September 2014

As chief elected officer of the Society, ASSE's president promotes the advancement of the Society and the safety profession, and represents ASSE before members, other relevant professional societies and various governmental agencies. Professional Safety shares his latest thoughts on the Society, the profession and its practice.

Read past messages in the President's Message Archive.

President's Message - April 2005

Thanks to your involvement and support, awareness of the key role occupational safety and health plays in keeping people safe and helping businesses deliver world-class results continues to grow.

2004-2005 ASSE President Gene Barfield, CSP

Tell Safety's Story: NAOSH Week, May 1-7

SH&E professionals work day in and day out to ensure that the millions of people who go to work each day return home safely. We use many resources to accomplish this task. Special-emphasis campaigns such as North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week are just one of the resources I have found very useful. Over the last few years, NAOSH Week has greatly increased awareness-among employers, employees and the public—of the importance of workplace safety and health.

During NAOSH Week 2005—slated to run May 1-7—ASSE, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, OSHA and many other organizations and communities across North America will focus attention on the importance of working safely. Our members are committed to protecting people, property and the environment and do it very well. I ask you to join us in using NAOSH Week as another tool to help us educate our friends, neighbors, students, community leaders, corporations, legislators and others that it's no accident when tragedies don't occur.

The world continues to change rapidly as do the risks and methods we use to control them. Through our dedicated efforts, many of these risks are identified and remedied before they can endanger employees. NAOSH Week is a good opportunity for us to share how SH&E practitioners keep people safe and healthy at work-whether in an office, on the road, at a construction site, in a plant or in one of the many other locations we endeavor to protect each day.

To participate, ASSE members can contact their chapter president, chapter public relations chair, regional vice president or area director. ASSE's Diane Hurns ( can send you a NAOSH Week kit or you can visit to find more tools to help you develop a successful NAOSH Week activity or event. The 2005 kit includes a NAOSH Week guidebook and backgrounder; SH&E factsheets; draft proclamation in support of NAOSH Week; news release template; technical papers on how safety pays; and ASSE brochures on roadway safety, HazMats and young worker safety.

With these tools, you can design activities around your community's needs. For example, in the northwest U.S. and in Louisiana, members will focus on transportation safety—an important area given the fact that highway incidents were the leading cause of on-the-job deaths in 2003. To support their efforts, they will distribute ASSE's Roadway Crashes brochure. In Oklahoma City, activities will include a Safety Day at the state capitol and the traveling Work Zone Safety Memorial. In Texas, Kansas and Missouri, members will distribute ASSE's Workplace Safety Guide for New Workers brochure and factsheets, and share member expertise to emphasize the importance of training new workers.

As part of its national efforts, ASSE again sponsored the NAOSH Week Kids' Safety-on-the-Job poster contest. The contest is a fun way to teach our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews about the importance of workplace safety and health. The four winning posters are featured on the NAOSH Week poster that was distributed in March, and the winners will be recognized during the kickoff event to be held at U.S. Dept. of Labor headquarters in Washington, DC, on May 2.

I want to thank you for making NAOSH Week a success. Through your support and involvement, awareness of the key role occupational safety and health plays in keeping people safe and helping businesses deliver world-class results continues to grow.

Your efforts to anticipate and control work-related risks are not new to you, but they are to many others. Take this opportunity to educate them about the occupational SH&E profession, what its practitioners do and why it is so important—for those who work, their families, co-workers, friends and the organizations in which they work. This year, ASSE will present the NAOSH Champion Award to those who help the Society meet the goals and objectives of NAOSH Week. So join us and help make NAOSH Week 2005 our best yet.

Gene Barfield, CSP