The top stories in this edition of Society Update are devoted to the relief efforts and stories that have developed as a result of the devastation brought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These stories are not intended to be exhaustive, as we realize that many others are involved with providing aid to our neighbors in the south. To share your story, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the month since Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast, ASSE has remained in close contact with various federal and state agencies, seeking ways for the Society and its members to help in the recovery efforts. Over that time, many members have provided financial support, offered their professional services, and provided much-needed manpower, supplies and equipment across the devastated region. As Jack H. Dobson Jr., CSP, said following the Society's donation of $10,000 to the American Red Cross in early September, "In tragic times such as these, Americans have always found the strength to rally together to give support and aid where they can. For 94 years, ASSE has been committed to protecting people, property and the environment. In light of the recent disaster, our members have rallied around the country as individuals and chapters to donate time, goods and money. We applaud those efforts that will continue for weeks to come."
To learn more about the recovery efforts, as well as about ongoing needs in the hurricane-ravaged areas, ASSE's home page also features links to charitable organizations, sites for SH&E professionals who want to volunteer, FEMA resources for hurricane victims, resources for SH&E professionals, resources for employees, and the s tate health departments in affected areas.
ASSE members and chapters have individually and collectively contributed greatly to the hurricane relief efforts. Click here to read some of their stories.
To support ASSE members who are struggling as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the Society is offering a dues relief program for all members who are in financial need in the USPS-affected area (i.e., where postal service has been discontinued indefinitely). The offer also extends to members in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama who are facing financial hardship (e.g., significant personal loss or loss of employer). For more information, contact Customer Service at 847-699-2929.
Based on the individual member’s renewal schedule, this program will automatically extend the affected members’ dues renewal dates for six months. The extension period will be re-evaluated in the future to determine whether an extension is needed. There will be no charge to reinstate dues for those affected during this financial relief period.
ASSE’s intent with implementation of this program is to be as generous as possible to the members impacted in these areas. As more information is received and the rebuild process in the areas is better known, the program will be adjusted as needed.
Via its online job board, NexSteps.org, ASSE is offering free job postings through Oct. 24, 2005, to employers and employees recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
"We are doing this to assist those seeking employment due to loss of jobs in the gulf and to help companies in the affected regions return to full capacity," says ASSE President Jack H. Dobson Jr., CSP. "This will help in the rebuilding and recovery efforts."
As part of its ongoing effort to educate children about the life importance of workplace safety and health, ASSE has launched its fourth annual Safety-on-the-Job poster contest. Open to ASSE members' children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, the contest runs through Feb. 14, 2006. The five age categories for the contest are: 1) ages 5 to 6; 2) ages 7 to 8; 3) ages 9 to 10; 4) ages 11 to 12; and 5) ages 13 to 14. The winning poster in each age group will be featured on the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week (April 30-May 1, 2006) poster. Each age-group winner will also receive a $1,000 savings bond, and all entrants will receive a prize. Winning entries will be announced in March 2006. Contest rules and an entry form are available at www.asse.org/naosh.
Join ASSE Nov. 17-18 in Atlanta for the Manufacturing Safety Symposium. The event will provide an excellent opportunity to learn effective strategies for assessing and reducing risk, increasing employee participation, managing contractor safety and improving hazard communication in a manufacturing environment. Other topics will include designing for an aging workforce, manufacturing ergonomics, minimizing threats of terrorism, organizational certifications and operational excellence. Attendees will earn 1.2 CEUs/CoCs; 2.0 IH CM points; 0.25 CHMM CMPs.
SeminarFest 2006-Jan. 22-28-will feature 45 seminars in one location-the Flamingo Las Vegas. Depending on the number of courses selected, attendees can earn up to 5.0 CEUs/CoCs or 7.0 CM points. Each seminar is individually priced, and discounts increase the more seminars you attend. Topics this year will include return on investment, balanced scorecard approach to safety measurement, noise control, statistical analysis of safety data, nanotechnology, incident investigation and root-cause analysis, entrepreneurship, strategic planning and auditing.
During a recent audioconference, ASSE member Robert Adams, CSP, CIH, addressed the challenges SH&E professionals are facing with regard to nanotechnology. Adams recommended that SH&E professionals in the nanotechnology industry proactively develop safety practices to protect workers from nanoparticle exposure.
As the number of nanotechnology businesses grow, more research and data is needed to understand potential health effects to workers. Adams advised that nanoparticles could be absorbed into the bloodstream and brain through skin contact or inhalation through the lungs, but the specific health effects are not yet known. For more information about nanotechnology, click here.
Focusing on workplace safety in the fishing industry, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security recently appointed ASSE member Alan Davis, CSP, to the U.S. Coast Guard's Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Advisory Committee. Serving a two-year term, Davis will work with the committee to reduce injuries and enhance safety efforts in the commercial fishing industry. Davis is safety and compliance manager for American Seafoods Co. and he is a member of ASSE's Puget Sound Chapter.
The latest additions to ASSE's Honor Roll.
The Society remembers the following members who passed away in recent months. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.
Louis D. Chauser, Baton Rouge, LA; 14 years of service
Hugh F. Keepers, Austin, TX; 36 years of service
Stanley E. Lassa, Odessa, TX; 18 years of service
Eugene Von Riestenber, Florence, KY; 24 years of service
Members recognized for 25, 40 and 50 years of service to ASSE.
To help you get to know who does what at ASSE-and who you might need to call about a specific question-we have launched a section on the ASSE website called "ASSE Staff Resources." In our second installment, you'll meet the staff of the ASSE Foundation and learn more about what they do and how it benefits you as an ASSE member as well as the profession.