ASSE Announces Winners of 100th Anniversary Essay Contests
In honor of the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) 100th anniversary celebration, written and video essay contests were held for the first time this year. Written contest entrants were asked to describe the greatest challenge facing the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) profession in the 21st Century, while video contest entrants were asked to show why the world needs more SH&E professionals. Joann Robertson, CSP, ARM, CPCU, received the top prize in the written essay contest, while Kelly O’Malley, Aaron Padoshek and student member Julia Lippert took top honors in the video essay contests.
An ASSE member for more than 20 years, Joann Robertson, CSP, ARM, CPCU, supervisor of risk management services for Wright Risk Management in Uniondale, NY, won top honors in the written essay contest for her entry, titled, “Two Paper Cups With a String.” Her essay identifies communication as the biggest challenge facing SH&E professionals in the workplace. Robertson is a member of ASSE’s Long Island Chapter and is a frequent contributor to Perspectives, the newsletter of the Public Sector Practice Specialty.
In her award-winning essay, Robertson wrote, “To me, the biggest challenge is obvious. It revolves around the issue that safety professionals do not communicate clearly and allow confusion and crossed wires to occur. We over-rely on technology and need to refocus on improving our communication skills in order to strengthen our relationships to better relate to, and protect, clients, coworkers and colleagues.” To read a copy of the winning essay, please visit http://www.asse100.org/docs/essay_Robertson.pdf.
For the video essay portion of the contest, winners were selected from both the judge’s choice and fan choice categories. ASSE members Kelly O’Malley and Aaron Padoshek, both of InjuryFree in Woodinville, WA, won in the judge’s choice category for their video, titled, “Where Would We Be Without Safety Professionals?” O’Malley has a B.S. in Allied Health from Winona State University. For more than 12 years, O’Malley’s focus has been increasing worker safety and decreasing workplace risk. An incident in early 2011 resulted in her temporary dependence on the use of a wheelchair and made injury prevention a more personal cause, reinforcing her determination to promote workplace safety. Padoshek has an A.A.S. from ITT Technical Institute and is the designer and creative director at InjuryFree.
O’Malley and Padoshek commented, “The ASSE safety video was a project near and dear to our hearts. We wanted to stress how safety affects everyone and how fortunate workers are to have safety professionals who are dedicated to ensuring they make it home to their families each and every night.” To view the winning video, please visit http://vimeo.com/20383457.
The fan favorite video, titled, “Try EH&S Instead,” was submitted by Julia Lippert, Treasurer of ASSE’s University of Illinois Chicago Student Section. The video was developed by Lippert and fellow student section members to demonstrate the importance of safety and health in the workplace. Lippert stated, “We had a lot of fun making the video. We came up with the idea of a parody of the 5-hour energy drink commercials for our video because we were all drawn to safety and health, in part, because of the exciting variety of work available to us that would be different from the cubicle setting.” To view the fan favorite video, please visit http://vimeo.com/groups/100videocontest/videos/20423587.
ASSE congratulates all of the winners and entrants for their awards and efforts. For more information about the ASSE 100th anniversary essay contests and ASSE’s 100th anniversary celebration, please visit www.asse100.org.
Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 33,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education. For more information, please go to www.asse.org and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go to www.asse.org/assecenturyofsafety.