In October, ASSE hosted its annual Leadership Conference. The conference aims to equip society officers with the knowledge and skills they need to lead the member communities for which they have volunteered and been elected to serve.
When I first entered our profession, safety training was simple. Someone would stand in front of a class, wave an OSHA standard around and say, “This is what you must do to keep your companies from being fined.” Then the instructor would proceed to discuss the standard line by line. What a boring and ineffective method of providing training and education.
As OSH professionals, we talk about incident rates, reportable injuries and illnesses, workers’ compensation losses, experience modifier rates, regulatory compliance standards and similar metrics. Our language is clear in our professional circles, yet it is often confusing to business managers and executives. Their language is finance (or dollars, for short).
Grandchildren change one’s view on everything. My grandson, Kellan, is 4. In 2100, he will be 88 years old and one of an estimated 11 billion people in the world. That’s almost 5 billion more people than today.
I started my career as a graduate assistant at North Carolina State University working with the state’s furniture and textile industries as they were trying to comply with a new law, the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
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.