DES PLAINES, IL, March 13, 2012 – The Laser Institute of America (LIA),  in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Alliance partner and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) invites communities, businesses and individuals to support North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week this May 6-12 in an effort to enhance workplace safety. The annual NAOSH Week and the May 9, 2012, Occupational Safety and Health Professional (OSHP) Day aim to raise awareness about the importance of being safe at work. Its 2012 theme is “Safety: What Every Business Needs” will focus on providing small and mid-size businesses with key workplace safety resources.

“In addition to reaching out to the public and businesses on how to stay safe at work, we are making an extra effort to reach out to small and mid-size businesses with safety and health resources to help enable them to develop and implement occupational safety and health programs as well as assist in enhancing their existing safety programs,” ASSE President Terrie S. Norris, CSP, ARM, said today. “Small businesses play a vitally important role in advancing our economy and provide employment for more than half of America’s workers.  Yet, for the typical small business owners, addressing safety and health risks in their workplaces is often difficult.”

Companies with between 50 and 249 employees have the highest rate of job-related injuries and illnesses. Norris noted that everyone interested in the safety and health of workers need to work together to help those businesses understand the benefits that improving the managing of workplace risks not only results in safer and healthier workers, but contributes to their bottom line business success.

Safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals play a key role in helping businesses prevent work injuries and illnesses. The May 9, 2012, OSHP Day aims to recognize those SH&E professionals who work around the clock to make sure employees leave work injury and illness free to return home each night.

OSHA and its Alliance program participants work with ASSE and its members each year to sponsor events during NAOSH Week and on OSHP Day. Their efforts are supported by the 10th annual international ASSE ‘Safety-on-the-Job’ poster contest for children aged 5-14. The winning poster in each of the five age groups is announced in March and featured on the globally-distributed NAOSH Week poster. The posters that best illustrate being safe at work win. Go to www.asse.org/naosh for more information and contact customerservice@asse.org for a copy of the free poster.

NAOSH Week kick-off events are scheduled for May 6 and 7, in Washington, D.C., and involve ASSE members, federal and state officials, SafeStart ®, URS, poster contest winners, and participants, and more. Events will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Capitol, the National Zoo and the National Gallery of Art.

Founded in 1911, the 100-year-old Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society. Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professional members are committed to protecting people, property and the environment.  For NAOSH tools and information please go to www.asse.org/naosh or contact customerservice@asse.org.

The Laser Institute of America is the professional society dedicated to fostering lasers, laser applications and laser safety worldwide. For more information, visit: www.lia.org.