President’s Message


Student Engagement

Happy New Year!

As we begin 2023, I am thinking more about ways we can bolster engagement with our students, student sections, and the youngest members of the OSH community. The student community is a fundamental part of ASSP’s structure, both at the national and local level. At the Chapter’s Planning Session in August 2022, student engagement was a key part of our discussion.

The chapter is committed to working with our local student sections and faculty advisors in every way it can to bridge the gap in student engagement. Through conference sponsorship, scholarship support, student spotlighting, and guest-speaking opportunities, the chapter strives to make sure that this group is supported as much as possible. This effort, however, is not only a chapter responsibility. Everyone has a role to play, directly or indirectly, in student engagement.

There are areas that could still be improved on, such as retention, mentorship, motivation, professional development, to mention a few. Speaking of retention, data from the Safety+Health magazine indicates that we are not retaining our recent grad and young professionals enough. Some of our recent grads that I spoke with on this issue last year, told me that they find it somewhat challenging to qualify for entry-level jobs requiring 1-2 years of experience. While this may not be representative of the situation, it’s something worth mentioning. Mentorship and motivation could go a long way to create a positive experience for our students as they transition in their professional journey. Thus, I encourage us to continue to harness our roles to positively influence the next generation of safety leaders.

If this topic resonates with you, I encourage you to join us in our Technical Meeting in March, where a faculty advisor will come speak to us and answer questions relating to this topic.

Finally, I want to thank those that made last month’s end of year social. It was nice to meet in person again, after several months of virtual meetings. All things being equal, we should be returning to face to face meetings no later than March 2023.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I sincerely appreciate everyone’s support in the last six months. Let’s keep up the good team spirit in the months ahead!

Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP


Appreciate your support!

It is December, the last month of the year! I would like to thank everyone for their support in making this year a successful one for the chapter so far. Through your sustained commitment, the chapter held two strategic sessions, four technical meetings, a joint technical meeting, and participated in regional meetings, and conferences, just to mention a few.

It is also worth mentioning that the chapter increased its membership strength to 455 as of November 2022. All of these did not happen by chance, but by the contribution of everyone. The Executive Committee (EC) is honored that you have entrusted us to direct the strategic path of the chapter for the first half of the year, even as we look forward to making it a better year ahead.

One of the things we are working on is returning to in-person meetings. In the member survey administered in early September, 67% of respondents inquired about the chapter’s return to in-person meetings. I would be remiss if I didn’t inform you that this is a major goal for next year. In fact, we are giving this a shot already with the end-of-year social coming up on December 16th. We hope that this event will transition the chapter into in-person meetings starting January 2023. Please consider registering for the event if you haven’t already done so. Details are available on our website:

On the other side of things, I would like to remind you all of some important approaching deadlines. Are you a student – full-time or part-time? Please consider applying for the Foundation Academic Scholarship which is due by February 15, 2023. Also, nominations for the Chapter and Regional SPY Awards are due by February 1. While it may seem like there is enough time, it goes by so fast. It would be great to have our members recognized in either or both areas.

Finally, I believe nothing is more rewarding than having a well-spent and memorable time together with loved ones. Regardless of the nature of your job, please make time with your families this holiday season. Family is everything! Thank you for all you do and have a nice holiday!

Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP


Checking off on our Goals

It is hard to believe that we are less than two months to the end of the year. How time flies! According to Luke Rowley, founder of Goal Engineering, this is a good time of the year for people to evaluate the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. A safety professional told me a few days ago that he was able to achieve his major professional goal of the year, which is passing the CSP exams. 

To all our members who may have achieved their goals for the current year, be it completing an academic program, passing a board exam, learning a new skill, implementing an innovative workplace solution, or whatever, we want to congratulate you on your success! On the other hand, for those that are yet to achieve theirs, we encourage you to keep pushing. If you failed for some reason, do not be discouraged by failure. To FAIL, as they say, is First Attempt In Learning! Instead, convert the experience from such as learning opportunities to become better and stronger.

As your local Chapter, we are equally evaluating our strategic goals in ensuring we are meeting the needs of our members. It is one of our goals this year to ensure that the Chapter communications get to our members quickly and easily. The Chapter’s Website and Social Media platforms – Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have been very helpful in making this possible. Be sure to check these out if you have not. Thanks to Bryce and Eric, our Social Media Chair and Website Coordinator respectively, for their continued support in this area.

Another goal that we are in the process of achieving this year, is the Chapter Member Survey. Thanks to all those that participated in the survey. Your inputs will be incorporated into the Chapter’s operations for the subsequent year. More updates to come on this in future communications.

