Professional Safety

December 2015

Professional Safety

For more than 50 years, ASSE's Professional Safety journal has been sharing the latest technical knowledge in OSH —information that is constantly being developed through research and on-the-job experience.

Each issue delivers practical guidance, techniques and solutions to help OSH professionals identify hazards, protect people, prevent injuries, improve work environments and educate management that investing in safety is a sound business strategy.

In This Issue...


Cover Story & Features

Welcome to the Professional Safety articles section. Here you'll find this month's offering of articles that deliver cutting-edge information, lessons learned and practical guidance from practioners in the safety, health, and environmental profession.

Full-issue PDFs of Professional Safety (from January 2005 forward) are now available to members through ASSE's Members Only website. Each file contains interactive links to help members navigate through the file. We've also included links to ASSE, regulatory agencies and other sources, and the journal's advertisers. A reader simply needs to mouse over a link to be redirected.

Digital Subscribers please access here.

Cover Story

Industrial Safety

Decoding Machine Safety: Understanding Ranking Protocols

By Chris Soranno

Many of the nomenclatures used in industry standards for machines rely on seemingly simple ranking systems; however, because many of the classifications utilize alphabetical or numerical designators, confusion is common. As is the case in many specific fields of study, one must first be familiar with the basic expressions that are often used to speak intelligently about a given topic. This article is a primer for those looking for a single reference source to understand this seemingly confusing lexicon.


Professional Development

Culture Change Agent: The Overarching Role of OSH Professionals

By Fred A. Manuele

Overcoming management system deficiencies occurs only by modifying the way things get done—that is, only if an organization’s culture is changed with respect to its system of expected performance. Thus, the safety professional’s overarching role is that of a culture change agent. This article recognizes the difficulties when the safety culture is negative and cites resources designed to help OSH professionals become more effective culture change agents.

Professional Development

Key Competencies: Preparing Graduate Students for the Global Workplace

By Joseph M. Losko and Tracey L. Cekada

Classroom curriculum for OSH students continues to evolve based on input from the field and academia. The profession is more dynamic than ever, and the global workplace presents emerging challenges. This article examines the competencies that educators and OSH professionals deem necessary for global safety practice that are in addition to or complement ABET’s 2012-13 program criteria for master’s-level safety degree programs. These competencies include hard (technical) and soft (nontechnical) categories. The ability to utilize and acquire communication skills, and to understand culture and customs specific to the area of practice were identified as key. Soft competencies were identified as vital to implementing and facilitating the technical aspects of OSH as well.


Columns & Other Sections

President’s Message

Growing in India, growing globally

PS Asks

Michael Flynn on overlapping vulnerabilities in construction

Leading Thoughts
Unlocking the power of soft skills

Best Practices

Combating chemical disasters

Safety Photo Gallery

A collection of safety photos featured each month in PS.



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