History

In the spring of 1947, a group of safety professionals in the Middle Tennessee area met regularly to discuss and promote the safety and well-being of residents living and working in the Middle Tennessee area. The group is affiliated with American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the world’s largest safety organization.

Since that first group gather in 1947, our Chapter has continued to be a significant member of the community, making numerous contributions.

Beginning in early 1970, in cooperation with the Nashville General Sessions Court , the Middle Tennessee Chapter established a once-a-month Driver Safety School for minor traffic offenders in Davidson County . A portion of the proceeds from the Driver Safety School was dedicated to the start-up and operation of the Guest House, a facility that provides a safe environment and shelter 24 hours a day for individuals in treatment as well as a safe alternative to jail for people arrested for public intoxication. Dr. Charles F. Strobel is the Founding Director of this program in partnership with the Metro Police Department, and operates from the Campus for Human Development in Nashville . Rachel Hester, a 17 year veteran of the organization, is the Executive Director.

In 1978, the Middle Tennessee Chapter co-sponsored along with the Tennessee Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA), a proposed one-time forum of all Tennessee safety professionals. By popular vote the forum has been continued each year, and has become the Tennessee Safety and Health Congress and Exposition. The Congress attracts thousands of delegates and hundreds of exhibitors on an annual basis. The Congress is now sponsored by the TOSHA Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Tennessee Chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

Tennessee was the first state in the nation to enact a mandatory child restraint law, which took effect in Tennessee in January 1978. Shortly after the law passage, the Middle Tennessee Chapter began to provide free child restraint seats through the Tennessee Highway Patrol and other organizations for distribution to needy families. The Chapter’s program was named the “Middle Tennessee ASSE / Dr. Robert Sanders Child Safety Seat Program” in honor of the late Dr. Robert Sanders and his legacy of sponsoring legislation to protect children in motor vehicles. The Tennessee law has now been duplicated in every other state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Each year, the Middle Tennessee Chapter strives to donate at least 50 child restraint seats to various organizations throughout the middle Tennessee region. Prior recipients include: Outlook Nashville, Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center, Nurses for Newborns of Tennessee, Hope Clinic for Women, Agape, The Kings Daughter Day Home, Campus for Human Development, and local county health departments including Rutherford, Wilson, Williamson, Montgomery and Sumner counties.

Beginning in the late 1980’s, the Chapter began providing scholarships to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate safety programs in the area colleges and universities including Middle Tennessee State University and Murray State University .

Chapter membership is in excess of 270 members who maintain the mission of ASSE: to promote the advancement of the safety profession and foster technical, scientific, managerial and ethical knowledge, skills and competency of safety professionals.