I felt fortunate and honored to join the American Society of Safety Professional’s Task Force on Total Worker Health earlier this week. This, only three months after this world’s oldest professional safety society with more than 38,000 members worldwide, renamed itself (replacing the “E” of engineers, to “P” for professionals), better representing the diverse disciplines making up our occupational safety and health community.
I applaud ASSP in not just imagining but preparing to help its members move into the future as it commits to determine what safety and health professionals need to know as related to the concept of Total Worker Health. As I joined this 13-person task force in Chicago earlier this week, I was pleasantly surprised to find extensive professional and industry diversity reflected in our group. Stay tuned for news about this effort through your ASSP news and education channels and including development of information and tools for members.
If you are an ASSP member or subscriber to its Professional Safety publication, you may have noticed the September 2018 article “Get Behind Total Worker Health,” by 2018-19 ASSP President Rixio Medina, which includes this excerpt:
“By taking a TWH approach, we can holistically address work-related environmental and organizational factors that affect, positively or negatively, our workers’ health and well-being. Also, we need to be more cognizant of mental stressors that occur outside the workplace that can affect employees’ behavior inside the workplace.”
I feel lucky to be part of ASSP and fully appreciate our state-wide chapters including Columbia-Willamette Chapter, Sections and Oregon Student Chapters, Cascade, and Southern Oregon chapters. The personal and professional friendships I’ve gained by participating in both local and national meetings and efforts has had a huge impact on my life. Find the ASSP Chapter closest to you and continue to move your career to meet our future.
Dede Montgomery is a member of the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of ASSP and also participates on the ASSP Council on Professional Affairs (COPA) in addition to being a member of the newly formed ASSP TWH Task Force.
ASSP President Rixio Medina addresses Total Worker Health
NIOSH’s “Fundamentals of Total Worker Health Approaches: Essential Elements for Advancing Worker Safety, Health and Well-Being
Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, a Total Worker Health Center of Excellence