In any activity, the purpose of ASSE's Government Affairs is to -

  • support the advancement of the safety, health and environmental (SH+E) profession and help ensure that the contribution of SH+E professionals to the health and well being of the American people is appropriately recognized by government at all levels, and

  • ensure that the decisions government makes impacting safety, health and the environment in the workplace reflect good science and best practices of our member SH+E professionals.

ASSE's efforts in government affairs are truly membership-driven. All decisions on the positions ASSE takes on legislation and regulation or other public policy matters are made by the Government Affairs Committee, a seven-member group of ASSE members chosen to serve on the Committee because they have experience as volunteers in government affairs efforts on behalf of ASSE's members, typically at the state level. Members are appointed by the Chair of the Council on Professional Affairs, to which the Government Affairs Committee reports.

The current Committee is chaired by Emory Knowles of Essex, Maryland. Members are John Clark of Princeton, New Jersey; Carmen Daecher of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, who also represents the Council on Practices and Standards on the Committee; Don Garman of Fairport, New York; Diana M. Pressmann of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Jon Turnipseed of San Bernardino, California; and Jim Weaver of Kansas City, Missouri. The President-Elect of ASSE, who is currently Jack Dobson of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, always serves as ex officio member of the Committee. Dave Heidorn, Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, staffs the Committee. Adele Abrams, Esq., serves as ASSE's part-time contract Federal Representative in Washington, DC.

The Committee meets two times a year in person and as needed by conference call. Each spring, the committee meets in Washington, DC, and so Committee members can meet with key Congressional offices and regulatory leaders, depending on ASSE's legislative and regulatory priorities each year. At its meetings, and throughout the year by email and telephone, the Committee reviews legislation and regulation and other developments in Washington, DC, and among the states. Through discussion and consensus-building, staff and the Committee decide what communications ASSE should develop, either to respond to developments or to encourage developments that would benefit ASSE's members. The Committee also shares legislative and regulatory opportunities with appropriate ASSE practice specialties, with the goal of bringing attention to and making use of the wide range of technical and professional expertise ASSE members of its members.

Any position taken by the Government Affairs Committee goes through a consistent approval process to ensure that ASSE's members are represented in any position ASSE takes. Following Committee approval of a position, statement or letter, the Council on Professional Affairs and the Executive Committee of ASSE's Board of Directors reviews the Committee's work. Any time ASSE takes a position on an issue, it is the President of ASSE who is the voice of ASSE.

ASSE members are found in every industry with as varied responsibilities across safety, health, environmental concerns and even homeland security.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.