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 - July 2013
Connecting the Dots
|2013 ASSE President Kathy A. Seabrook, CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSHM
Welcome to a new leadership year. As I start my term as ASSE President, I want to highlight the many ASSE initiatives that are relevant to you in your job, while advancing our profession. Together, we will focus on connecting the dots at all levels of the Society, internally and with our external stakeholders on relevant initiatives. By relevant I mean initiatives, collaborations, alliances, resources and tools that help you do your job. As a member, this is important because knowledge is powerful and provides a competitive edge in your career success and advancement. That is what ASSE is all about.
These initiatives also aim to move the needle on the value of our profession so the leaders in your organizations better understand that safe, healthful workplaces are good business. This message is good for all: safety professionals, our profession, ASSE and, most importantly, workers around the world. As we know, the more integrated workplace safety and health are on boardroom agendas and in business dialogue, the more effective we all can be.
Because ASSE cannot move the needle on the value of our profession alone, we are working with traditional and nontraditional external stakeholders. Over the next 11 months, we will focus together on connecting the dots between you, our profession and sound business outcomes, whether it’s through initiatives with agencies such as NIOSH and OSHA, activities with international sister organizations such as Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, or collaboration with groups such as the Global Reporting Initiative.
To give you a sense of what’s to come, let’s look at some current ASSE initiatives.
Fall Protection & Motor Vehicle Safety
ASSE’s latest collaborations with long-term partners NIOSH and OSHA focus on fall protection and highway safety. In fall protection, the collective goal is to reduce construction-related fall incidents by engaging ASSE’s 35,000 members in the Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction. You can learn more at www.asse .org/newsroom/fall-protection.php. I also encourage you to contact ASSE’s Ron Sokol, a key member of the campaign group, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIOSH’s Center for Motor Vehicle Safety (www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/motorvehicle) is another great resource that provides tools to help SH&E professionals address the leading cause of worker fatalities. The center’s leader, Stephanie Pratt, spoke at Safety 2013, and will be featured in an interview in a future issue of PS.
ASSE Risk Assessment Institute
The business community continues to embrace the value of risk assessment. According to Babson Executive Education, in a survey of 1,048 executives, managers and other business individuals, 70% said they were “more focused on managing risk and uncertainty today compared to before the market crash of 2008.” Risk is the language of business, and the business community’s increased interest in risk provides new opportunities for those engaged in its assessment, specifically the SH&E community.
Promoting the risk assessment function not only highlights the value SH&E professionals deliver each day, but also counters the notion that we are compliance focused. That’s why we launched the ASSE Risk Assessment Institute at Safety 2013. Through the institute, we are striving to ensure that SH&E risk assessment is viewed as an integral part of an organization’s risk management process and that safety professionals are perceived as possessing key competencies needed to manage a wide range of risks.
Ultimately, ASSE aims to educate the business community on the role and value of SH&E professionals in the risk process; improve risk-related education for SH&E professionals; provide a platform for the SH&E community to contribute to the development of new evidence-based risk-related policies, processes and solutions; and act as a clearinghouse for risk-related information and tools relevant to the SH&E profession. To learn more about the institute, including how you might assist in these efforts, visit www.oshrisk.org.
As ASSE members, we have great opportunities to collaborate and contribute. Our Society is working to help each of us by providing the knowledge, know-how and tools to ensure safe and healthy workplaces and raise the bar on the value of the SH&E profession. As you meet your challenges each day, ask yourself, “What can I do to increase the value of SH&E in my workplace?” Together, let’s connect the dots and raise the bar on SH&E in our workplaces and in our profession.
ASSE provides the knowledge, know-how and tools we need to ensure safe workplaces. Together, let’s connect the dots and raise the bar on SH&E in our workplaces and in our profession.