On the other side of things, we have some upcoming events this month and next. Please take a moment to join us for this month’s Technical Meeting coming up on Thursday, November 10 at noon.  Our speaker is Dr. Diana Schwerha, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Liberty University. Dr. Schwerha will be speaking on “Integrating Safety with Process Improvement Strategies and Techniques.” See the Chapter’s website and social media platforms for more information including how to register.

We are also excited to inform you that there will be an End-of-Year social next month (December 2022). Venue, date, and time will be communicated to you soon! We hope you will consider joining us.

Finally, as we look forward to Thanksgiving this month, I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for all you do within your respective capacities in making sure that our employees return home safely to their families each day. You are all appreciated!

Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP


Promoting Mental Health

Welcome to October! October is National Depression and Mental Awareness month. I would, therefore, like to remind us briefly of the need to be a part of this awareness, as well as integrate mental health into the fabric of our programs.

As safety professionals, our influence in the workplace goes beyond the bounds of the technical programs we manage or whatever best practice we implement, but much more in the positive relationship we build with the people we work with in ensuring they feel happy and are mentally stable each workday.

As organizations continue to face labor shortages and adapt to the changing world of work, it is important that we continue to play a critical role in helping workers feel seen, heard and understood. We should make deliberate effort, if not already doing so, to introduce programs to help reduce employee stress, which can improve their health, morale and productivity.  

When we deeply understand how people feel by asking the right questions and listening to their concerns, we are able to build trust, which in turn promotes an inclusive safety culture within our organizations. Naturally, people are more connected to an organization’s goals and vision when they feel valued and are offered some level of flexibility that promotes job satisfaction, better health, increased work-life balance and less stress. Our roles are critical in bridging this gap in whatever environment we belong. I really can’t appreciate you all enough for all you do in advocating not only for workers’ physical health and safety, but also their mental health.

On the other side of October are the upcoming events that we have lined up for you – our most esteemed members! First, is this month’s Technical Meeting. This meeting, which is being held jointly with the Western Carolina Chapter, will feature Trish Ennis, who served as Society’s 100th President (in 2015). Trish will discuss the Role of Safety in Reputation Risk Management. You definitely don’t want to miss this one – see the NC ASSP events page for more information or follow the link: But in case you can’t make this, be sure to check out our YouTube page where we have most of our presentations archived.

Advisory Group – One of the highpoints of this month’s technical meeting is to formally take a vote to amend the Chapter’s bylaws to reflect the new Advisory Group. At last month’s meeting, the Executive Committee proposed an amendment to the bylaws to replace the House of Delegates with the new Advisory Group per Society’s new governance change initiative.

Last but not the least is the Virtual Leadership Conference which will be held next week Thursday and Friday (October 20-21, 2022). The conference is free and open to all chapters, common interest groups, practice specialty leaders and other ASSP leaders. 

As always, we would love to hear from you on ways we can make your experience better as a member of the NC Chapter. We are open to working together and finding new ways to collaborate with you, all in the interest of creating a safer future for our workers, and building a stronger future for our organization.

Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP


Working together for a safer, and stronger future.

As my term as president of the North Carolina ASSP Chapter progresses, I am excited at the opportunity to work with our members and other stakeholders within and outside our local geographical area. I, and the other members of the Executive Committee, are honored to represent you while continuing to make improvements to meet your professional needs.

I cannot think of a better phrase that describes our roles as safety professionals in the current climate than the very motto of ASSP – “Working together for a safer, and stronger future.”

From navigating through the pandemic to dealing with new challenges arising from an evolving work environment, our responsibilities are becoming increasingly demanding. But realizing that what we do contributes to building a safer and stronger future, we continue to do our best in making a difference each day.

As your local chapter, we want to make sure we are providing the needed resources to help you successfully navigate through these challenging times. One of our goals this year is to increase member engagement as much as we can. Consequently, the Executive Committee (EC) is administering a member survey this quarter to hear from you on ways to better serve you. A link to this short, four-minute survey, is included in this newsletter.

We also want to encourage you to take advantage of the chapter’s monthly technical meetings. We strive to make the meetings as interactive as possible, reflecting on contemporary OSH issues while also satisfying your technical needs. If you missed our August meeting on Office Ergonomics and the Hybrid Work Environments, be sure to check out the chapter’s website for an archived recording. For October’s technical meeting, Trish Ennis, ASSP past president, will talk on “The Role of Safety in Reputation Risk Management.”

Thank you for being an integral part of our community and for all you do in advancing the health and safety of workers.

The Executive Committee looks forward to working with you. When we come together, work together and support one another, we can achieve many great things, including making the world of work safer for all.

Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP