I am proud to share that our ASSP member community has grown to 38,000 OSH professionals. This is tremendous news for our Society and our profession. It reflects a growing interest in OSH as a career choice.
According to BLS, in 2016 there were 127,000 OSH positions. Coupled with a projected 8% to 9% growth in available positions by 2026, you can see the potential we have to grow our membership. That’s why our strategic plan calls for a significant focus on growing our community over the next 5 years.
Let’s look at some key ways our continued growth will further propel our success.
Growth Expands Our Horizons
Members are ASSP’s greatest strength. By bringing more OSH professionals into our community, we increase the collective knowledge in our profession and elevate the wide range of expertise readily available to us all. We simply cannot be experts in every aspect of OSH, but thanks to ASSP we can easily connect with other members in nearly any industry.
Growing our numbers also helps us create a more diverse community that enables us to engage with other practitioners across all ages, genders and ethnicities. By hearing more perspectives and learning from more experiences, we all become more effective safety professionals.
Growth Propels Our Education
Through ASSP, we all can develop new skills and abilities that help us become more valued organizational contributors and more effective leaders in our workplaces.
As our membership continues to grow and diversify, ASSP must continuously identify innovative ways, from microlearning and blended learning to ASSP LearnEx and our industry-leading conferences, to provide the continuing education OSH professionals need to protect workers around the globe. These learning opportunities help us achieve the highest levels of performance in our workplaces, which leads to greater recognition of the value we provide.
Growth Creates New Opportunities
Growing our numbers also strengthens ASSP’s financial position, which enables us to invest back into the Society and our profession. We need only consider several recent initiatives, such as our research on sustainability and human capital metrics, our efforts to attract more Hispanics, women and veterans to the profession, publication of ISO 45001, the creation of our accreditation institute and the pending launch of our online collaboration platform, to recognize the returns we all receive from investing in new areas that bring about new opportunities.
You Can Help Us Grow
As an ASSP member, you can contribute to our growth in several ways.
- Communicate the value of membership to employers. If you manage a safety team, is everyone on your safety team an ASSP member? Do you require it? Encourage it? Enable it? Our research indicates that employers pay dues for 64% of our members. Supporting ASSP membership is a great way to support and promote a safety culture in your organization.
Even if you’re not a manager, you can help your employer understand the value of membership. We have posted some tools to help you communicate that message at www.assp.org/membership/benefits-qualifications/employer-justification.
- Mentor an up-and-coming OSH professional. Most students join ASSP after hearing about the Society from a faculty advisor or an OSH professional in their local chapter. I try to make the most of every opportunity to interact with our future members. During the 2017 Future Safety Leaders Conference, for example, one student asked me for help with his job search. Based on our interaction, my hope is that this young professional is now a lifelong ASSP member and maybe even a future board member.
- Tell your colleagues about ASSP. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool. We also offer several recruitment tools, as well as rewards, through our Member-Get-a-Member referral program.
We pursue careers in OSH because we are passionate about protecting others. We join ASSP to continuously improve our professional practice and to be part of a vibrant community of great people who develop great resources, all to ensure a safer, stronger future. We are stronger together and the value of our community increases with each new member we welcome to our place: ASSP.