NAOSH Week History
Background to NAOSH Week
NAOSH Week - North American Occupational Safety and Health Week - was first launched in June 1997, marked by an agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. CSSE's Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Week (COHS) had been observed for ten years previously (1986-1996).
During the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks between the governments of Mexico, United States and Canada, workplace safety within the boundaries of all three nations was discussed by government labor department representatives. Canada's representative at these talks was familiar with Canada’s COHS Week and suggested to his Mexican and American counterparts that their countries may wish to become involved in a similar endeavour.
Subsequently, CSSE was approached for permission and support to expand the COHS Week format and experience to the United States and Mexico. After discussions between Labour Canada and the CSSE, a new partnership was agreed upon - one that would propose a North American wide program to take the place of the Canadian Week. Labour Canada agreed to ensure that CSSE was the officially recognized safety organization responsible for NAOSH Week. Labour Canada would also play the lead political role for North America for three years to allow the partnership concept an opportunity to develop.
In September 1996, this proposal was taken to the NAFTA meeting and received agreement from all parties. NAOSH Week was established. NAOSH Week was implemented under this plan between 1997 and 2000.
Since 2000, the responsibility and management of NAOSH Week has continued under CSSE's leadership. Partnering with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS), the Labour Program of Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), and Threads of Life, CSSE works hard to promote and encourage the goals of NAOSH. Along with the efforts of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), NAOSH Week continues to be a truly continent-wide event.