New ASSE Foundation Fund Helps Families Cope With Loss

POST_fsf.logo.wordsDuring Safety 2013, former Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw announced a new program created by ASSE Foundation (ASSEF). The ASSEF Family Scholarship Fund will support families who have lost a loved one to a workplace fatality. “There are so many things a family needs after losing a loved one. But one of the most crucial elements of long-term stability in any person’s life is access to a good education,” Henshaw said. The fund will offer college tuition support for students affected by a workplace fatality.

Henshaw, who has made the Family Scholarship Fund his primary initiative, has personally contributed $10,000.  In addition, both ASSE and the Foundation have matched Henshaw’s gift for a total of $30,000 to fund the scholarships, with the first award coming this fall. “We cannot bring the lives lost back, but we can do our part to ease the loss,” he said. In an open letter to ASSE members, Henshaw explains the fund and urges members to consider helping the cause.

In a continued effort to prevent workplace fatalities, ASSE is hosting the Fatality & Severe Loss Prevention Symposium. The 2-day event will cover issues such as where an organization is vulnerable to catastrophic loss, what your business can do to avert disaster and why the worst may happen to any organization. Participants will learn how to:

  • apply forward thinking methodology to root-cause analyses in order to identify precursors;
  • measure current workplace safety controls to determine if they are operative as intended;
  • apply the safety practices of high-reliability organization to avoid severe-loss occurrences;
  • regain control when risk elements are at a high level for severe loss;
  • implement practices that will increase your organization’s ability to avoid fatalities and severe loses;
  • determine if any leadership and culture attributes of your organization are predictors of fatalities and severe loss;
  • gather metrics and relevant data for predicting fatalities and severe losses.

In addition, the symposium will feature leading industry experts who will discuss current topics and relevant best practices.

Keynote presenter Rob Shuster, vice president of protective services and training for AFIMAC Global, will discuss actions that can mitigate loss in the event that an active shooter enters the workplace. “The biggest mistake that an organization makes is to stay in the denial phase and pretend that this will never happen to them,” says Shuster, stressing the need to prepare for an active shooter event even if the probability of one seems low. In his presentation, Shuster will discuss the options individuals have for protecting themselves in an active shooter incident. He will also address how experts and other resources can be used to develop a tailored response plan that takes all environmental factors of the workplace into account.

During a concurrent session, David Walline, CSP, global safety leader of Owen Corning, will examine proven solutions from prevention through design. Walline has seen first hand how gaps in design can lead to catastrophic events, and has used those experiences to broaden his knowledge on the benefits of safe design. “The greatest opportunity to anticipate, identify, evaluate and control hazards is in the design/redesign process,” he says, explaining that learning how to take a proactive approach to safety can greatly improve injury/illness prevention, productivity and employee morale. He will share some examples of proven solutions that he has incorporated into his own projects that directly attacks high level risks associated with fatal/serious mishaps by leveraging risk avoidance and elimination in design.