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 - November 2005

We must constantly seek to improve our level of knowledge. We must be of the mindset that learning is a lifetime process.

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

Learning is Key to Preparedness

Our hearts and prayers are with the thousands of Americans affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Many ASSE members and their families will be actively involved in providing aid to those in need during the long recovery process.

Lessons learned in the aftermath of Katrina were quickly applied as Hurricane Rita approached. News reports informed us that more than three million people were evacuated from the path of Rita. Reaction and response to this second major hurricane was swift and decisive.

One of the beauties of our profession is that the learning opportunities are endless. None of us will ever be able to say, "I know everything about the SH&E profession." This statement is important. We must continue to learn, seek out new information, gain knowledge from the experience of others and never allow the knowledge we possess to languish.

One of ASSE's primary goals is to provide SH&E practitioners with many opportunities to learn about topics such as emergency preparedness and related subjects. Members who take advantage of such offerings are preparing themselves to manage the various contingencies that we face in the discharge of our duties.

ASSE offers many venues in which such learning experiences are available. Each year, the annual PDC provides an outstanding collection of SH&E topics for attendees. In addition, we offer pre- and post-conference seminars for extended learning opportunities. Seminars are conducted nationwide throughout the year as well, with special offerings such as SeminarFest and hot-topic symposia.

For those who cannot attend the national PDC or seminars, participating in a regional or chapter PDC is an excellent alternative. This year, I have had the honor of attending the Region III and Region VI PDCs. The offerings and opportunities at those regional conferences were well-planned and diverse. Chapter conferences offer yet another learning option.

Recently, ASSE has begun to offer audioconferences. Topics to date have included lockout/tagout, confined space entry and nanotechnology. Additional audioconferences are being planned as they have proven to be an informative way to help SH&E professionals learn about new standards and cutting-edge topics. They are also cost-effective because you learn from your desk-no travel expenses are required.

Bottom line: To maintain our professionalism, we must constantly seek to improve our level of knowledge. We must be of the mindset that learning is a lifetime process.

It will help us be prepared to deal with any situation we may face. Never stop learning.

My personal thanks to all the members and chapters who have contributed and continue to contribute to the relief and recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast area. Until next month, stay safe.

Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP