August 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 - March 2006

Profitable, successful businesses realize that they must reach far beyond regulatory compliance for SH&E to be a value-added service to both internal and external customers.

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

On the Business Side of SH&E

In recent years, ASSE has become considerably more involved in linking the cause of SH&E to good management practices. Sure, there are the basic regulatory requirements that all businesses should be meeting-but those are the basics. Profitable, successful businesses realize that they must reach far beyond regulatory compliance for SH&E to be a value-added service to both internal and external customers.

What is ASSE doing to help you-the practitioner-facilitate this added value? To start, the Society has a Business of Safety Committee (BoSC). Under the auspices of the Council on Practices and Standards, this committee is gathering data, preparing documentation and serving as a source of professional information regarding ASSE's efforts to show that investment in SH&E is a sound business strategy that can have a positive impact on an organization's bottom line. To meet these goals, the BoSC monitors business-of-safety-related issues to identify matters of Society interest, reviews appropriate materials, and recommends position statements for review by the council. You can view the committee membership on the ASSE website.

Some of our more senior members may remember an initiative from some 15 years ago, dubbed "Project Minerva." The NIOSH project focused on attempting to persuade business schools to include SH&E in their curricula. ASSE is involved with another initiative that NIOSH is coordinating with Georgetown University. The project centers on the use of case studies to demonstrate the value of SH&E. I recently attended a symposium at Georgetown University, along with Dave Heidorn, ASSE's manager, government affairs and policy. Other organizations represented included NIOSH, OSHA, U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board, American Industrial Hygiene Assn., National Safety Council and Abbott Laboratories. The case for SH&E information being infused into business curriculum is strong and growing.

This area has been neglected for too long. I pledge that ASSE will continue to press this issue. Following my year as Society president, I have volunteered to continue to work in this arena on behalf of ASSE. Currently, I am an adjunct faculty member at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, teaching in the College of Business. We have a three-credit course in safety and health that is a part of the human resources curriculum. It can be done. The more SH&E knowledge that our future business leaders glean through the education process, the greater probability we have of successfully partnering with those leaders and providing workplaces with improved safety, health and environment.

Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP