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ASSE Notes Safety Profession Growing, Ranked as One of Top 50 Jobs in America

Posted in on Wed, Oct 27, 2010

Des Plaines, IL (October 27, 2010) — The occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) profession is growing, according to the 99-year-old American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Not only did November Money magazine’s feature ‘The 50 Best Jobs in America’ list the “environmental, health and safety specialist” job as number 22, the “environmental engineer” job as number five, and, the “risk-management manager” job as number 14; but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of SH&E practitioners is expected to increase nine percent during the 2006 – 2016 decade. Additionally, the University of California San Diego Extension listed the SH&E profession among a “dozen hot careers for college graduates”.

ASSE, with more than 32,000 SH&E professional members located worldwide, has also seen a growth in membership and participation.

“As ASSE turns 100 years old in 2011 it is clear that the profession continues to grow and show meaningful results that lead to increasing quality of life for everyone,” ASSE President Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, said today. “Safety is good business and through developing and implementing effective workplace safety and health programs at companies worldwide, ASSE members have proven through the past 99 years that they can and do make a difference. The difference is that more people than ever are going to work and leaving work injury and illness free. “

The Money magazine ranking of the Top 50 Jobs in America was developed, as reported, based on pay for experienced workers, growth prospects, and overall job satisfaction. The UC-San Diego hot career options list for college graduates was developed by the continuing education academic directors based on enrollment trends, an analysis of national employment statistics and discussions with the school extension’s more than 750 business, community and professional association curriculum advisors.

“We may not be here to see it, but I believe in the next 100 years even greater strides will be made by safety and health professionals in workplace safety, perhaps making workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses a thing of the past,” ASSE Region V Vice President Maribeth A. Anderson, of Chicago, IL, said today. “The field is growing. Our members turn to ASSE for updated technical knowledge, continued education, networking to find out from our peers what’s working in their industry that we can transfer to ours, scholarship opportunities and so much more.”
Safety professionals work in all industries around the world. They prevent harm to people, property and the environment by applying principles from engineering, education, psychology, physiology, enforcement, hygiene, health, physics and management. For instance, they work in media companies, universities, entertainment companies, food and pharmaceutical companies, oil and gas, automotive, railroad, construction, manufacturing and many more.

“Smart businesses today employ SH&E professionals and continue to update and implement effective work safety programs companywide. They know if they don’t do so they not only run the risk of having an employee hurt, but can lose their competitive advantage in today’s worldwide seamless marketplace,” Anderson continued.
ASSE members note that investing in safety pays and contributes positively to a company’s bottom line. Businesses spend about $170 billion a year on costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and pay almost $1 billion every week to injured employees and their medical providers. In addition, a recent investment firm study in Australia of businesses showed valuation links between workplace safety and health factors and investment performance. It found that companies who did not adequately manage workplace safety issues underperformed those that did.

ASSE provides resources for those considering this career, not only through its more than 150 chapters located worldwide, but also through its several student chapters.
“We encourage colleagues to attend a local ASSE chapter or student chapter meeting. You can go to the ASSE web site to find local chapters,” Anderson noted. “We always help students who are interested in the profession. The ability to network and learn from those that have been in the business a long time or even just a few years is a great value. As a matter of fact, if I can’t find the answer to a workplace safety question I can contact a fellow ASSE member whether they are in California, Puerto Rico, New York, North Dakota or Egypt, — our members come through. If they can’t help me they know someone who can. We’re all working toward the same thing – preventing injuries and illness.”

ASSE also has a list of colleges and universities that offer SH&E degree programs. The ASSE Foundation provides scholarships for those seeking a degree and continuing education in the SH&E profession and offers several professional development and certification programs for students and members continuing their education

Safety professionals’ salaries range from about $30,000 for safety inspectors to $150,000+ for highly qualified individuals. Safety professionals are knowledgeable in ‘Safety Science’, a 21st century term for everything that goes into the prevention of incidents, illnesses and other events which harm people, property and the environment. Key knowledge areas include chemistry and biology, physics, ergonomics, environmental sciences, psychology, physiology, biomechanics and medicine, engineering, business management, economics, sociology and geology.

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For a free copy of the “Your Guide to a Career in the Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Profession” please contact customer service at or download it from ASSE will be celebrating a Century of Safety in 2011 and will be host to its annual Professional Development Conference for the first time in Chicago at McCormick Place Convention Center this June 12-15.

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