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 - September 2005

As we become more active, we prompt others to get involved. The more people involved, the more successful our efforts to promote the profession and SH&E will be.

2005-2006 ASSE President Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP

Positive Involvement: It's Your Choice

Last month, I shared my thoughts on being asked, "What do I get for my ASSE membership?" This month, I'd like to ask each of you a question: "What do you put into your membership?"

Our involvement with ASSE can fall into two areas. We can be active, participative and collaborative within our respective chapters, at the regional level or on a national committee. Or, we can sit back and simply ignore the opportunities that ASSE membership affords us. The choice is yours. My choice is positive involvement.

Being actively involved in our Society provides benefits for many. As I noted last month, networking is one major benefit. Gaining knowledge from others and sharing our knowledge helps us advance each other's professional growth. That's positive involvement.

Many of you attend ASSE's annual Professional Development Conference, or regional and local PDCs, but have you considered being a presenter? Sharing your knowledge and experiences is a tremendous way to be positively involved. It's also a great way to learn as you interact with other attendees.
Another way to contribute positively to our profession is through active participation in standards development. ASSE is secretariat of eight standards committees and has representatives on nearly 40 committees that develop and maintain close to 100 safety standards. Participating in standards development is yet another way to share and gain knowledge while helping to advance workplace safety.

Mentoring is another form of positive involvement. One of the greatest compliments a seasoned SH&E professional can receive is to be asked for help by those new to the profession. We must take time to guide and coach these new practitioners to whom we will soon pass the baton. This also ties in closely to our support of ASSE student sections. These students are the future of the profession and they need our support as mentors. Could our involvement be any more positive than this?

Think also about the many activities in which ASSE chapters participate. I recently shared a wonderful evening with members of the South Carolina Chapter to celebrate the chapter's 50th anniversary. Among the chapter's accomplishments this past year was starting a CSP study group. The chapter was also instrumental in supporting seatbelt legislation that has since been enacted by the state. Other chapters provide needy families with safety seats for their children. Some chapters support scouting programs or participate in local career fairs. Many chapters support student sections at universities and colleges that offer safety curriculum. These are all ways that we can have a positive influence on our communities.

Positive involvement also plays another key role in our Society and profession. As we become more active, we prompt others to get involved. The more people involved, the more successful our efforts to promote the profession and SH&E will be. The more we do to make people aware, the more all involved will benefit.

As we continue the march, we can all experience positive involvement. I urge you to make the most of these opportunities. The choice truly is yours.

Next month, AIHA president Roy Buchan and I will present a joint message that will highlight how we can broaden our positive involvement through cooperation and collaboration with other SH&E organizations.

Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP