Thursday, March 1, 2012

Preparing for Tomorrow

Are you prepared? It's a common question in California, where we seem to constantly be preparing for fires, floods, mud slides and earthquakes. Around the globe, SH&E professionals are asked to prepare for all kinds of disasters.

But my question is a personal one, whether you are an employer or an SH&E professional. Are you prepared for the next challenge? The next opportunity? When a challenge or opportunity occurs and it goes in your favor, will it be because you were ready or just lucky?

Seneca said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." In other words, we can make our own luck by being prepared. For example, as an employer, you hire the right people, but are you sure to provide them with the resources necessary to succeed? As an SH&E professional, do you have the knowledge to get the job done right? What and who are your resources?

Preparation comes in many forms. For employers, it includes hiring the right people, purchasing the right equipment and investing in the future of staff. The world doesn't stand still. Information and knowledge constantly evolve. For work teams to perform at their best, employers must invest in continuing education, just as they invest in new technology and equipment.

For SH&E professionals, preparation includes formal education, planning for future growth, exposure to new ideas, tools and equipment, networking with peers, and training. ASSE is dedicated to ensuring that we have every opportunity to prepare our teams and ourselves. Two of the Society's six goals focus on preparation through the provision and development of training, education and resources.

The world is changing too rapidly to prepare only once a year. That's why it's vital that we each attend monthly chapter meetings and take advantage of virtual learning opportunities. ASSE offers virtual symposia throughout the year. For example, on March 29 and 30, ASSE will host "Changing Behaviors: Balancing the Elements for Effective Safety Management Systems." This symposium will bring together thought leaders from around the world to survey all parts of the safety system. And since it's virtual, you can view it at your convenience, even after its initial broadcast. Learn more about this and other virtual offerings at

While virtual opportunities help us stay current and improve throughout the year, ASSE's annual professional development conference and exposition are not to be missed. Safety 2012 will be held June 3-6 in Denver, CO, and it provides a great opportunity to help us prepare for today's and tomorrow's challenges.

The conference delivers education, helps us network with peers, and introduces us to new equipment, tools, resources and suppliers in the exposition. Safety 2012 promises to be blockbuster, ushering in ASSE's second century. At Safety 2012, we will hear from industry and professional leaders.

  • Robert Cialdini will speak on the power of influence.
  • OSHA Administrator David Michaels will share his views on workplace safety.
  • Economist Lowell Catlett will share insights on the economy, current and future.

The conference will also feature the ninth annual Executive Summit, where we will hear important perspectives from senior managers. Other program highlights include 240 concurrent education sessions; the Academics Forum; a special track on sustainability/corporate social responsibility; the Loss Control Executive Summit; updates on Chemical Safety Board investigations; a report on ASSE's delegation to Brazil; and key issue roundtables. Learn more about the complete program and how to register at

You will face many challenges in life and in your career. Create your own luck. Register for Safety 2012 today and prepare yourself for tomorrow. As NFL Hall of Fame player Jack Youngblood said, "Good luck is a residue of preparation."

ASSE's annual conference and exposition are not to be missed. Safety 2012 is a great opportunity to help us prepare for today's and tomorrow's challenges.