Chapter History

Columbia-Willamette Chapter of the ASSE as it is known today has had several name and area changes though out the years. In December of 1941 a group of 25 Safety Engineers gathered for the purpose of forming a Society of Safety Engineers. They called their organization the Portland Society of Safety Engineers. On January 20, 1943 The Portland Society of Safety Engineers was admitted to the American Society of Safety Engineers giving them their first name change to Portland Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. The large geographical area made it difficult for members to attend meetings and for the chapter to interact with members living further from Portland. The Eugene Section was created in 1972 to help alleviate this logistical problem, making it the oldest of what would be 5 different sections plus 2 student sections that would become attached to the Portland Chapter of the ASSE. Before 1978 the Central Oregon Section and Southern Oregon Section, sometimes called the Medford Section, would be formed to serve portions of the chapter too far to be served by the main body in Portland. On July 1, 1982 the Mt. St. Helen’s Section was created to meet the needs of members residing in Southern Washington State. A vote of the membership changed the chapter name from the Portland Chapter to the Columbia-Willamette Chapter becoming effective on June 4. Then on July 1, 1989 the Eugene Section along with parts of the Central Oregon Section formed the Cascade Chapter. Next the Medford Section became the catalyst for the Southern Oregon Chapter chartered October 7, 1993. The Santiam Section formed August 28, 1997 to serve members in the Mid-Willamette Valley area of the state. Student sections have been active over the years at both Oregon State University and Mt. Hood Community College.