In the aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that took 146 lives in New York City in 1911, the modern workplace safety movement began with the founding of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) later that year.

To commemorate this event, the Des Plaines, Ill.-based ASSE announced that it is moving forward in planning its centennial celebration in 2011.

“Our profession has and continues to work towards enhancing safety. When we look at the past and compare workplaces then to the workplace of today from a safety standpoint it is daunting,” said ASSE President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM, of Fairborn, Ohio. “From 1906 to 1911 a recorded total of 13,228 miners were killed in U.S. coal mines. That is unheard of today in the U.S. due to many factors including the growth in the occupational safety, health and environmental profession, new laws and regulations, education, the public awareness, communication and new technologies.

“During our centennial we will be sharing that history and relaying new stories of safety solutions for today’s workplace in all industries from our more than 32,000 members.” The ASSE 100th Anniversary Committee, led by ASSE Vice President of Professional Development Richard A. Pollock, CSP, of Plymouth, Minn., recently announced the Society’s 100th year theme as: “Your Safety is our Business. Your Future is our Mission.” To commemorate the Society’s 100 year anniversary, Pollock said ASSE will be celebrating the accomplishments and professionalism of its members; building on its leadership in protecting people, property and the environment, and launching its vision for the future of the safety profession.

Founded in 1911, ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education.