The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has created the Council on Academic Affairs and Research, its first new council in 20 years. This development signifies a strong push to advance the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession and ultimately help better protect workers.
Appointed to head the council for its first year is ASSP Vice President James Ramsay, Ph.D., M.A., CSP, professor of security studies and chair of the department of business, politics and security studies at the University of New Hampshire. He has more than 20 years of experience in occupational safety, public health, emergency management, environmental health and security studies, and played an integral role in the creation of the council.
"Forming a Council on Academic Affairs and Research represents a necessary and significant contribution by ASSP toward advancing the profession by emphasizing the importance of higher education and research in defining and shaping our discipline," Ramsay said.
Among its objectives, the new council will develop and maintain a research agenda that supports the OSH profession, and encourage the translation of research to practice. The group will also work to bring more students into the profession, and it will engage universities to advance academic standards and program accreditation while promoting the inclusion of OSH coursework in business and engineering curricula.
"A need has existed for years in the safety arena to integrate educational standards, program accreditation, student engagement and research-related activities," said ASSP President Rixio Medina, CSP, ASP, CPP. "This is an exciting strategic development because it puts ASSP at the forefront of workplace safety advancements."
As the world's oldest professional safety organization, ASSP supports the efforts of its more than 37,000 members to ensure that workers return home safe and healthy every day. The new council, championed by past ASSP President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP, was created by a vote from the Society's House of Delegates in April. The group's first meeting is expected this summer.
"Academic affairs and research are at the core of every well-developed profession, and safety should be no different," Smith said. "We must support the future of the safety profession by emphasizing the development of evidence-based research and better academic standards. This will help provide the tools our members need to help prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities on the job."
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