The ASSE Foundation recently surveyed former scholarship recipients to find out how the scholarship helped them. The survey also asked about rewards and challenges in the SH&E workplace. Questionnaires were sent to 154 people who received scholarships between 2000 and 2008. Whether they have entered the workforce or are still pursuing SH&E degrees, most respondents reported the scholarship helped them earn respect, gain experience, increase their knowledge and get a start in the SH&E field.
Many noted the scholarship helped cover schooling aspects such as books and equipment, tuition, living expenses and internships. Most also believe that the award helped them concentrate on their studies to maintain good grades. Dan Snyder, a past Bechtel Group Foundation Scholarship winner, earned his B.S. in Safety Science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He says the scholarship “was one of the greatest blessings I have ever received,” because it helped him pay for his school and living expenses.
Recipients who are now in the workforce reported on challenges they are experiencing in the field. Many mentioned the difficulties of convincing management or more experienced employees to buy into new safety programs. Training, management and getting coworkers to acknowledge a new graduate in the field were other challenges. Matt Garner, a past UPS Scholarship recipient, is in the project development group at ConocoPhillips. “Often I face challenges that involve being a young safety professional. . . . I face challenges from other more experienced personnel who wish to challenge my knowledge and my direction due to the fact I am a ‘college graduate.’ Thankfully, due to my knowledge of the safety profession and my desire to learn, I have been able to reduce this over time.”
|Student attendees at the SOSU Student Section meeting.|
ASSE’s Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) Student Section recently held its largest-ever meeting—with 57 students and three faculty members in attendance. Associate professor Nick Nichols is the faculty advisor for the section, which is sponsored by ASSE’s Southwest Chapter.
According to Wayne Jones, chair of SOSU’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health, the large attendance reflects the growth of the university’s occupational safety program. “We had our largest fall enrollment—with more than 450 students enrolled, including more than 280 undergraduate and 42 graduate occupational safety majors,” Jones says. “That’s up 5% over last fall and it marks 12 consecutive semesters of increased enrollment in the program.”
In the spirit of going green, ASSE will switch to a digital format for all its practice specialty technical publications. As of January 2009, the technical publications will be available in electronic format only and accessible through a secure website. Practice specialty members will receive directions for accessing the publications before the switch is made.
To encourage ASSE members and others to share their views on ASSE’s public affairs initiatives, ASSE has added a feature to its website that allows interested parties to comment on key ASSE statements on legislative and regulatory initiatives.
To date, this feedback mechanism has been available for ASSE’s statement on combustible dust and its comment on OSHA's proposed rule clarifying that noncompliance with its PPE and training requirements in safety and health standards may expose an employer to "per-employee" penalties. ASSE's comment on the Department of Labor's rulemaking on health standards is also available.
ASSE student members are encouraged to attend ASSE’s upcoming Future Safety Leaders Conference. The event, which will be held Nov. 6-8, 2008, in Louisville, KY, is sponsored by the ASSE Foundation, Liberty Mutual and Washington Division of URS. Sessions will cover topics such as the politics of safety, safety certifications and scholarships, business skills and career planning. There will be many networking events as well. Housing and meals costs for the event are covered by ASSE.
|SPALW Chair Zeferino Banda|
Zeferino Banda, chair of ASSE’s Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW) common interest group, discussed business safety resumption tips in an interview conducted on 106.7 FM, Univision’s Chicago Spanish-speaking radio station. During the interview, Banda, a professional member of the Arizona Chapter, focused on letting the Latino community know about do’s and don’ts following a natural disaster. He hit on four main topics:
Ensure that the public allow the trained emergency response professionals to do their jobs during and following a natural disaster.
Be cautious around and respect downed power lines. Be extremely cautious when entering flooded buildings and verify that power is off as electrical appliances and cords could be in standing water.
When cleaning up debris, wear the proper PPE.
When returning to homes and businesses, discard perishable food items, especially when power has been out for a significant time.
“Overall, the experience was very rewarding and I was honored to represent ASSE and SPALW to the Latino community,” Banda says. “As an American of Latin descent, I was proud to be able to put forth important safety-related information in the interview that would benefit Spanish-speaking listeners and their families.”
Recent NFPA statistics show that 65% of home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or without working smoke alarms. To help needy families throughout Indiana outfit their homes with smoke detectors, ASSE’s Central Indiana Chapter recently donated $10,000 to the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA). According to Chapter President Mark Gabinet, M.S., CSP, CHMM, the chapter will work with IFCA and the Indiana Safety Educators, a division of IFCA, to help distribute the smoke detectors during October, which is National Fire Prevention Month. “[Our chapter] is proud to support these public safety efforts,” says Gabinet. “Protecting families against the dangers of fire is a natural extension of our chapter’s purpose to protect lives, prevent personal injury and property damage.”
The latest additions to ASSE's Honor Roll.
ASSE chapters receive one free classified ad in Professional Safety per 12-month period. Check out ASSE’s Members Only site, under Officer Central, Society Services for Chapters section, to learn more.
ASSE Foundation’s 2009 scholarships and grants are now available.
Save the date for SeminarFest 2009, Feb. 8-14, 2009, in Las Vegas, NV.
Recent downpours in Des Plaines, IL, left the area near ASSE headquarters partially flooded and without power the weekend of Sept. 12. Take a look.