Pictured are (from L to R): Committee Chairman: Ricky Bryant-NIBCO; Tammy Burke-Columbia Pipe & Supply; Bill Wilson-OSHA; Mary Prahler-First Supply and Eric Z. Lahaie-OSHA.

According to published studies, it is estimated that employers pay nearly $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs for the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses. Those employers that implement effective safety and health management systems may expect to significantly reduce injuries and illnesses and reduce the costs associated with these injuries and illnesses, including workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, and lost productivity. In addition, employers often find that process and other changes made to improve workplace safety and health can often result in significant improvements to their organization’s productivity and profitability.

The American Supply Association believes that investment in workplace safety and health not only protects worker’s health but makes good business sense as well by improving the company’s bottom line. 

OSHA has compiled this information in a Safety and Health Topics Web page calledMaking the Business Case for Safety and Health. The page is a product of several Alliances with OSHA, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, National Federation of Independent Business, and now, the American Supply Association.

“While our industry is relatively safe, partnering with OSHA to develop improved awareness of safe work practices makes sense,” said ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi. “It is the goal of the American Supply Association to seek ways to offer services and programs that assist and guide employers on the responsible path to occupational safety and health. And if greater attention to safety creates a stronger bottom line, even better.”

In order to facilitate improved safety practices within the PHCP and PVF industry, the ASA Safety Committee met in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 2009 with counterparts from OSHA to review progress that the ASA/OSHA Alliance is making to create awareness of safe work practices in the PHCP and PVF industry.

Through the Alliance, the newly formed Safety Committee is working to develop a comprehensive year-long safety awareness and education program along with safety tools geared specifically to wholesale distributors and manufacturers. A “12 Steps to Safety” program, along with an industry ASA Annual Safety Checklist (Compliance and Best Practices), will form the cornerstone of the new program geared to assist and guide the implementation of an ongoing safety improvement effort.

“While the association already has safety compliance materials that members and non-members can access atwww.asa.net, it’s our goal to expand this offering with a wider array of both free and pay-for-view programs that can supplement quality safety programs already in place throughout the industry,” Adelizzi said.

Beginning in June, the association will begin publishing safety awareness articles inSupply House Times. Each issue will link on the ASA Web site to a monthly safety “Toolbox Talk” designed to facilitate training.

“ASA is looking to add a few new members to the Safety Committee. Those interested in serving on the Committee should call Mike Adelizzi at 312-464-0090 or email Mike atmadelizzi@asa.net,” said Ricky Bryant of NIBCO, Safety Committee Chairman.