ASSE Ecuador Section Takes Significant Step to Advance Workplace Safety

ASSE’s Ecuador Section participated in the “Quintas Jornadas de Seguridad y Salud en el trabajo” (Conference on Occupational Safety and Healthin Quito, Ecuador, on April 25-26, 2013. Augusto Flores-Andrade, President-Elect of ASSE’s Ecuador Section, and Anibal Franco, former chair of ASSE’s Safety Professionals and the Latino’s Workforce Common Interest Group, participated as presenters for more than 900 safety professionals during the 2-day conference. The event was organized by the Department of Workplace Risk Prevention at the Ecuadorean Institute of Social Security (IESS), an entity equivalent to OSHA in Ecuador.

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Arq. Juan Velez Andrade, director of the Department of Workplace Risk Prevention-IESS (third from the left) with representatives of ASSE and members of the ASSE Ecuador Section

At the opening ceremony, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between IESS and ASSE’s Ecuador Section, represented by Fernando Benalcázar, current president. “This MOU is a significant advancement for the section in Ecuador and for ASSE as a whole. It opens a lot of doors and opportunities to exchange ideas, information and best practices,” says Flores-Andrade. “It also highlights the growing importance of workplace safety in our country and the need for professionals in this area.”

The MOU establishes a framework for greater cooperation between the groups and encourages extensive collaboration that includes the exchange of information on workplace safety regulations, organization of joint trainings and events, dissemination of information, among other actions considered of mutual interest.

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More than 450 attended the first day of conference.

The training at the conference underscored the importance of workplace safety. Franco presented “Comprehensive North American Approach on Management, Leadership, Sustainability, Safety and Health in Construction.” Flores-Andrade presented “Inspection of Safety and Health in the Workplace.” In addition, both spoke about ASSE, the importance of the organization, and the benefits and opportunities that members can access.

The section plans to organize a workplace safety conference next year that will be open to all safety professionals in Latin America. “Without a doubt, the high attendance and the interest from the more than 900 participants at this conference shows the tremendous potential and possibilities in the SH&E field in Ecuador and Latin America,” says Franco. “ASSE can significantly expand its global reach by engaging this growing market.”