Vol. 11, No. 5

Top Stories

Foundation Awards Scholarships & Professional Development Grants

The ASSE Foundation (ASSEF) recently announced the recipients of its annual SH&E scholarships. These scholarships—totaling nearly $80,000—will be presented during ASSE’s upcoming Safety 2007 Professional Development Conference and Exposition to be held June 24-27 in Orlando, FL. Through these scholarships, ASSEF supports students entering the occupational safety, health and environmental field. In addition, ASSEF distributes professional development grants to help SH&E professionals advance in their careers. This year, the Foundation is awarding $9,500 in grants. The grant program is supported by ASSE members, corporations and individuals who value the work occupational safety and health professionals bring to the industry.

WISE Offers Mentoring Service

Whether you’re a new SH&E practitioner seeking to chart a successful career path or a seasoned pro eager to share experiences and insight, be sure to check out the new mentoring program from ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) common interest group. In addition to helping new practitioners understand the profession, the program is designed to encourage and empower women to identify and develop skills to more effectively advance their careers. The program will formally launch in September 2007, with mentoring relationships expected to last for 1 year, with an option of continuing for a second year.

ASSE Urges Florida Legislators to Protect Employer Rights to Set Safety Rules

ASSE has taken a stand against legislation proposed in Florida—and introduced in several other states—that would make it illegal for employers to prevent employees from bringing a gun on the employer’s property hidden in a car.
“Though framed by its supporters as a personal or gun ownership rights bill, SB 2356, in fact, is aimed at undercutting the right of an employer to determine how best to run a business,” says ASSE President Donald S. Jones Sr., P.E., CSP, on behalf of ASSE in a letter to Florida Judiciary Committee Chair Senator J. Alex Villalobos.

“To guard against these risks and comply with legal responsibilities under federal and common law,” the letter continues, “companies establish safety rules to protect workers, their own property and the communities around their facilities. These rules may, at times, include barring guns from the company’s property. Against the right of a company to make those safety rules, SB 2356 presumes that its advocates know better than these companies and our members how to manage safety risks. This sets a dangerous precedent of interference over a company’s right to determine the policies that allow it to operate safely.”

Government Affairs Vice President for Region IV Edwin Granberry Jr. recently urged Florida legislators to vote against the proposed state legislation. “Because employers give our members the responsibility to help ensure workers are able to go home safe and healthy from their jobs each day, we urge legislators to reject SB 2356.” Granberry also noted that if SB 2356 were passed into law, company owners would probably be facing new lawsuits for carrying out their long-standing responsibilities under established law to protect workers and the surrounding community.

The full text of the letter is available in the GA section of the ASSE website, as are links to the proposed legislation. For more information on this issue, contact Dave Heidorn, ASSE’s manager, government affairs and policy.

Leadership Connection: Volunteer Opportunities with ASSE

When you joined ASSE, you obviously had some particular needs in mind. But have you considered how you can personally benefit from the time you invest in ASSE? By volunteering and being an ASSE leader, you learn new skills that help you strengthen both your future and ASSE’s future. Committee involvement and leadership at the local, area, regional and national levels provide you with a chance to gain experience in areas such as project management, team building, presentations, networking, budget development, time management and strategic planning. Learn more about current opportunities in ASSE’s online Leadership Connection database.

More News

May 9: Occupational Safety & Health Professional Day

Occupational Safety & Health Professional Day, the day to recognize the ongoing efforts of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals, is May 9. ASSE members are encouraged to use the day to increase awareness of the profession while sharing their pride in what they do to identify hazards and prevent occupational injury, illness and property damage. First approved in March 2006 by ASSE’s Board of Directors, Occupational Safety & Health Professional Day is recognized on the Wednesday during NAOSH Week. NAOSH Week, which is May 6-12, celebrates and focuses on the importance of preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. This can be accomplished through events such as safety days, scheduled speakers who share insight into the safety issue, or by simply thanking someone you know whose goal is to help improve everyday safety within the workplace.

ASSE in Australia
Left to right: SIA member Jim Toshach; SIA member Gary Thexton; SIA Administration Manager Joanne Mitrakas; ASSE President-Elect Michael W. Thompson, CSP; and ASSE and SIA Member Neil Dine.

