Times of Need
I’ve pretty much concluded there’s not much more one can say about how awful 2020 is that hasn’t been already been said/shouted/meme’d a billion times over. Every idea I come up with about the new norm sounds clichéd at this point – including basic overuse of the term “new norm”, like I just did there. Sorry about that. This is the season for giving thanks, though, so there’s no better occasion than now to take inventory of those things we do still have going for us. Our family and friends become ever more important to us in tough times. And we to them. However awful things have been, we still have those gifts for which to be thankful. Consider, too, all the people we don’t really even know at all who could use more love and support in their times of need. As safety advocates, our world is built around a professed mission of caring about the welfare of others. In addition to our knowledge and skills, our values stand front and center. It is the great gift we have to offer people at work, at home, within our sphere – and outside of it – and it’s never been more needed than now. I hope that the fellowship of ASSP is part of your support system, as well. Please join us for our November 20th Zoom Chapter meeting where we’ll feature a presentation on Human Performance by Stephanie Swindle (Southern Company). We’re really looking forward to her message and we’ll have an invite coming your way soon. Also, if you have shares for our meeting that I may add to the agenda for that day, please let me know.
Thank you for your gifts – to me and to so many others,
Matt Hollub, President
ASSP Alabama Chapter
Greetings ASSP Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you and yours doing well. I continue to look forward to the time when we may meet as an ASSP family, together as one, and in-person. Having said that, our online ASSP Chapter meetings got off to a very fine start last month. OSHA’s new Compliance Assistance Specialist, Francisco Garcia, visited with us during Safe & Sound Week to talk safety programs and give us an OSHA update. He’s a great guy and I think he’s going to be a welcome resource for Alabama companies. In these times, I think our businesses need all the help we can give them. For us, the ASSP family, we are challenged to be just that much better at what we do and how we serve the safety needs of others. We’re all stressed and strained to the max which, unfortunately, presents greater risks for serious injuries and illnesses.
This month, we will get back to holding our ASSP Chapter meetings on our normal meeting days – the third Friday of each month. On September 18th, please join us for an online (Zoom) ASSP Chapter meeting on the topic of fall protection, in observation of OSHA’s Fall Protection emphasis week. You should all be receiving an invitation to the meeting soon and I hope you’ll be able to attend.
Take care out there – of yourself and of others!
ASSP Alabama Chapter President
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.