Two safety experts honored as ASSP Fellows

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the world’s oldest professional safety organization, is bestowing the honor of Fellow on two longtime members who have made significant contributions to the occupational safety and health profession. Joel Haight and Pam Walaski are the 2022 recipients of the Society’s highest honor.

“ASSP Fellows are influential leaders in safety and have played key roles in improving workplace environments as well as the profession itself,” said ASSP President Brad Giles, P.E., CSP, STS, FASSP, GIOSH. “The career accomplishments of Joel and Pam in helping to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities are a true inspiration.”

Haight, Ph.D., P.E., CSP, CIH, FASSP, is professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, where he conducts research on topics such as human factors engineering, biomechanics and safety engineering. He has been an ASSP member since 1985 and served on the Society’s Board of Directors from 2018-21. Haight has published more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, book chapters and proceedings papers.

“Joel has contributed significantly to the evidence-based body of knowledge for the safety profession, evident through peer-reviewed published works and conference presentations conducted around the world,” said Kathy Seabrook, CSP, CFIOSH, EurOSHM, FASSP, past Society president. “One of his greatest accomplishments is bridging the gap between the disciplines of business, management, engineering and workplace safety and health.”

Haight is editor of three editions of “The Safety Professionals Handbook,” a key resource for practicing safety professionals. He mentors students and helps them enter the workforce through his professional collaborations in many industries. Haight also provides consultation and training to businesses on process safety management, root-cause analysis and human factors engineering. His work has led to thousands of people being safer on the job.

Walaski, CSP, FASSP, is senior program director for Specialty Technical Consultants Inc. and an adjunct faculty member for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Safety Sciences Department. She will become ASSP’s senior vice president on the Board of Directors on July 1, serving as the Society’s president in 2024-25. Walaski is a published author and widely respected speaker and safety trainer who has been an ASSP member since 2003.

“Pam is a national expert in risk management, and her contributions to the field are exceptional,” said Dr. Tracey Cekada, CSP, professor and chair of the IUP Safety Sciences Department. “Pam has made a positive impact on more than 200 students in the classroom who will become the safety professionals of tomorrow. Her class is demanding, but students rate her as excellent and say her real-life examples significantly help their learning.”

Walaski is a driving force behind the expansion of the safety profession. She helped build a donation to the ASSP Foundation that exceeded $55,000 for recurring student scholarships through the Western Pennsylvania Chapter. Her trip to China in 2010 brought new colleagues into the Society while growing its diversity. And as an early adopter of social media, Walaski uses the platforms to broadly promote occupational safety and health careers.

The new Fellows will be honored at ASSP’s Safety 2022 Professional Development Conference and Exposition, held June 27-29 in Chicago. The global event will bring together thousands of safety professionals to learn about best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations in the occupational safety and health field.

The honor of Fellow recognizes an ASSP member’s lifetime commitment, achievement and leadership in occupational safety and health. Nominees must have a history of major contributions to the profession for at least 15 years. To see the Society’s list of Fellows dating back more than 50 years, visit ASSP Fellow recipients.

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