In 1911 the United Society of Casualty Inspections was formed in New York and in 1914 its name changed to American Society of Safety Engineers. In 1924 ASSE joined the National Safety Council as its Engineering Section and during the late 1940’s repositioned itself as an independent organization. At this time there were several ASSE members from the Milwaukee area who were attempting to form a chapter in Wisconsin. They were successful and the first ASSE meeting was held in Milwaukee on February 25, 1949. A charter for the Wisconsin chapter was received from ASSE headquarters on April 10, 1950, which created the Milwaukee Chapter.
The Milwaukee Chapter continued to meet regularly with growth and achievements. At a chapter’s meeting, June 26, 1961, the constitution was amended to change the name from the Milwaukee Chapter to the Wisconsin Chapter. Currently our chapter’s membership approximates 265, which for the most part, is spread throughout southeastern Wisconsin.
In the late 1970’s our chapter assisted in the formation of the Northeast section and within several years it became the Nicolet Chapter. Their current membership approximates 167, with most residing in the surrounding Green Bay-Appleton area. With our chapter’s support, the Badgerland Chapter was formed during the mid 1990’s. Its current membership of approximately 134 is concentrated in the Madison area and its adjacent counties. Also, in the early 1980’s our chapter helped to create a student section at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, which is now a student chapter with about 70 members.
With the support of MSOE, our chapter and MSOE co-sponsored a 2½ – day CSP refresher seminar, which was held annually from the early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s. The seminar was so successful that ASSE headquarters utilized it as a pattern for developing their similar nationwide seminar.
To assist our members in becoming CSP’s, our chapter has purchased study materials and also assists in coordinating study groups. For those with CSP’s, our chapter along with help from Alverno College has developed and sponsored two ½ day seminars, which were started in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. These have been held annually and cover OSHA and other safety compliance issues, with both seminars issuing Continuing Education Credits.
More recently, our chapter was able to partner with Milwaukee’s OSHA office through co-sponsoring their annual OSHA Safety Day. This seminar is an outreach activity for OSHA and concentrates on training employees from smaller manufacturing companies. OSHA provides the speakers for specific OSHA topics and our chapter provides speakers for general safety management topics, such as accident investigation, workers’ compensation and safety committees’ best practices. Since 2008 this event has been held at WCTC, Pewaukee campus, with near 300 employees attending.
The Wisconsin Chapter is not just about running technical meetings, seminars and preparing for certification, we also have fun. Since the mid 1990’s our annual golf outing has attracted upwards of 80 members and guests for this event.