President’s Message – September 2020

Sep 11, 2020

Hi, my name is Pat Ragan and I have the honor of being the NC ASSP Chapter President for the coming chapter year. I very much appreciate the confidence placed in me and will do my best to maintain the excellent history of our chapter.

I am incredibly happy that one of my first actions is to announce that our chapter has, for the 4th consecutive year, achieved the Platinum level recognition for NC Chapter Operations Management Tool.  Below is the communication received from Arielle Semmel Sr. Manager Communities confirming our success.


To:  North Carolina Chapter President and Past President

Congratulations on a great chapter year. The North Carolina Chapter has achieved Platinum level recognition for the 2019 – 2020 year.  This recognition is based from the information your chapter submitted in the Chapter Operations Management Tool (COMT) of 6/30/2020.

The work that goes into achieving this level of success is impressive and greatly appreciated by ASSP.  This year provided a new challenge and you adapted to the realities this situation created to protect the health and well-being of your members and local communities.  Your efforts benefit your chapter members and the safety profession as a whole.

Your chapter is listed on the Chapter Recognition page of the ASSP website and includes the chapter president for 2019-2020.

Again, congratulations on your accomplishment, and thank you for your work in providing accessible, face-to-face opportunities for ASSP members to become better safety professionals.



Arielle Semmel

Sr. Manager Communities

cc:       Vice President, Council on Region Affairs

Regional Vice President

Area Director


Thanks to all of the 2019-2020 EC team for their leadership in helping achieve this recognition and special thanks to Kim Blatz, Chapter President for the time this award represents.  Kim, thanks for your hard work and gentle hand leading us across the Platinum finish line.

Other notable Chapter events and news

If you read the communication of the Platinum award you may have noted the line “providing accessible, face-to-face opportunities”.  Well it looks like at least through the end of 2020 that is out…. It seems even a professional safety organization can not avoid the constraints of Covid-19.  At least through December 2020 our meetings will be Virtual.

We have a great line up of Virtual Technical meetings that will be broadcast live,  We hope to record them for those that are not able to see the live broadcast.  Details are available on the NC Chapter Webpage under the News and Events, Events tab. and the topics are listed below.

  • Respiratory and COVID-19 and How This Plays an Important Role in Everyone’s Safety: September 10 (12:00 pm – 1:30 pm)
  • ASSP Region VI PDC: September 15, – 18 (Check the link for the agenda for 4 days of an excellent line up of safety professionals discussing relevant Safety topics)
  • Q&A with NCDOL Commissioner, Cherie Berry: October 8, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
  • OSHA and COVID-19: Enforcement Update, Exposure Control Plans, and PPE: November 12, (12:00 pm – 1:30 pm)
  • The Importance of Values-Based Engagements: December 10, (12:00 pm – 1:30 pm)


Let us make the best of a challenging situation.  We have been wanting to find a way to kick start our virtual contact with members that are too remote to routinely attend regular meetings. Well here is our chance. If you are a remote NC Chapter member take this opportunity to see the support and fellowship our chapter and society can provide.  You are not in this alone.  Reach out to the many other ASSP members that are doing the same work you are.  Ask them for help or offer help if you have a great idea or program.

Meet people at our monthly meetings.  Jump into one of the many community conversations taking place on the ASSP website all the time.

From your PRESIDENT-ELECT;Robin Barfield, SMS, we learned this week that our Daily Digest links in the Region VI Communication Tips was not working. Special Thanks to Jason DeDano for pointing this out. While we continue to embrace the best practices for this pandemic, we are seeing more casual spread of COVID through home environments. The importance of two-week contact tracing is more apparent with this most recent development. Public Health professionals have noted that many individuals have struggled to keep accurate contacts and phone numbers of individuals that may have been affected by COVID positive cases. Yes, it is a pain, but so well worth the effort to slow the spread and protect one another.

Information from ASSP

NC just completed the Safe and Sound Week, August 10-16.  We hope you were able to take advantage of this annual initiative to move your efforts forward.

Phishing attempts[i]: ASSP members have experienced several Phishing attempts in recent weeks.  They usually involve an email from another ASSP member or Safety Related organization (Asbestos group was the one we saw) asking for money to support an initiative or stating the chapter had committed to support a safety initiative and they would like you to send the $500 commitment in gift cards. Don’t let them get you.  If it is an obvious attempt just delete the email.  If you are not sure contact the contact the ASSP member that supposedly sent the email, to let them know what is going on.

