American Society of Safety Engineers Again Urges NASCAR to Rev Up Safety Efforts

Apr 20, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Society of Safety Engineers

    DES PLAINES, Ill., April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- As
 major racing safety concerns continue to intensify the Illinois-based American
 Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is again urging NASCAR officials to
 increase their safety measures before this weekend's Talladega 500 race in a
 resigned effort to reduce fatalities and injuries on the track.
     "On January 8, 2001 we sent a letter to NASCAR urging them to utilize new
 safety products and initiatives such as soft walls and the HANS device to
 prevent fatalities from occurring on the racetrack," Samuel J. Gualardo, CSP,
 ASSE president, said today.  "Additionally, we urged NASCAR to move forward in
 setting up a safety committee of experts from all sides of the issue including
 safety engineers, scientists, personal protection equipment engineers, and
 transportation and health specialists to supplement the safety efforts already
 underway."
     The ASSE letter was triggered by the concern over the deaths in the spring
 of 2000 on the NASCAR race circuit of drivers Kenny Irwin, Tony Roper and Adam
 Petty.  Also, with the new racing season set to begin with the Daytona 500
 ASSE suggested it would be a good time to implement new safety measures.
 NASCAR responded by saying in a letter "your interest...is greatly
 appreciated, as is your joint concern for driver safety...Those efforts
 continue to be the foremost concern and responsibility of a number of
 professionals both within and retained by NASCAR...should the need for
 assistance arise, we will certainly keep in mind your organization and its
 offer to assist."
     On February 18, 2001 Dale Earnhardt died during the Daytona 500. Since
 that time two more racers have died on the NASCAR racing circuit bringing the
 count to six fatalities in less than a year, the worst streak since six
 drivers died in 1955.  On March 24, 2001 racer Michael Roberts died when he
 hit a concrete wall and suffered a basilar skull fracture during a race at the
 I-44 Speedway in Missouri. On April 1, 2001 racer Al Papini of Machesney Park
 died after crashing his car into the wall at Rockford Speedway in Illinois.
     "We are a non-profit 89-year-old organization made up of 32,000
 occupational safety, health and environmental professionals committed to
 making workplaces safe who are concerned with the safety of NASCAR drivers and
 crew.  In fact, many are NASCAR fans and racers themselves and many work in
 the entertainment and hospitality industry." Gualardo said. "There have just
 been too many tragedies during races that could have been prevented by
 utilizing new safety initiatives such as soft walls and other products for
 better protection."
     In his letter Gualardo also urged NASCAR to consider increased research
 and implementation of soft walls; stuck throttles and utilizing crash boxes
 and the data collected in order to increase safety.  "The investment you make
 in putting up the protective walls and implementing other such safety features
 will quadruple in worth over time as you reduce fatalities and injuries and
 increase respect and credibility for the sport," Gualardo added.
     Following the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, ASSE sent a follow-up letter
 on March 16, 2001 again urging for increased safety precautions and the need
 for a safety committee of experts to review new and always improving safety
 technologies and safety precautions for consideration for use on the NASCAR
 race circuit.  ASSE has received no response from NASCAR.
     ASSE is the oldest and largest society of safety professionals in the
 world.  Founded in 1911, ASSE represents 32,000 safety professionals including
 Certified Safety Professionals, Certified Industrial Hygienists, Professional
 Engineers, Ergonomists, Academicians, Fire Protection Engineers, System Safety
 Experts, Health Professionals, Transportation Specialists, and a wide
 collection of other disciplines, skills, and backgrounds and assist in
 developing national and international safety standards and regulations. For
 more information contact www.asse.org .
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
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SOURCE American Society of Safety Engineers
    DES PLAINES, Ill., April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- As
 major racing safety concerns continue to intensify the Illinois-based American
 Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is again urging NASCAR officials to
 increase their safety measures before this weekend's Talladega 500 race in a
 resigned effort to reduce fatalities and injuries on the track.
     "On January 8, 2001 we sent a letter to NASCAR urging them to utilize new
 safety products and initiatives such as soft walls and the HANS device to
 prevent fatalities from occurring on the racetrack," Samuel J. Gualardo, CSP,
 ASSE president, said today.  "Additionally, we urged NASCAR to move forward in
 setting up a safety committee of experts from all sides of the issue including
 safety engineers, scientists, personal protection equipment engineers, and
 transportation and health specialists to supplement the safety efforts already
 underway."
     The ASSE letter was triggered by the concern over the deaths in the spring
 of 2000 on the NASCAR race circuit of drivers Kenny Irwin, Tony Roper and Adam
 Petty.  Also, with the new racing season set to begin with the Daytona 500
 ASSE suggested it would be a good time to implement new safety measures.
 NASCAR responded by saying in a letter "your interest...is greatly
 appreciated, as is your joint concern for driver safety...Those efforts
 continue to be the foremost concern and responsibility of a number of
 professionals both within and retained by NASCAR...should the need for
 assistance arise, we will certainly keep in mind your organization and its
 offer to assist."
     On February 18, 2001 Dale Earnhardt died during the Daytona 500. Since
 that time two more racers have died on the NASCAR racing circuit bringing the
 count to six fatalities in less than a year, the worst streak since six
 drivers died in 1955.  On March 24, 2001 racer Michael Roberts died when he
 hit a concrete wall and suffered a basilar skull fracture during a race at the
 I-44 Speedway in Missouri. On April 1, 2001 racer Al Papini of Machesney Park
 died after crashing his car into the wall at Rockford Speedway in Illinois.
     "We are a non-profit 89-year-old organization made up of 32,000
 occupational safety, health and environmental professionals committed to
 making workplaces safe who are concerned with the safety of NASCAR drivers and
 crew.  In fact, many are NASCAR fans and racers themselves and many work in
 the entertainment and hospitality industry." Gualardo said. "There have just
 been too many tragedies during races that could have been prevented by
 utilizing new safety initiatives such as soft walls and other products for
 better protection."
     In his letter Gualardo also urged NASCAR to consider increased research
 and implementation of soft walls; stuck throttles and utilizing crash boxes
 and the data collected in order to increase safety.  "The investment you make
 in putting up the protective walls and implementing other such safety features
 will quadruple in worth over time as you reduce fatalities and injuries and
 increase respect and credibility for the sport," Gualardo added.
     Following the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, ASSE sent a follow-up letter
 on March 16, 2001 again urging for increased safety precautions and the need
 for a safety committee of experts to review new and always improving safety
 technologies and safety precautions for consideration for use on the NASCAR
 race circuit.  ASSE has received no response from NASCAR.
     ASSE is the oldest and largest society of safety professionals in the
 world.  Founded in 1911, ASSE represents 32,000 safety professionals including
 Certified Safety Professionals, Certified Industrial Hygienists, Professional
 Engineers, Ergonomists, Academicians, Fire Protection Engineers, System Safety
 Experts, Health Professionals, Transportation Specialists, and a wide
 collection of other disciplines, skills, and backgrounds and assist in
 developing national and international safety standards and regulations. For
 more information contact www.asse.org .
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X15254091
 
 SOURCE  American Society of Safety Engineers