Thirty-six thousand members across 80 countries. Approximately 150 chapters, nine regions, nearly 40 sections and more than 70 student sections. These facts help us understand our impact as an organization.
But they don’t tell the whole story.
Our vibrant community is comprised of safety professionals from different backgrounds and industries who are all working toward the same goal – ensuring their teams go home safe at the end of the day.
A recent survey shed further light on our membership — who they are, what they want from our Society and how we can help them advance their careers. Here are 10 key findings.
1. Professional Development Is a Top Priority
Safety professionals become members for many reasons, but one stands out among the others. Those surveyed said their top reason for joining and staying in the Society is professional development and educational events.
They also indicated that professional training and certification preparation are among our greatest strengths, as well as hosting events for knowledge-sharing. These educational opportunities allow safety professionals to stay up to date on the latest solutions, which is another benefit members value.
2. Members Want to Connect
A large part of anyone’s professional development is learning from their peers. Membership offers no shortage of ways for safety professionals to connect with one another, and this is one of the benefits participants said they value most about our Society.
Nearly half of member respondents indicated that they joined to build a professional network. They also highlighted the many opportunities for network-building, including those offered through local chapters, educational events, practice specialties and common interest groups.
3. We Are a Certification Education Destination
Throughout their careers, many safety and health professionals work toward attaining certifications that demonstrate their level of expertise. Participants indicated that another top reason for joining and remaining a member is to earn continuing education units (CEUs) and maintain safety and health certifications.
Member responses included more than 15 different certifications covering a wide variety of occupational safety and health specialties. The Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification was held by half of those surveyed, followed by the Associate Safety Professional (ASP), Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST), Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).
4. Membership Offers Different Benefits at Different Stages
Whether you’re just starting out in safety or have decades of experience, membership has something to offer.
Professionals with fewer than five years of experience said they retain their memberships to build a professional network, get involved in a local chapter and build their resumes. Professionals with six to 10 years of experience, on the other hand, said they prioritize earning CEUs and advancing in their careers. Those with 11 or more years of experience said they are interested in CEUs, but also want to give back to the next generation and advocate for safety at the regulatory level.
5. There’s Value in Getting More Involved
The more you put into your membership experience, the more you will get out of it. Our members are committed to participating in ways that help their careers and professional relationships thrive.
Thirty-eight percent of surveyed members indicated they are actively involved in the Society. Two-thirds participate in their local chapter communities. Another 22% participate in practice specialties and 14% participate in common interest groups.
6. Staying Up to Date Is Critical
The world of occupational safety and health moves quickly, and safety professionals need to stay apprised of the latest regulatory news, voluntary standards updates and professional development opportunities. Survey participants emphasized the importance of receiving regular communications on these topics, as well as in-depth technical information, career resources and Society news.
7. Safety Professionals Are Facing New Challenges
Although our members work across a variety of different industries, they face many of the same challenges. Survey participants said their most pressing concern is finding and hiring qualified workers.
Additionally, results indicated that many organizations are still relying on safety and health professionals to guide their COVID-19 response initiatives. Increased responsibilities related to COVID-19 present opportunities and pressures as safety leaders continue to address diverse workplace hazards and risks.
8. Benefits and Value Bring Loyalty
The majority of those surveyed believe membership is a worthwhile investment. While 62% of respondents said their company currently pays for their membership, three in four reported that they would definitely or probably continue to pay dues themselves if their employer stopped paying.
Most members also reported high overall value in the services and membership benefits they receive, which brings them back year after year.
9. Members Are Invested in the Future of the Profession
Members continue looking for ways to raise awareness of the importance of occupational safety and health in the workplace. And more than that, they want to help define and position our profession for the future.
Survey participants said they view advocacy as one of our most important roles as an organization. Specifically, they believe continued action is needed to influence public and business perceptions of safety as well as legislation and regulatory issues.
10. There’s Always Room For Improvement
Along with providing insight into the benefits of membership, respondents identified areas for growth.
First, they said we have an opportunity to increase member awareness of benefits such as educational content and technical publications. Second, they said we have an opportunity to continue investing in the development of voluntary consensus standards, helping organizations go beyond regulatory compliance and keep up with the latest industry guidance.
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