As I write this first President’s Message, I find myself reflecting on who we are and what we contribute as safety professionals. I have heard many OSH professionals say that what we do is not a job, it is a noble calling. As safety professionals, we take immense pride in knowing that our work’s primary purpose is to prevent people from being injured or made sick from their work.
The Health and Safety industry is evolving and with it is the skill set required to be successful. There will always be a need for technical underpinning gained through formal qualifications, but many successful leaders attribute their success to the ability to demonstrate a set of critical competencies that go beyond technical knowledge.
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has awarded four members, Richard King of Centennial, Colorado, George Pearson of Hockessin, Delaware, Bill Propes of Mesquite, Texas and R. Ronald Sokol of Friendswood, Texas, the Fellow Honor, its highest distinction, recognizing their lifetime of commitment to worker safety and their leadership in the occupational health and safety field.
EHS professionals can raise their profiles within their company by transforming themselves into what John McBride calls, safety business partners. “I’m not talking about a title,” said McBride, SPHR, of Consentium Search in Wesley Chapel, Florida. “We’re talking about a role, a level of participation.”
One of the more popular events at the American Association of Safety Engineers’ annual conference is the Executive Summit panel, which gives attendees a chance to hear how CEOs, presidents and vice presidents from a range of industries view safety.
Professional development is fundamental to the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo being held this week in Salt Lake City, and a key component of that development is the ability to take a hard look in the mirror and assess your abilities and your skills gaps, according to Ashley Alewelt, an EHS manager for Caterpillar, the global manufacturer with more than 290 work sites and about 120,000 employees.
On April 30th, Dave Johnson published an ISHN blog post entitled, Can the safety and health profession survive the demise of the middle class?1 I was curious about the question and offered the following response.
Credential mills flourish because few people take the time to understand how the numerous and varied credentials from a state driver’s license, school diploma, and whatever title, such as CPR certification, are legally and ethically bestowed upon individuals.