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Coming Soon: American Society of Safety Professionals

Jim Smith, M.S., CSP, 2017-18 ASSE President
May 01, 2018

Jim SmithThese are exciting times for our Society. On June 1, 2018, we will officially change our name to American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). We will also launch a new website with new functionality and introduce a new design for Professional Safety.

These events will mark the beginning of a new era in a storied history that began in 1911 and has seen our organization become a leading provider of continuing education, a driving force in standards development and a vocal advocate for the OSH profession. We have achieved this thanks to you, our passionate members who come together to form a vibrant community of safety professionals dedicated to creating work environments that will ensure a safer, stronger future for everyone.

Last summer, our House of Delegates and our members showed great vision in taking the historic step to approve the name change. These actions affirmed their desire that this organization more closely reflect the safety profession and the many disciplines and roles it encompasses today. As we know, corporate leaders look to safety professionals to be knowledgeable about everything from risk assessment and hazard control to workers’ compensation and organizational management, as well as traditional aspects of safety management and engineering.

Our members also recognized that a new name would eliminate confusion about who can join our organization. Our new name is more inclusive, which we believe will help attract more members. In addition, we expect to attract and retain more young professionals who we can mentor to become our future leaders.

What does this change mean for the member communities you belong to? Since last fall, we have been working with volunteer leaders from our councils, regions, practice specialties, common interest groups and local chapters to share information and guidance about these changes and how they are being implemented. We have created new templates for websites, e-mails, flyers, business cards and more to help our member communities transition to the ASSP name and brand. Through these efforts, we are crafting a way to tell our story, as one organization, together, in one voice.

We all know that change can be difficult. But change is a constant in our lightning-quick world and it touches all of us each day.

As safety professionals, we know we must constantly change to meet our stakeholders’ needs and expectations. We must always seek innovative ways to address challenges and deliver solutions that prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. And we must continue our evolutionary shift from safety enforcer to managing risk. As a profession, we must continuously raise the capabilities of practitioners around the world to ensure that OSH duties are performed only by capable professionals. 

The same is true for our professional organization. The Society must evolve to remain relevant and stay at the forefront of helping OSH professionals protect people and property. It must embrace a visionary outlook that anticipates change and recognizes emerging opportunities in areas such as sustainability and human capital.

There is no better time to tell the world who we are, what we do and why it matters. No doubt, it will take a while to adjust to our new name, much like it takes us a while to remember to write a different year each January. But these forward-thinking, historic steps provide us an opportunity to set the tone for our organization and commit even more fully to our values: supporting and advancing our member communities, standards and education and advocating for the safety profession.

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