Greetings ASSP Members and Friends,
I sincerely hope this message finds you in good health. By now, the current pandemic has evolved to a point where many, if not most of us, now know of someone who has been personally afflicted with COVID-19. The health outcomes of this infection vary significantly, driven – it seems – by age and by how the virus potentially exploits personal co-morbidities. There’s so much left for scientists and researchers to learn about SARS-CoV-2. The anxieties created by this pandemic leave us exhausted and ready for solutions, wherever we think we can find them. Ultimately, science is the key. And the only thing that surpasses science is better science. As safety and health professionals, our mission is to stay on that high road to always protecting others – in the workplace, in the home, in public places.
ASSP has been providing ongoing technical and managerial guidance to its members throughout this pandemic. Their online offerings and the conversion of the ASSP PDC to a virtual platform keeps us informed and stimulates new thinking about how to cope with the pandemic.
I want to give a special shout-out to the Tuscaloosa-West Alabama Section for their engagement of members with monthly virtual meetings this summer. Plans are underway for an Alabama Chapter online Zoom meeting during the month of August, so please stay tuned for more information on that.
At the outset, I mentioned “good health”. By that, I mean health in every way – including your physical, psychological and social state of well being. COVID-19 has forced us to look at workplace safety and health as a function of what happens with our workers both in and outside of the workplace. With that in mind, I’ll also mention an upcoming event, the Total Worker Health 2020 Symposium , at the University of Alabama on September 1, 2020 at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa. Your ASSP Alabama Chapter will be representing at the event, and attendance is available both onsite and online.
Thank you for all that you do to protect people. Please let me know how we may be of help.
Best of health to you all – in every way.
Matt Hollub, Alabama Chapter President
Greetings ASSP friends and colleagues!
I hope this message finds you doing well and adjusting to your new normal.
Under normal circumstances, last month we would have held our special Chapter Awards luncheon to present service awards, honor our Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) recipients and celebrate our outstanding ASSP Chapter scholarship recipients.
Our plan moving forward is to hold that Chapter Awards luncheon later in the year when we can all safely join together.
With that said, we feel it best to not delay the announcements of our SPY award and scholarship recipients.
Beginning with our scholarships, we recognize these outstanding students for their achievements and desire to pursue careers in the field of occupational health and safety. Each recipient will be receiving a $ 1000 ASSP Chapter scholarship toward the fulfillment of their educations. Our recipients are:
From the University of Alabama Birmingham, Tyler Young from the Advanced Safety Engineering Masters Program, and Erin Lindsey from the School of Public Health.
From Jacksonville State University, Aidan Giddy.
From Auburn University School of Applied Engineering, Connor Lusk.
Our Safety Professional of the Year award recognizes outstanding contributions of individuals whose service to our ASSP Alabama Chapter and their profession. This year, we are delighted to announce two SPY award winners for 2020.
In the Construction category, the SPY goes to Shawn Ankerich! Shawn has served our Chapter as Chair of Programming.
In the General Industry/Academia category, the SPY goes to Dr. Jerry Davis. Dr. Davis has been a fixture in the safety community in Alabama for many years.
We congratulate our scholarship and SPY award winners for 2020 and look forward to honoring these fine folks in person at our upcoming awards luncheon, time and location to be announced. Please look for a separate announcement with more information about our award recipients for 2020.
To our Chapter members, stay the course as leaders for our profession!
Take care out there.
Matt Hollub, President
ASSP Alabama Chapter
Dear Fellow Chapter Members and Friends,
About a week ahead of our scheduled March 20th Chapter meeting, the Executive Board decided it best that we cancel that event. Our feeling at that time was that the risk of sharing COVID-19 was probably not that significant. All the same, we cancelled that meeting out of “an abundance of caution”. Good move. Not much more than two weeks later, Jefferson County became one of the viral “hot spots” in Alabama. Now, a little more than three weeks later, we’re in shelter-in-place mode statewide. What’s next? That pretty much depends on how well we can discipline ourselves and educate others to take these current precautions a good deal more seriously.
Dear ASSP Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you doing well. And while we’re on the subject of doing well, I guess this would be a good time to talk about staying well and preparing for an outward spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. As safety and health professionals, people will understandably be looking to us for guidance on how to reduce risks and deal with local communicable infections. Linked here are two very fine articles released by ASSP on how to prepare for what may come next. We are seeing respiratory protection products, particularly N-95 and 100 filtering facepiece units in critically short supply. Clearly, the direct and ripple effects of COVID-19 will continue to teach us lessons on how to better prepare for these situations in the future. For now, however, I’d suggest you get a look at both of these articles for some good guidance on creating contingency plans and training your people on how to respond to what’s happening now.
Dear ASSP Colleagues,
I want to express my thanks to all who helped make our Chapter PDC a successful one this year. Our hosts at AGC provided us with a great meeting space that enabled us to bring our attendees and exhibitors together in one big room. We had a record number of exhibitors this year who added value to our PDC with their on-hand services and expertise.
The editors of Business Alabama have asked us to reach out to our ASSP membership with a special request. The magazine is currently seeking safety professionals who would be interested in serving as judges for their Alabama’s Safest Manufacturers award.
In a growing and geographically expansive chapter it is very easy to lose sight of the individuals who make up our Chapter and the safety, health and environmental community at large here in our great state.
We would love to have our members get to know each other and a great way to do that is through a member spotlight and we are looking for volunteers!
Happy New Year and Welcome to 2020!
Our Chapter is kicking the new year off in a big way with a great new PDC on January 16th. We’ll be meeting at the AGC Conference Center and our topics will include:
Qualified Crane Operators – Get up to speed with the most current requirements for crane operators and strategies for compliance.
Aerial Lift Operator and Training – The new ANSI standards for safe use and for training include new classifications for lifts (now MEWPs) and requirements that will change lift designs and how we use them. These revisions are comprehensive and will impact employers across the map.
Sling and Chain Inspection – Failure to properly set up a load and lift can have disastrous outcomes. Get up to speed, or get refreshed, on the procedures that responsible employers must perform to ensure that every lift is a safe and successful lift.
You can get registered for the Chapter PDC on our events page. As usual, breakfast and lunch will be provided and CEUs are awarded for attendees. Exhibitor space is also available.
I hope to see you all there! Let’s join together to make 2020 one of the best learning years ever for the ASSP Alabama Chapter.
Matt Hollub, CIH, CSP
President, ASSP Alabama Chapter
It’s that time of year where we give thanks for all the goodness and blessings that have come our way. We all celebrate the season in our own ways – with friends, with family, with reverence and grateful hearts, and with the hope for better days ahead. This time of year also comes with a myriad of distractions and challenges for so many of us. That’s why it becomes all the more important for us to maintain our focus on working safely and helping others to get through their workdays without injury. So maybe this would be a good time to take a moment and check in on our employees and colleagues – perhaps giving a bit of added attention to those who may be struggling.
Dear ASSP Colleagues,
For most of us, safety is more than just a job that we go to each working day. If we hold safety as a value that affects how we think and act, we become 24/7 ambassadors for a better way to work and live. With that, we are also challenged to set positive examples we hope others will follow. Which brings me to Danny Callies who, along with George Pierce (retired, Alabama ABC), has been reaching out employers and organizations to raise awareness of workplace safety and health rights in general industry, construction, and mining. “If you see something, say something”, is their message.