Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Values Remain Unchanged

We are standing on the brink of our next century of protecting people, property and the environment. We’ve come a long way from the small group of insurance inspectors who on Oct. 14, 1911, founded the United Society of Casualty Inspectors. We changed our name in 1914 to ASSE. Our first chapters were formed in New York and Boston in 1924. Today, we have 34,000 members in 75 countries. We have 151 chapters, 28 chapter sections and 58 student sections.

During our history, our mission and vision have changed focus, but our core values have remained the same. These values are the foundation of our Society. They are the foundation on which we work and conduct business. These values are so primary, so important, that throughout the changes in the global society, government regulations, politics and technology, they remain the values to which we abide. 

Service to humanity:
- We are dedicated to protecting people, property and the environment.
- We reach out globally, providing opportunities to collaborate with and engage anyone involved in SH&E.

Value of the profession:
- We believe a safe and healthy place to work is a fundamental right.
- We believe that sound SH&E practices are both socially responsible and good business.
- We value employers’ commitment to sound SH&E practices.
- We are committed to advancing the profession through innovation, thought leadership, and objective, unbiased, science-based approaches to SH&E practices.

- We believe our Society is driven by our members.
- We strive to meet member needs for training and development, networking and community.
- We believe in the strength of diversity and reach out to include all members.
- We believe students and new professionals provide a pipeline to the future.
- We believe that mentoring and growing our member base is critical for the continuity of our profession.

Professional development:
- We believe growth of our body of knowledge and the professional development of SH&E practitioners advance the profession.
- We believe that continuous learning is critical for the development of the safety professional.

Ethical behavior:
- We aspire to the highest degree of professional conduct, ethical practice and integrity.
- We resolve to provide prudent stewardship of Society resources.

These values underlie our mission, our vision, our work, how we interact with each other and the strategies we employ to fulfill our mission. They are the ideals we use in everything we do each day.

As we move into our next century of service to humanity, we will focus on the future of the SH&E profession and the competency of the SH&E professional.

In Race for Relevance, Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers discuss the limited discretionary time available to today’s workers. They reference The State of Working America 2008-2009, which reported that Americans worked 568 more hours in 2006 than 1979. More households are two-income. Technology allows work to follow us home and on vacation. This shift is not isolated to the U.S. With the time demands of jobs and family, finding time to improve professional skills is increasingly difficult. Yet, failure to do so threatens our vision of the future.

As we move into the next century of safety, we will utilize technology to service members in ways that are respectful of their valuable time. For example, we will launch our electronic body of knowledge, our “safety-pedia” during the coming year. This collection of SH&E resources and information will save our members valuable research time. We will continue to offer educational opportunities in the form of webinars that members can view from their offices, saving time and travel expenses. We will use technology to improve the way we conduct Society business, engaging our governing body via websites and other technological tools to increase our ability to act nimbly in the advancement our mission.

The needs of ASSE members are changing. The ways in which we conduct business are changing. And that change is occurring at an ever-increasing pace. In the whirlwind of change, it’s good to know that our values remain unchanged.