Safety 2010 in Baltimore will be bursting with activity and gallantly streaming online.
There will come a point during the upcoming American Society of Safety Engineers Professional Development Conference & Expo, June 13-16 in Baltimore, when visitors will have the opportunity to witness something close to what inspired Maryland native Francis Scott Key by that dawn's early light in 1814, when he penned the words of what would become our national anthem. Monday, June 14 -- the second official day of Safety 2010 -- is national Flag Day, and fireworks will be bursting in air over Baltimore's Inner Harbor, just across the street from the convention center where conference activities will be taking place, which in turn is only a short water taxi ride away from Fort McHenry, the site upon which Key so proudly gazed while writing his hit single.
ASSE was 97 years away from being formed by the time of that composing. While next year's Safety 2011 will mark the society's centennial anniversary, all indications are that this year's event is aiming to get the celebrating started early.
Are You In?
Long recognized as one of the strongest U.S. safety shows, the annual ASSE PDC has this year pulled out the stops and made a concerted effort to attract an even wider audience than usual. One of the ways developers are doing this — and thereby hoping to get affirmative answers to their thematic question, "Are You In for Safety 2010?" — is by introducing a new Executive Track of sessions designed for supervisors, managers, and others who may have only a peripheral involvement with safety at their sites.
"If safety professionals want to bring their boss, or maybe their VP of operations or plant manager, these are sessions that have been specifically designed so they can see what the safety professional is doing and to provide insight about that so that when they go back to the facility it will help with making changes at that facility," explained PDC Committee Chair Diana Stegall. "For that plant manager or VP to be able to hear the head of OSHA say, 'This is the direction we're going, and this is what we're working on directly,' it's just going to make it that much better when they go back to the facility and are able to work hand in hand with that. It's going to help give them a kind of 'big picture' about some of the things they can be doing with their organization to move things forward from a safety standpoint."
Another way developers are making the event enticing is by offering some of its best-ever activities for family members, children, and other guests so they can expand their horizons while their safety professionals are busy doing likewise in the roughly 220 educational sessions in 22 tracks. Among the guest outings planned is a behindthe- scenes "youth and parent tour" of all areas of Camden Yards; an all-day trip to Washington, D.C., with stops at the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and museums; a separate all-day trip to Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria for a glimpse of 18th century Virginia; and yet another trip to Annapolis, Md., for a walking tour of the historic city and the U.S. Naval Academy. A final guest trip is slated to Boordy Vineyards, Maryland's oldest family-run winery, but children are not allowed because the aft ernoon's agenda involves more than just looking at the wine.
Lest safety professionals themselves feel left out, a more-than-usual number of technical tours to extremely variegated sites have been planned especially for them. The diverse destinations include the John Paul Reed Smith Guitar Manufacturing Site, where craft smen will detail the safety processes involved in transforming a block of wood into an instrument worth $20K or more, and Wheelabrator of Baltimore, a VPP Star-certified site that takes 250 tons of trash and turns it into energy every day. There are many other options, but all the professional tours have a limited capacity, so early registration is encouraged. For the complete lineup, visit www.safety2010.org. OH&S will be providing full coverage of Safety 2010, with more to say about the show in our June issue, a copy of which we will be glad to hand you at our Expo booth in the Baltimore Convention Center. We also will be posting news stories to our homepage live from the showroom floor. Meanwhile, for registration and more information go to www.asse.org/education/pdc10/.
This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.