Plenty to Chew On

Keynoters will highlight workforce management issues when New Orleans hosts Safety 2005, the annual ASSE conference and expo.

Jonathan Snare, acting chief of OSHA, will be on hand this month when Safety 2005's main attractions commence inside the Morial Convention Center on the New Orleans waterfront. At press time Snare was expected to deliver a speech at 1 p.m. Monday, June 13, giving the safety professionals who attend the American Society of Safety Engineers' annual Professional Development Conference & Exposition their first close look at the agency's current leader. The event begins with pre-conference seminars June 9 but kicks into high gear June 13 with the Opening General Session and the expo's 9 a.m. opening for the day.

The expo actually opens for the first time at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 12, with a kickoff/welcome reception that continues until 5:30 p.m. ASSE's conference has been growing in recent years, and the society's public relations manager, Diane Hurns, said extra space was secured for this year's expo because of high demand.

New Orleans was fairly pricey for business travelers last year, but high car rental fees--not the city's legendary food--were the chief culprit. The 2005 Corporate Travel Index published by Business Travel News magazine listed New Orleans ninth on the list of 100 costliest cities, with a per diem at $354.76 (hotel room rate, car rental, and three meals are included). Food costs in New Orleans ranked 32nd at $65.80.

Conference Highlights
Human resource issues are front-and-center for the conference's main speakers. At 7:45 a.m. Monday, Curt Coffman, global practice leader for Q12 workplace consulting with The Gallup Organization, will discuss how positive work environments spur corporate growth and maximize workers' potential. Managing workforces in which there is a mix of generations is the topic at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday for Rainmaker Thinking Inc. founder Bruce Tulgan. Both speeches are scheduled to end at 9:15 a.m. An executive summit is scheduled for the same hours on Wednesday, with ASSE saying the summit will feature leaders of business and industry discussing the importance of safety and health and what they expect of it in their own operations.

ASSE announced in January that it had increased the number of sessions on safety of Latino workforces this year in response to members' popular demand.
ASSE announced in January that it had increased the number of sessions on safety of Latino workforces this year in response to members' popular demand. Six new sessions were created, three of them in Spanish: "Hazardous Waste Remediation Case Study" (4:30 p.m. Monday); "Engaging Latino Workers in Safety and Health" (9:15 a.m. Wednesday); and "The Importance of Bilingual (Spanish/English) Safety Training Programs in the Workplace" (1:45 p.m. Wednesday). "Translation 101 for Safety Professionals" (3:15 p.m. Tuesday) will examine common translation pitfalls, dialect issues, and how to work with translators and interpreters more effectively.

Carrying over an idea from 2004's meeting, five "Key Issue Roundtables" are scheduled during the main three days of the conference to let attendees share their thoughts on topics of concern. Safety management sessions dominate the educational agenda, but emergency response, VPP, ergonomics, risk management, construction, fall protection, and many other areas are well represented.

Potentially strong sessions include an ORC Worldwide/Fred Manuele discussion of common characteristics of fatalities and serious injuries and how to prevent those incidents (10:45 a.m. Tuesday), "Chicago Office High-Rise Fire: Lessons Learned" (10:45 a.m. Tuesday), "Applying NFPA 70E to Electric Utility Operations" (3:15 p.m. Monday), "Fall Protection Legal Issues for Multi-Employers & Their Sub-Contractors" (10:45 a.m. Monday), "Designing for an Aging Workforce" (10:45 a.m. Monday), "Post-Arrested Fall Rescue Planning" (1:45 p.m. Wednesday), and "Electrical Safety in the Workplace" presented by NFPA's Ken Mastrullo (3:15 p.m. Wednesday).

Also on the agenda are 25 pre-conference seminars June 9-12 and 20 post-conference seminars June 16-18.

Guest & Technical Tours
Special events and tours include a dinner cruise from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Monday aboard the Steamboat Natchez. Hosted by ASSE's New Orleans Chapter, the cruise is priced at $59.50 per person age 13 and over, $30 per child age 6-12 accompanied by an adult.

Guest tours suggested by ASSE include a swamp tour, Oak Alley Plantation tour, Longue Vue House & Gardens tour, a tour of Mardi Gras World, a self-guided tour of the New Orleans Museum of Art, and a general tour of the city's neighborhoods.

Technical tours are taking place Monday and Tuesday to E.A.S.I. Laboratories, to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company facility where external fuel tanks are assembled for the NASA space shuttles, and to an offshore oil rig museum.

Exposition Hours
Exhibit hours are 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 12, with the opening reception; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 13; and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. ASSE offered an online Virtual Exposition at in the months leading up to the meeting.

Expo Education sessions are scheduled Monday through Wednesday. Open to all attendees and counting toward CEU credit, these sessions are presented by exhibitors' attendees and concern ergonomics, sprain and strain prevention, online training, arc flash safety, fall protection, safe driver coaching, and more.

For more information about the annual conference, visit or contact ASSE Customer Service, 1800 E. Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL 60018-2187 (phone 847-699-2929, fax 847-768-3434, or e-mail [email protected]). The conference moves to Seattle next year (June 11-14, 2006, at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center).

This article appears in the June 2005 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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