PARK RIDGE, IL — An independent accreditation institute is being created by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) that will debut this summer.

The fee-based program will certify an applying organization’s occupational safety and health products and services based on recognized voluntary national and international consensus standards.

The ASSE Board of Directors approved the new initiative in April, forming a separate entity under the society. The institute will not conduct the actual audits, but instead partner with a third-party registrar that will carry out the assessments. The institute will verify the results and issue a certification mark when all requirements are met.

“As the market for workplace safety and health products and services becomes more global, certifications become more valuable and are more frequently pursued,” said ASSE President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP. “ASSE has been leading the evolution of workplace safety for more than 100 years, so it makes sense to leverage our experience and create a seal of approval that identifies a strong commitment to safety and health.”

The first certification provided by the institute will be on the new ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The global standard was published in March, offering a framework that enables companies to increase employee safety, reduce workplace risks and improve business outcomes. The practical solutions for worker safety in ISO 45001 can be used within global supply chains in all industries, applying to contractors and subcontractors in every country. The certification will confirm adherence to the ISO 45001 standard.

Examples of where the institute might expand its certifications following ISO 45001 include hydrogen sulfide safety training, management of confined spaces, environmental safety and health training, construction and demolition operations, and other safety and health management systems.

“I think companies will have a competitive advantage when displaying the institute’s certification mark,” Smith said. “It will demonstrate compliance with quality-driven standards that are geared to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Investors and customers will gain confidence in knowing that.”

In an ASSE survey of more than 500 companies, half responded they are “very interested” in pursuing certification for their implementation of ISO 45001. If ASSE’s name is behind the ISO 45001 certification, 80 percent of respondents said they would consider applying for it.

For more information about the accreditation institute and proposed timeline for implementation this summer, contact ASSE Standards Development Manager Ovidiu Munteanu at [email protected].