Bookmark and Share

Florida American Society of Safety Engineers Talk Safety at Great American Teach-In

Posted in on Wed, Dec 2, 2009

Orlando, FL (December 2, 2009) — To teach teens and kids about the occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) profession, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) members from across Florida including: Heather Earl, CSP of Winter Haven, FL; D. Todd Beach, CSP of Winter Garden, FL; Jeff Spackman of Orlando, FL; William P. Peterson of Clearwater, FL; and David Killian, P.E., of Lake Buena Vista, FL; participated in the Great American Teach-In held on November 18, 2009, where volunteers go to local schools to share their knowledge, experience and dedication to their careers with students from kindergarten to grade 12.

Earl and Beach, both professional members of the ASSE Central Florida Chapter, presented information along with ASSE’s interactive teaching tool, the “Safety Suitcase,” to elementary school students. Earl presented at Garner Elementary School in Winter Haven and Beach presented at Lake Whitney Elementary School in Winter Garden. Spackman, ASSE Central Florida Chapter president, also discussed the SH&E profession with seventh grade students at Glenridge Middle School in Baldwin Park.

Peterson, a member of the ASSE West Florida Chapter presented information and handed out ASSE’s free “Your Guide to a Career in the Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Profession” brochure to students at Clearwater High School in Clearwater. Killian of the ASSE Central Florida Chapter also participated in the teach-in at Pineloch Elementary School, presenting to two second grade classes. Still emphasizing the importance of safety, he mainly discussed ride engineering and talked about different rides in the “Themepark World”.

“I had such a great time teaching the kids about safety,” said Earl. “I was surprised at how much they already knew about safety, and how much they were interested in learning more! They were like little sponges – soaking it all up. The Great American Teach-In is so important to complement the existing school curriculum. It is very important to expose the students to non-teachers who may become role models as they continue their education. Supporting the Teach-In helps students better understand future career opportunities – in this case safety and health careers, the value of school, and the important relationship between school and community.”

Earl serves as manager, safety and health line of business (LOB) operations support for Walt Disney World Resorts in Lake Buena Vista, FL. An active ASSE member for more than 10 years, she is currently the ASSE Central Florida Chapter vice president, serves on the chapter public relations committee and the professional development committee, and has served as chapter newsletter editor for the past three years. She is also a member of the ASSE Management and Manufacturing Practice Specialties, as well as the Management Practice Specialty – Service Branch, and is involved with ASSE’s common interest groups, Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) — where she actively mentors women in safety, and the Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW). Earl was also awarded a North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week champion award by her peers and was a recipient of the 2006 ASSE Arkansas Chapter Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) Award. She has also been nominated for the ASSE Region IV SPY this year.

An active ASSE member for more than 15 years, Beach is also a member of ASSE’s Management Practice Specialty and the Management Practice Specialty – Service Branch. He is a senior safety and health technical manager for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. During the Teach-In Beach discussed his professional experience within safety and health, shared a brief explanation of Disney’s ‘Wild about Safety’, and discussed some of the Disney roles that require safety and health policies and equipment.

Spackman serves as director corporate safety and security for Bright House Networks, the sixth largest cable company in the United States. Besides serving as ASSE Central Florida Chapter president, he is also a member of the ASSE Construction, Management, and Transportation Practice Specialties and was awarded ASSE’s Central Florida Chapter and Region IV SPY in 2009.

“It was a great experience and hope to do it again someday,” said Spackman. “I spoke about what it is like to be a safety professional and how and why I chose to work in safety. Next, I reviewed all of the safety devices that our Bright House Networks employees use during their job. They were especially interested in the gaffing equipment, which are the devices used to climb telephone poles. However, the biggest hit by far was when I gave out ear plugs and showed each class how to use them.

“The biggest questions the students had overall involved driving and cell phone use or texting. They had all kinds of questions about how safe it is to drive while on the cell phone. In addition several students indicated that they may consider a safety career,” added Spackman.

Peterson, a member of the ASSE West Florida Chapter and the ASSE Public Sector Practice Specialty, serves as a risk management specialist for the City of Clearwater. Killian serves as facility safety enhancements manager for Worldwide Safety and Accessibility, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. An active member of ASSE, he is also a member of the ASSE Engineering, International, Management and Fire Protection Practice Specialties, as well as the ASSE Management Practice Specialty – Service Branch.

“I think it is important for teens to learn about the existence of the SH&E profession,” said Peterson. “No matter where they end up working, they will be affected by internal and external safety professionals. They need to understand the importance of safety not only because of the expensive consequences but because people’s lives are at stake unless safety is first.”

For more information on the ASSE Safety Suitcase or to download a free copy of ASSE’s SH&E careers brochure go to Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 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, health care and education. For more information please go to

Search Releases

Search our press release database.