Chapter Leadership Notices

AWARDS CHAIR, Alicia Mitchell, CHMM, CSP;  Alicia, has elected to step down from her Awards Chair role.  Alicia has had a number of important roles in her 16 years with ASSP including NC Chapter President 2014-2015.  We want to thank her for her many contributions to the advancement of our society.

MEMBERSHIP CHAIR, John Cala, MS, CIH;  John has accepted a position in California and is vacating that role August 31, 2020.  We wish John great success in his new job and thank him for his efforts to help our chapter.

Chapter Member Spotlight; If you know of a NC ASSP Member Safety Professional with a career path that might be an inspiration or validation to other safety professionals please let Pat Ragan or Kim Blatz know.  We are looking for our September Member Spotlight and would love for current members input on a safety professional that deserves this recognition.

Just for fun Chapter stats

As of August 25, 2020

  • 435 registered members
  • 85 of whom have been in ASSP for 20 or more years.
  • 229 Active members at less than 5 years in ASSP
  • 78 Members that have joined within the last year.
  • 11 are members of the US Army, Marines or Airforce
  • We learned last year our most remote member is in Newcastle England.
  • We have a reported total of 4480 member years with ASSP with an average of 10 years per member. That is a lot of time helping keep people from being hurt.

Update your profile……………..

Best Regards


Patrick Ragan, MBA, CSP


[i] phish·ing /ˈfiSHiNG/noun

1. the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

President’s Message – March 2020

Mar 10, 2020

We have been having a very successful Chapter year, with great participation of our members and offering valuable presentations at our monthly technical meetings.  This month we feature Debra Lord speaking on “Roadblocks on Return to Work and How to Avoid” with information on Post-offer employment testing, Fit for Duty testing, Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE); work conditioning, ergonomic assessments and job analyses (physical demands analyses).

In April we will have LaMont Smith, Recognition Program Manager, NC Department of Labor, Bureau of Consultative Service speaking on the Carolina Star Program.  Join us to hear how this program can help your organization to achieve improved safety performance!

The 2020 Chapter Member Survey has been posted and your feedback is important. The information you provide gives guidance to the incoming Program Chair and the Executive Committee to make sure that the technical meetings and other activities of the Chapter provide value to you as a member.  We hope that you have taken the time to respond:

The nominees for the 2020-2021 Chapter Executive Committee have been posted for you to review for the Chapter election to be held at our April 9th Chapter meeting.  You can review the candidates here:  Link

This month for our ongoing Chapter membership spotlight, we are featuring Horace Rozier, a valued long-time Chapter member and past president.  You can view the membership spotlights on our Chapter website:

Our two chapter delegates for 2020, Jon Wallace and Chris Hinson, will travel to the House of Delegates meeting on Monday June 22nd in Orlando FL in conjunction with the ASSP National PDC, If you have any issues that you would like them to take to the meeting on behalf of the Chapter, please reach out to them directly.

ASSP has posted information on their website which will be updated leading up to the National PDC about the potential impact of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 on this and any other planned conferences.  To stay up to date, check here regularly if you have plans to attend any:

The North American Occupational Safety & Health (NAOSH) Week is May 3-9th.  ASSP partners with other safety organizations for week of focus – for more information, visit:

Looking for a new job opportunity? Be sure to look on the jobs posted on our Chapter website, and on the Regional website. You can also post your resume on our website for employers to access.

I look forward to seeing you at our meetings this year! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions to make our chapter work better for you.


Kim Blatz, Chapter President, MEng, CRSP, CPEA

President’s Message – January 2020

Jan 05, 2020

Thanks go to everyone that contributed to our Chapter collection for the Toys for Tots drive. The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community.  The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. With the funds our Chapter members contributed and Chapter matching of $250, we were able to purchase 33 bike helmets for children to receive as Christmas gifts. Our Past President Jon Wallace (shown on the left below) purchased them and took them to the collection point at the Fleet Feet store in Carrboro.

Our November Chapter Technical Meeting was hosted by Southern Industrial Constructors at their training center in Raleigh.  Many thanks to Jessica Foster for providing the space for the event, and to John Archer from the Environmental Protection Agency who presented for our technical meeting on “Assessing the Effectiveness of Air Duct Cleaning on Indoor Environmental Quality.  John is a Research Industrial Hygienist with the Homeland Security & Materials Management Division of US Environmental Protection Agency in RTP.

At our January 9th technical meeting we will have a presentation on Fall Protection Rescue Plans and use of 3rd party standby teams by Eric Stroud, Co-Owner/COO/Safety and Rescue Specialist at Fire and Rescue Concepts, LLC.  For details and to register, visit our Chapter website:  Registration link.

