During our annual House of Delegates meeting, being held in conjunction with Safety 2019 in New Orleans, LA, 2018-19 ASSP President Rixio Medina, CSP, CPP, delivered the State of the Society address, during which he shared an update on Society initiatives, reflected on our achievements and thanked members for their dedication to the Society and the occupational safety and health profession. The text of his address is shared below.
The success we’ve achieved is a reflection of the hard work of everyone here today. Thank you for investing time to be a volunteer leader. You are the best and brightest in our profession.
Over the past year, we aligned our initiatives with the ASSP strategic plan that focuses on education, standards development, advocacy and member communities. I want to point out a few achievements that demonstrate our progress.
It has been almost one year since our Board of Directors made the important decision to add Jennifer McNelly to the ASSP team. Her title change from executive director to chief executive officer reflects the strategic approach we’re taking with daily operations. A deep inner-focus on process and the way we do business is improving the member experience. We’re excited to have Jennifer on board to optimize our resources, further invest in staff talent and energize interactions with volunteer leaders and OSH stakeholders.
Over the past year our Board of Directors and ASSP staff worked meticulously at updating the Society Operating Guidelines. This focused and comprehensive revision had never taken place on the SOGs. It was a dedicated effort by many.
In February we published an active shooter technical report to help mitigate the threat of workplace violence, which has become far too prevalent across all work environments. The report received national attention and is an important tool for safety professionals to help manage this risk, outlining a coordinated response should a hostile event occur.
In April we released a report on women and safety in the workplace, recommending gender-specific solutions to three main challenges. Women experience occupational risks differently than men. We must advocate to get more women into OSH leadership positions, increase the availability of PPE for women, and prevent violence against women and all workers on the job.
Our Government Affairs Committee and Council on Professional Affairs continued to drive public position statements on many legislative and regulatory issues coming out of Washington, DC. It’s important that ASSP maintains a strong voice and stays active as a global leader for workplace safety.
The past year was terrific for standards development as over a dozen standards were developed, reaffirmed or revised, engaging more than 1,200 volunteers representing 900 organizations. That’s a major accomplishment in advancing occupational safety and health.
It’s important to remember that real change takes time. That’s why your consistent effort as a volunteer leader is critical. We must maintain a strategic focus to finish projects that were started under past ASSP presidents and begin new programs that will be completed under future presidents.
It’s also important to remember that total worker health is the next-generation approach to safety and health. It brings opportunities to holistically address an employee’s well-being, moving beyond traditional wellness initiatives.
ASSP’s widespread progress has been propelled by a steady growth in membership. We are now reporting 39,000 members and the 40,000 milestone is within reach. Members are ASSP’s greatest strength. A growing membership increases our Society’s collective knowledge and elevates the expertise that’s readily available to all of us.
In closing, I want to be clear that you are the reason we continue to make remarkable strides in advancing ASSP and the safety profession. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to our world-class organization.