Chapter History

The Chattanooga Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers has been serving the area safety professional for nearly forty-five years. The chapter was organized on September 20, 1957. The late Sam Sharp, a safety professional at a Tennessee copper company was elected at the first president. In 1961, Sam was elected as a Safety Fellow. He is the only local member to hold this distinction.

Since that time, many individuals from both large and small industries and businesses have served as president. Only three, however, have served more than one term as president. Jack Wright, now retired from McKee Baking Company, served during the years of 1975-76 and 1989-90. David Brooks who was a safety profession at Mueller and later with the Electric Power Board served during 1984-85 and again during 1994-95. Kim Shamblin, S&H Specialist with Kenco Management Services served her first term during 2011-2013 and is also the current President serving 2013-2015.

Wilson Robinson who worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority was the only chapter member who also served as a Society Officer. Wilson, who was president of the Chattanooga Area Chapter during 1983-84 served as the Vice President of Region VII of the American Society of Safety Engineers from July 1985 until June 1989. Wilson recruited forty new members to the chapter during his tenure. This is the chapter record for number of members recruited. He is now a member of the Northeast Tennessee Area Chapter.

In the recent past, the Chapter has received the Chapter Achievement Award from the national ASSE eight times signifying the professionalism of the Chapter and the continuing outstanding activities to promote safety in the workplace and in society.

The Chapter has served the safety community in many ways during the past forty-five years. The time of greatest participation, however, was during the 1970’s with the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. During the early period of OSHA, the Chapter held many seminars and training sessions for members and other safety professionals. During this time, attendance sometimes reached 400 participants.

The Chapter has made many other significant contributions to the Chattanooga area during its forty-five year history. Some of those accomplishments include:

  • Participating as safety inspectors at the local science fair
  • Providing instructors in many fields for the Chattanooga State Technical Community College
  • Providing assistance to the Tennessee Safety Council
  • Providing equipment to the Tennessee Safety Council
  • Serving on the city and county emergency aid teams
  • Providing safety devices to various community groups
  • Providing scholarship funding for CSTCC students
  • Assisting CSTCC in the development of a two year Associate Degree in Safety and Occupational health
  • Providing safety and health information to businesses through various seminars
  • Assisting all safety professionals in the pursuit of their profession certifications (CPS and ASP)
  • Providing members with the opportunity to expand their safety knowledge through tours of industries in the area

The Chapter currently covers a geographical area consisting of eight counties in Tennessee, thirteen counties in Georgia and three counties in North Carolina. Our members come from a varied background and offer a wide range of experience and knowledge to all members and prospective members. In order to accommodate member’s needs, the chapter has had numerous meeting locations over the past forty-five years.