The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the world’s oldest professional safety organization with 40,000 members globally, releases the following statement from ASSP President Diana Stegall, CSP, CFPS, ARM, SMS, CPCU, on behalf of the Society’s Board of Directors:
“Countless demonstrations across the country have underscored the critical need for leaders and citizens to work together to understand and overcome systemic inequities to protect the safety and health of every American. Our nation should have arrived at this seminal moment without the senseless and tragic loss of so many black lives, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
“ASSP joins our nation in being deeply troubled by the racism, social injustice and violence that have ruthlessly played out on our city streets and in our neighborhoods. The pragmatic voices calling for change must be heard. The impact of inequities on personal and professional lives is immeasurable and unacceptable. Diversity and inclusion must be made a priority within all organizations and across all communities.
“As an occupational safety and health advocate, we are committed to working with leaders of our Blacks in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group so we can help our members and the profession better understand how systemic barriers cause harmful inequities that lead to unsafe environments, both at work and in our communities. These adverse settings also create fear and anxiety and needless pain and suffering. ASSP has been working diligently to promote diversity and inclusion as a valuable component of safe and successful businesses and thriving communities everywhere. We aim to help safety professionals gain the knowledge and tools they need to help their workplaces understand the value of diversity and embrace inclusion.
“ASSP encourages its 40,000 members and all occupational safety and health professionals to proactively share their insights and experience with their company leaders and seek roles in corporate decision-making processes so they can help generate a culture of trust that welcomes all workers, embraces differences and promotes the safety, health and growth of employees.
“A panel discussion at ASSP’s virtual professional development conference later this month will further spur the dialogue around diversity and inclusion at work. As safety professionals who serve in every industry around the globe, we need to ensure that all workers feel accepted and appreciated. Our panelists look forward to sharing lessons learned to help everyone feel more empowered to become part of the solution.
“This vital moment in American history isn’t about a few groups of people taking a stand, but every organization and all communities playing a heartfelt role in eliminating the inequities and injustices so many individuals have needlessly suffered. Diversity and inclusion must be made a priority now more than ever. And we can’t rest until widespread change is achieved.”