International Outreach: ASSE in Australia

A delegation of ASSE representatives—including ASSE President-Elect Michael W. Thompson, CSP, attended the 10th Annual Safety in Action Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Hosted by the Safety Institute of Australia (Victorian Division), the conference featured sessions on topics such as the future of occupational health, innovative safety solutions for the future, leadership and culture, and risk management. International outreach with other safety organizations throughout the world is an important facet of building the future of the Society and the profession.

NIOSH Lab Safety

Community Service Idea: Improve School Lab Safety

Looking for ways to help your community? Consider this idea from Emory Knowles, a professional member of ASSE’s Chesapeake Chapter: NIOSH recently published a School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide. Sharing this resource with your local school district or your child’s science teacher is not only a great way to help improve school safety, it’s also a great opportunity to increase awareness of safety and health, SH&E professionals and ASSE.

ASSE Packages New Standards that Address Slips, Trips & Falls

Two recently approved standards—ANSI/ASSE A10.18-2007, Safety Requirements for Temporary Roof and Floor Holes, Wall Openings, Stairways and Other Unprotected Edges in Construction and Demolition Operations, and ANSI/ASSE A1264.1-2007, Safety Requirements for Workplace Walking/Working Surfaces and Their Access; Workplace, Floor, Wall and Roof Openings; Stairs and Guardrails Systems—are currently available in a special package designed to give SH&E professionals the best-available guidance on the prevention of injuries and fatalities resulting in slips, trips and falls in both general industry and construction and demolition operations. The package includes a selection of historical standards for reference as well.

Chapter News

IUP Student Section Delivers Career Presentation

ASSE’s Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Student Section recently delivered a presentation on the SH&E profession to students of Indiana High School in Indiana, PA. The presenters, Nicole Buczak, Justin Little and Clint Shinsky, discussed job placement and career opportunities and IUP’s safety science curriculum. They also shared their personal experiences in the occupational safety and health field.

The presentation was part of a community service project to educate high school students about the field of safety science. “We, as a group, feel that many high school students have little or no knowledge of the major,” says Buczak.

Part of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter, the IUP Student Section has won the MSA Outstanding ASSE Student Section of the Year award several times, and currently boasts about 100 members.

Joel Adkins holding $1,000 contribution received from ASSE Ohio-based chapters and the Colonial Virginia Chapter to attend NAOSH Week ceremony in Washington, DC. Also pictured (left to right): Central Ohio Chapter President Kirby Utt; Sherriff Deputy Lance Plough; Amy Stewart, ASSE member and Joel's sponsor for the poster contest; and school principal Shawn Winkelfoos.

ASSE Chapters Help Send NAOSH Week Poster Contest Winner to DC

Thanks to the generosity of several ASSE chapters, Joel Adkins, 8, of Marengo, OH, creator of one of the first-place posters in ASSE’s 5th Annual Kids Safety-on-the-Job Poster Contest, and his family will be heading to Washington, DC, for the May 7 NAOSH Week 2007 national kick-off events. The chapters—Central Ohio; Northern Ohio; Southwestern Ohio; Kitty Hawk; McKinley; Maumee Valley; and Colonial Virginia—donated $1,000 to help Adkins and his family cover the cost of the trip.

Adkins’s poster, titled “Be Careful Around Moving Equipment,” won first place in the 7-8 age category for best reflecting safety at work. His poster was in the contest thanks to ASSE professional member Amy Stewart, CSP, who sponsored his entry. Although the contest is officially open to ASSE members’ children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, Stewart petitioned ASSE to open the contest to all students of Highland local schools, where she is project director for a federal grant Safe Schools/Healthy Students program.

Keene State Student Section Named Outstanding Academic Organization of the Year

ASSE’s Student Section at Keene State College in Keene, NH, recently accepted the Keene State College 2007 Leadership Award for Outstanding Academic Organization. The annual award is given to the academic organization that best exemplifies its mission and contributes to the student experience on campus. The group was nominated by the Keene State student body for its efforts to organize events such as a Student Involvement Fair, a health fair and an Alumni Safety Day, which included a safety and health fair. Members of the student section also attended the 36th Annual Safety and Health Conference and Exposition in Nashua, NH.

Granite State Chapter Outreach Activities

ASSE chapters do great things to help their communities while advancing awareness of occupational safety and health. ASSE’s Granite State Chapter is a case in point. Several members were involved in the 2007 New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference & Expo. Chapter member Eric Brett was a conference speaker, while chapter members John Wojtas, John Lysy and Ron Godbout sat on the conference committee. The chapter also hosted a booth at the expo, as did the Keene State College Student Section, which is part of the chapter. In addition, the chapter held an event to honor Lyman Cousens, a longtime ASSE member who recently retired as executive director of the Safety & Health Council of Northern New England.

