It has been a personal and professional honor to lead ASSP over the past year. It is truly rewarding to see the outcomes of our collective work to advance our profession through educational standards, core competencies and ethical practice. It is also gratifying to lead an organization focused on developing industry-leading standards that promote practices that create safe work environments, bolster business reputation and drive continuous improvement.
Our jobs as OSH professionals are among the most important careers anywhere. Together we protect workers each day and help our employers meet and exceed performance expectations.
I was drawn to the safety profession because it has a profound impact on people. What we do enables workers to return to their loved ones safe at the end of each workday. That mission is powerful and energizing.
Early in my career, I learned that citing standards and regulatory mandates would not lead to change. I came to understand that knowing how the work is performed, who is performing it and where are key to driving improvements. By positioning ourselves as allies, we engage and empower our workers. And, by connecting safety goals to business outcomes, we demonstrate that safety really does pay.
We’ve made great progress in our mission to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities, but too many people continue to experience negative outcomes related to their work. That’s why we must continue to seek opportunities to apply the principles of prevention through design and risk management, use evidence-based methods and explore new technologies such as drones, 3-D modeling, and smart wearables and sensors to better protect workers. We also need to embrace total worker health as the next-generation approach to employee well-being.
As an ASSP member, you are connected to a vibrant community of more than 38,000 OSH professionals in 80 countries. Your membership gives you access to a vast range of peers, resources and opportunities that can help you cultivate the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a safer, stronger future for workers around the world.
As our profession and the Society grow, we are also able to create a more diverse and inclusive community that enables us to engage with other safety professionals across all ages, genders and ethnicities, and that helps us embrace the power of difference. By hearing more perspectives and learning from more experiences, we all become better safety professionals.
When I joined ASSP, my goals were to access technical information and build my professional network. But as is the case for many of our volunteer leaders, a chapter member asked me to do just a bit more. It was gratifying to be asked because he saw something in me and was willing to help me achieve my potential. Thus began my journey to serving as your ASSP president this past year. This demonstrates the power of simply asking others to get more involved and contribute.
The work you do each day showcases our great profession. We all play a role in promoting the safety profession to the next generation. Please share your experiences, become a mentor and promote the benefits of a safety career. Keep planting seeds. It takes all of us together to bring the brightest minds to our profession and elevate OSH across all organizations.
As I have worked with volunteers and members over the years, I have been impressed by your collective knowledge and commitment as stewards of the Society and the safety profession. The future of our organization and this profession continues to shine bright. Thank you for entrusting me to lead it forward this year.