The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Safety Knowledge and Networking in New Orleans

One of the highlights is a June 12 panel discussion on how increased use and legalization of marijuana affect companies' efforts to maintain drug-free workplaces.

The Safety 2019 Professional Development Conference & Exposition takes place this month in New Orleans. The conference, which is sponsored by the American Society of Safety Professionals, will take place June 10-12, with post-conference courses scheduled for June 12-15. The conference and exposition will take place at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

New Orleans Attractions
New Orleans is the most populous city in Louisiana. The average temperatures for June are a low of 74 and a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so the thousands of professionals coming for the event should be ready for warm and humid weather.

The "Big Easy" is well known for its cuisine and culture, particularly the celebration of Mardi Gras. While Safety 2019 takes place months after the Mardi Gras parades, there is still plenty to do in the city. The French Quarter, often called the Crown Jewel of New Orleans, is one of the city's most famous neighborhoods, encompassing arts, culture, cuisine, and the infamous Bourbon Street.

The Convention Center is located in the Arts/Warehouse District, which is also home to the National World War II Museum. The museum, which includes a reproduction of the Higgins boat that carried Allied soldiers to the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, has been designated by Congress as the country's official WWII museum.

There are a variety of ways to get around New Orleans, according to The streetcar system has four distinct lines, each originating in downtown, and a three-day pass can be purchased for $9. Visitors also can rent a bike, take a pedicab, or use a cab or rideshare service.

Safety 2019 Educational Program Highlights, ISFP Symposium
The conference's educational program is divided into 24 tracks that include safety management, construction, fire protection, oil gas/mining & mineral resources, human behavior, and international issues. Workplace violence appears to be a particular focus this year, with at least three sessions covering the topic, including "The Safety Professional and Active Shooter Planning" (June 10, 10:45-11:45 a.m.), "Lessons Learned from the Hesston, Kansas, Workplace Shooting" (June 11, 10:30-11:45 a.m.), and "Active Shooter Survival" (June 11, 4:15-5:15 p.m.).

Other noteworthy sessions in the concurrent educational program are "Silica in Construction: No More Bumps in Our Road" (June 10, 9:15-10:30 a.m.), "Using Risk Assessment to Prevent Heat Illnesses" (June 12, 10:45 a.m.-noon), "Suicide Prevention: The Next Frontier in Workplace Safety" (June 10, 2-3 p.m.), and "Industrial Hygiene in the Oil and Gas Industry" (June 11, 10:30-11:45 a.m.).

The brochure for Safety 2019 highlights keynotes by speakers who include Nicole Malachowski (Opening General Session, "The Power of Challenging Assumptions," starting at 7:30 a.m. on June 10), Peter Ricchiuti (General Session, "Uncertainty Brings Opportunity," starting at 7:30 a.m. on June 11), Keni Thomas (BCSP Awards of Excellence Ceremony & Luncheon Presentation, "Get It On! What It Means to Lead the Way," starting at noon on June 12), and Scott Hamilton (Closing General Session, "Unquenchable," starting at 2 p.m. on June 12).

The agenda includes a General Session Panel on June 12 (9:15-10:30 a.m.) titled "Marijuana: How State Legalization and Medical Use Affects How We Approach Safety." The panel discussion will cover the ways that increased use and legalization of marijuana affect safety professionals' efforts to maintain drug-free workplaces. The panel members will include experts on safety and law.

The June 11 Plenary Session (1-2 p.m.) is structured as a town hall panel. "Where Do You Draw the Line? Navigating the Expanding Scope of the Safety Professional" will feature a panel of safety professionals, including Brad D. Giles, P.E., CSP, of Bradley Giles & Associates; Dr. Nick Nichols, professor and director, J.J. Keller University Program, Department of Occupational Safety and Health at Southeastern Oklahoma State University; Arthur Schwartz, CAE, deputy executive director and general counsel of the National Society of Professional Engineers; Treasa M. Turnbeaugh, Ph.D., CSP, chief executive officer of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals; and Stephanie M. Gurnari, CSP, risk engineering service branch manager with Chubb.

Registration for Safety 2019 includes free recordings of more than 150 of the conference's concurrent sessions. The recordings will include the video and presentation slides, synced to audio.

In partnership with the International Society for Fall Protection (ISFP), ASSP will be delivering an all-day International Society for Fall Protection Symposium on June 13. The symposium, which requires an additional registration fee, will provide a space for safety professionals, regulators, and scholars to discuss new and emerging fall protection issues and identify ways that fall injuries and fatalities can be reduced or eliminated. The symposium will also address regulatory compliance issues related to fall protection and work at heights. Its one-day program includes keynote presentations, a technical program, and a roundtable discussion.

Networking Opportunities
More than 5,000 professionals will be in attendance at Safety 2019, providing a great opportunity to network with and learn from peers in the occupational safety and health industry. The conference and exposition offer multiple opportunities for connecting with others in the field, including community-specific receptions and the ASSP Communities and Women in Safety Excellence lounges.

Expo Highlights, Hours
The convention center features the country's largest contiguous-space exhibit hall, according to The convention center's exhibit hall houses 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space and 140 meeting rooms.

In addition to more than 600 exhibitor booths, the Safety 2019 exposition floor will also feature Flash Sessions and Think Tanks. Flash sessions are short bursts of information that take place in various locations on the expo floor. This year's topics include "Heat Stress: Indoor vs. Outdoor" (June 10, 12:45-1:00 p.m.) and "Can You Spot the HazCom Mistakes?" (June 22, 2:30-2:45 p.m.). Think Tanks, which will take place in various places around the expo floor, will offer the opportunity to take a deeper look at an occupational safety problem or situation, asking questions, discussing potential solutions, and sharing your own experiences. Think Tank topics include "Implementing Practices for the Protection of Temporary Workers" (June 11, 9:30-10 a.m.) and "Defusing the Ticking Time Bomb of Workplace Violence" (June 12, 11-11:30 a.m.).

Expo hours are:

  • Monday, June 10: 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 11: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 12: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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