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 - May 2009

The message that occupational safety and health touches everyone, every day, and how SH&E professionals make that happen is a critical message that we must share year round.

2008-2009 ASSE President Warren Brown, CSP, ARM

Promoting Occupational Safety

Value is a word on everyone’s minds these days. As we try to weather these turbulent economic times, we are all checking our various investments to be sure they deliver value. One such investment is your ASSE membership. Over the last few months, I have had a great opportunity to take full stock of the value I get from being an ASSE member. It’s a message I have shared with many of you—as have many other Society leaders—as we have worked to approve a dues increase that will be phased in over the next 3 years.

Let’s consider for just a moment one particular benefit we receive as ASSE members—the Society’s ongoing efforts to promote occupational safety, the SH&E profession and its positive effects. Through government and public affairs, such as our current Value of the Safety Professional project, standards development activities, technical articles in our many publications and public relations outreach, ASSE helps business leaders, workers and the general public understand that effective SH&E programs improve people’s lives, add to an organization’s profitability and improve its competitive position.
ASSE has had many successes in this area. One recent example is the passage by a Florida House committee of an ASSE-supported bill to provide occupational safety and health coverage to public-sector workers in Florida. This is an important first step in the legislative process and is a positive result for ASSE and the SH&E profession. (Learn more about this on p. 20.)

Another example is North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, which this year is being observed May 3-9. Through this campaign, ASSE, its members and a growing list of partners promote the importance of workplace safety worldwide.
Consider this sampling of successful NAOSH?Week activities:

  • The American and Canadian Red Cross sponsoring a NAOSH Week web expo. The presentation can be found at

  • Lamar Advertising Co. donating 10 billboards to be placed throughout the country featuring the winning entries from this year’s Safety-on-the-Job kids’ poster contest.

  • Clorox Co. sponsoring kids’ poster contest entrants from Columbia, Costa Rica and Ecuador—including Ostin Y.E. Uni of Jumbo Valle, Columbia, third-place winner in the 13 to 14 age group.

  • Turner Construction providing funding and buses to transport the children, parents and ASSE members who participated in our special NAOSH Week events in Washington, DC.

  • Potash Corp. hosting a program during which vendors demonstrated products and local emergency services personnel answered questions and provided demonstrations.

I applaud everyone involved in organizing such events and activities, as well as all those who encouraged a child to enter the annual poster contest. It is great to set aside a special week each year to focus attention on and promote occupational safety and health and the role SH&E professionals play in the workplace—and I urge you all to find ways to share that message every week of the year. Be sure to use the many tools and resources found at and to continue to educate the public and businesses on how occupational safety and health touches everyone, every day, and how SH&E professionals make that happen. It’s a critical message and we must do all we can to share it year round.

I also applaud all members involved in various roles at the chapter, region, practice specialty and national levels. By becoming actively involved and participating in this Society, you are reaping even more from your vital investment in yourself and your profession.

As companies continue to seek ways to reduce costs, some are targeting safety-related programs and activities. As an SH&E professional, you know this is not an effective strategy. As an ASSE?member, you can be confident that your Society is using its resources—your valued investment—to ensure that business leaders, decision makers and the general public realize why and how workplace safety initiatives reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses, control costs, prevent property and environmental damage, and, most importantly, prevent the suffering and grief caused by work-related incidents.

Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM