The World Safety Organization (WSO) was founded in 1975 as a result of an international conference, organized by the Safety Organization of the Philippines Inc. (SOPI), in Manila, Philippines. There were over 1,ooo delegates from over 20 countries represented at that conference. On that occasion the conference delegates agreed on the need for an international exchange of information, programs, new research methods, and data, in the areas of safety, environment, and all associated fields.
In 1975 the WSO was incorporated as a not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-religious, civic entity in the Philippines, and started to work with safety professionals around the world on the promotion of the organization, development of programs, etc. Conferences, seminars, congresses, and small classes/courses were given through the years in the Pacific Rim Countries. The purpose of the organization was to protect people, property, resources, and the environment; to promote safety; and, of course, to work toward the goal to “Make Safety a Way of Life.”
During the first 10 years of the operation, approximately 7,000 WSO individual memberships were awarded. There were no services/benefits provided at that time for the WSO members.
In 1985 Dr. Glenn E. Hudson, at that time a private consultant (loss control) and a retiree from the U.S. military service after 28 plus years, participated at the Asian Safety Educational Conference organized in Manila, Philippines. During that visit the WSO Board of Directors nominated Dr. Hudson, and later confirmed him, as a Chairman of the WSO Certification Board.
In 1985 the WSO Certification Board was fully established under the leadership of Dr. Hudson as the Chairman of the WSO Certification Board, incorporated as the Missouri not-for-profit corporation.
To further increase promotion of the WSO program and to achieve better contact with the new members, the WSO began to publish the WSO News-Letter, WSO Tech-Letter, and the World Safety Journal.
WSO World Management Center was established in the U.S.A. to assist with the administrative management of the organization under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer.
In 1987 the WSO received the Consultative Status, Category II (non-governmental), with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. At that time, 157 Missions of the United Nations were awarded Honorary Membership in the WSO for their support of the WSO programs.
To insure the undisturbed continuity of programs and unified leadership, the complete administration of the organization was moved to the U.S.A., first to Doniphan, Missouri, and then in 1988 to Warrensburg, Missouri. As there was not enough support for the international administration in the rural area of Southeast Missouri, Warrensburg, with its proximity to Kansas City, was selected.
In 1989 the new WSO Board of Directors was confirmed and the Board’s first meeting was in Warrensburg, Missouri, during the WSO Regional Conference for Americas.
There are now several thousands of national and international companies, corporations, and other entities, which have received the WSO Honorary Membership for the support they provide for their employees by paying their WSO dues. There are also several organizations holding the “WSO Organizational Membership” in the WSO, which, together with the “WSO Institutional Membership,” brings to the WSO universities and research institutes, national and international associations, societies, organizations, and covers additional scores of members.
WSO-sponsored programs are the International Accrediting Commission for Safety and Environmental Education and Training, Inc., and the World Institute for Safety Education and Research.
The WSO’s purpose is to internationalize all safety fields including occupational and environmental safety & health, accident prevention movement, etc., and to disseminate throughout the world the practices, skills, arts, and technologies of the safety and accident prevention fields.
To learn more about the history of the World Safety Organization, please visit www.worldsafety.org.