Last month for our ongoing Chapter membership spotlight, we introduced W.T. Miller, who is our most distant member, living in England.  This month, our spotlight is on Laura Joyce, who is our Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) Chapter liaison.  You can view the membership spotlights on our Chapter website:

If you are looking for a new job opportunity, be sure to look on the jobs posted on our website, and on the Regional website. You can also post your resume on our website for employers to access.

I look forward to seeing you at our meetings this year! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions to make our chapter work better for you.


Kim Blatz, Chapter President, MEng, CRSP, CPEA

President’s Message – November 2019

Nov 07, 2019

Our first Chapter Technical Meeting was held in September at the site of Fresnius Kabi USA in Wilson, NC.  We appreciated Fresnius Kabi US hosting the meeting on such short notice, and it was great to see so many members attend that often don’t make it to the meetings when they are held further west!

At our September meeting we discussed ways to share the diversity of paths that peoples’ careers evolve through in the safety profession, showing that there is not just one way to be successful in this field.  This newsletter we are starting with highlighting Chapter member profiles. Our hope is that this will provide a way for our newer professionals to see that there are multiple paths to and through the profession and be able to find more experienced members to reach out to for guidance or advice.  This month we are highlighting Todd Allen Thornton, a member of ASSE/ASSP for 11 years (see below).

Our Chapter Professional Development Conference (PDC), held at the NC Department of Transportation office in Raleigh on October 24th was also a great success (more on that later in this newsletter), and we were grateful for the NC DOT providing the space and for helping so much with the logistics!

Some of you have mentioned that you belong to the Common Interest Group, Women in Safety Excellence (WISE), which is intended to address issues specific to women OSH professionals — helping tackle the specific workplace and industry challenges that women face, in order to advance their careers and gain leadership positions within the OSH profession. One of our Chapter members, Laura Joyce, has agreed to be our Chapter resource and will provide us with information on WISE events.  In the meantime, feel free to explore the WISE Facebook posts (you don’t have to be a member of WISE to join) at: and/or if already in WISE, you can follow the community conversations on the ASSP national website at this link:  Link to WISE.

There are also additional Common Interest Groups:  Blacks in Safety Excellence (BISE), Hispanic Safety Professionals, and Emerging Professionals in Occupational Safety and Health.  Learn more about them here:  Link to Common Interest Groups .

To get more out of your ASSP membership, consider joining one of the online ASSP Practice Specialties, to connect and network with professionals in your unique area of health and safety.  There are practice specialty communities in construction, consultants, engineering, environmental, ergonomics, fire protection, healthcare, industrial hygiene, international, management, manufacturing, military, oil/gas/mining/mineral resources, public sector, risk management/insurance, training & communications, transportation and utilities!    To explore how to join their online conversations, visit this link:  Link to join online communities.

We hope you will join us this month over lunch on Thursday, November 14th in Raleigh to hear the presentation on “Assessing the Effectiveness of Air Duct Cleaning on Indoor Environmental Quality by John Archer, MS, CIH.  John is a Research Industrial Hygienist with the Homeland Security & Materials Management Division of US Environmental Protection Agency in RTP. Follow this link to register:  Link to register online .

I look forward to seeing you at our meetings this year! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions to make our chapter work better for you.


Kim Blatz, Chapter President, MEng, CRSP, CPEA

President’s Message: September 2019

Sep 04, 2019

I am delighted to welcome you to the 2019-2020 North Carolina Chapter year of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP)!  Our Chapter Planning Committee and the Professional Development Conference (PDC) Committee have both been working through the summer months to improve your experience with our Chapter and to implement some of your suggestions given to our member survey last year.  Our Program Chair, Pat Ragan, deserves many thanks for leading the committee to develop a lineup of technical meetings and locations to hold them at – starting out in September when we head east to meet at the facility of Fresnius Kabi USA in Wilson, NC.  Join us to hear the presentation on “What is a Confined Space? Performing the Confined Space Determination” by W. Jon Wallace, CSP, MBA, President of Workplace Safety and our Chapter Past President.

Also, together with the PDC Committee, Pat has also lined up a 1-Day PDC to be held October 24th in Raleigh.  Check out the details on our Chapter website and sign up now to attend.  0.7 CEUs will be granted:

Consider also attending the 33rd Annual Region VI PDC on September 18-20th in Myrtle Beach: Link to Region VI PDC.  I look forward to seeing you at our meetings this year! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions to make our chapter work better for you.


Kim Blatz MEng, CRSP, CPEA