In addition, as part of its alliance with the New Hampshire area OSHA office, the chapter worked with the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Department of Labor to develop “The Immigrant Workforce: Overcoming the Language Barrier to Promote a Safe Work Environment.” During this workshop, a panel of experts will discuss ways to overcome cultural and language barriers in the workplace and how these barriers can impact workplace safety.

According to Chapter President Eric Clouthier, the chapter also plans to support upcoming legislation in New Hampshire that would change the law for seatbelt use. Currently, the state is one of the few without a seatbelt-for-all law.

Hudson Valley Chapter Joins ASSE Family

ASSE recently approved the new Hudson River Valley Chapter. The chapter encompasses the Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and surrounding counties in New York. It was formed out of the Westchester Section of the New York City-based Metropolitan Chapter to meet the growing needs of members who reside north of New York City. Officers are Matthew McDonald, president; Susanne May, vice president; Robert Ewoldt, CSP, secretary; and Gary Hohenstein, treasurer/finance. With this addition, ASSE now has 150 chapters worldwide.

ASSE Middle East Chapter Call for Papers

ASSE’s Middle East Chapter has issued a call for papers for its 8th Professional Development Conference & Exhibition, which will be held Feb. 16-20, 2008, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The event will focus on SH&E issues within regional industries such as oil, gas and petrochemical. Authors wishing to present at the conference can submit an abstract and required author’s information online. Submission deadline is June 9, 2007. While the conference will be conducted in English, some papers in Arabic may be considered.

Member News

Fell-Carlson Book Addresses Working Safely in Healthcare

Deborah Fell-Carlson, R.N., M.S.P.H., COHN-S, HEM, a professional member of ASSE’s Columbia-Willamette Chapter and a member of the Society’s Healthcare and Risk Management/Insurance practice specialties, has written a new book, Working Safely in Healthcare: A Practical Guide. The book, which will be available in July 2007, is written for staff nurses and other bedside caregivers. It provides information on hazards unique to the healthcare environment and identifies practical measures to reduce risks and improve safety. A companion training manual and quick reference guide will also be available.

Fay Feeney, CSP, ARM

Fay Feeney Receives 2007 Woman of the Year Award

Fay Feeney, CSP, ARM, a professional member of the Los Angeles Chapter, recently received the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee’s 2007 Woman of the Year Award. Feeney has been involved with the committee since its commencement in 1998, and she works to help the committee reach and exceed sponsorships for their events. Feeney is principal of Envision Strategic Group, a risk management advisory firm. She helps business leaders improve their operations by preventing injuries to employees, clients and other assets.

Aronson’s Firm Named one of 25 Best Companies for Women

Safety Partners Inc., an occupational and environmental health and safety services company based in Lexington, MA, has been named one of Working Mother magazine’s 25 Best Small Companies for Women for 2007. Denise Aronson, Greater Boston Chapter professional member, is president and founder of the firm.

Safety Partners currently employs 18 consulting safety officers for life science companies and four administrative staff; half of the firm’s staff are mothers. The firm was named to the list for offering flexible work schedules and providing retirement, medical and disability benefits for those who work at least 28 hours a week. The firm also proactively seeks clients near employee neighborhoods for added convenience, and offers new mothers short-term disability and the ability to phase back into their work schedule.

“Our business model provides scientists and chemical engineers an opportunity to shape their skills into a laboratory safety professional that allows for a flexible work schedule,” says Aronson. “They establish their own schedules with their clients and enjoy the flexibility that a high-level consulting career offers.”

Darryl C. Hill, CSP

Hill Recognized by Michigan Safety Conference

Darryl C. Hill, CSP, a professional member of ASSE’s Greater Detroit Chapter, has received the Distinguished Service to Safety Award from the Michigan Safety Conference (MSC). The award is given to an MSC volunteer in recognition of outstanding service to the conference and accomplishments in the SH&E profession. Hill has been active in MSC since 1995, serving on the board of directors and executive board, and as president in 2006. He is safety and health officer at ABB North America and an adjunct professor at Oakland University. Hill is also ASSE’s Vice President, Finance, and the editor and a contributing author of the Society’s best-selling book Construction Safety Management & Engineering.

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