and Health Training Association began in 1977 with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Originally, its name was National Environmental Training Association, Inc. In the 1980’s it expanded its mission and adopted the current name.

SESHA

The Semiconductor Environmental Safety and Health Association was formed in 1978 as the Semiconductor Safety Association. Later the name was changed to the current name. It has a focus on high technology industries.

ABSA

Founded in 1984, the American Biological Safety Association promotes biological safety as a scientific discipline and the biosafety profession. Practice began in military laboratories. The ABSA constitution was written in 1984 and ratified by members in 1987.

PSES

The Product Safety Engineering Society is part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The main focus is on product safety engineering methodologies and techniques for equipment and devices.

SPSP

The Society of Product Safety Professionals was formed in 2016 for those engaged in consumer product safety.

ASCE The American Society of Civil Engineers was founded on November 5, 1852. The origin name was American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects. The name was changed to American Society of Civil Engineers in 1868 after architects formed their own professional society. The society implemented sanitation, clean water, transportation, and many other public safety improvements.

 

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