About the Governor’s Industrial Safety & Health Advisory Board
Following World War II, it was realized that there were nearly as many Americans killed in the defense industries as were killed on the battlefields. In 1949 President Harry Truman called a conference of governors in Washington, DC. He urged all the governors to sponsor state conferences to educate the workforce in accident prevention in an attempt to reduce injuries and fatalities. Governor Langlie returned to Washington and kicked off what would become the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference. The first conferences focused on the high-risk industries and included traffic safety.
The Governor’s Industrial Safety & Health Advisory Board was created in 1951 to provide a means for representatives from various industries to contribute and serve as advisors regarding safe workplaces. The Board is made up of Management and Labor representatives from 17 industries and are supported by staff from the Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. This demonstrates management, labor and government working together on their shared commitment to safe and healthy workplaces. Each Board member leads an industry planning committee which is usually comprised of half management and half labor representatives. These are statewide committees, who meet throughout the year to plan the conference and events. The members of the planning committees are safety and health-oriented representatives of those industries of the state.
The Board was incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit in 1979 to more effectively manage the logistics of presenting an annual Conference. Today, the Board’s outreach has grown beyond the annual Conference to include Agriculture Safety Day, Construction Safety Day and Maritime Safety Day.