More than a century after its founding, members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) have approved a change to the organization's name.
Over a 45-day period, 74 percent of the society’s members voted to switch ASSE's name to the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).
“Our members have clearly voiced that the American Society of Safety Professionals better reflects our diverse membership,” said ASSE President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP in a statement. “Engineers made up our entire membership when we were formed, but today the occupational safety and health profession encompasses many disciplines.”
The board of directors unanimously recommended the updates in January, and it later was supported by its house of delegates in June at Safety 2017 in Denver.
ASSE originally was founded as the United Association of Casualty Inspectors in 1911 after a factory fire that killed 146 garment workers in lower Manhattan, New York. Three years later, the organization made the name change to the American Society of Safety Engineers.
In a study, members, customers and stakeholders indicated the need for a branding overall to better reflect the organization’s current membership and position it for growth. Research also found that a new name would help eliminate confusion about who could join the society.
“Our members have always decided who we are and what we’re all about,” Smith said. “This latest vote was part of an objective process that has made us a strong organization for more than 100 years.”
The organization will continue to be called the American Society of Safety Engineers until early June when it debuts a new website and makes the conversion to its new name in alignment with the Safety 2018 Professional Development Conference and Exposition.
“Workplace safety is constantly evolving, so our society must adjust as well to remain strong and relevant while growing our profession,” Smith said. “Our profession includes more occupations and industries than ever before. Our members are knowledgeable about everything from risk assessment and hazard control to workers’ compensation and organizational management, not to mention the more traditional aspects of safety management and engineering.”