Back in Seattle Again

This month, ASSE's annual expo returns to the "Emerald City," and ISFP joins the show.

Seattle, home of the SuperSonics, Seahawks, Sounders, and other super-sibilant teams, is this month also the site of one of safety's biggest shows: the American Society of Safety Engineers' professional development conference and exposition. Dubbed "Safety 2006: Invest in Yourself," the event takes place June 11-14 in the heart of the city's downtown at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.

It has been eight years since ASSE last brought its expo to Seattle. Since that summer in 1998, the convention center has been expanded with a spectacular arch spanning Pike Street, connecting the old and new exhibit areas that now include 54 meeting rooms and ballrooms and 205,700 square feet of exhibit space. Also since then, of course, the world has changed in dramatic ways, and the Safety 2006 program will reflect that, with increased emphasis on risk management, fire protection, and emergency response included in its more than 200 concurrent sessions covering everything from safety at Seattle's Key Arena to construction hazards in Iraq.

Four educational sessions presented in Spanish are planned, along with other sessions focused on increasing the safety and health of Spanish-speaking workers. Additionally, more than 40 pre- and post-conference seminars will be held on a wide range of technical and managerial topics for attendees to earn CEUs/COCs, CM points, and CMPs. Subjects include nanotechnology, environmental liability, incident investigation, industrial hygiene, safety training, and more.

The world has changed in dramatic ways, and the Safety 2006 program reflects that with its increased emphasis on risk management, fire protection, and emergency response.

Talking Fish
The exposition's opening reception is Sunday, June 11, from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Conference highlights include Monday's keynote speaker Stan Slap, addressing "The Seven Deadly Sins of Strategic Implementation"; Tuesday's keynote speaker Steve Farber, discussing "The Radical Leap: Extreme Leadership at Work and Beyond"; and Wednesday's lunch program, "A Fish Story," presented by John Yokoyama and Jim Berquist of Seattle's Pike Place Fish Co., who will share how they turned an almost bankrupt fish business into a thriving, world-famous operation. Expo hours are 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

For Monday's plenary session (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.), OSHA's new head, Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin G. Foulke Jr., has been invited to share insights on the agency's goings-on. Tuesday's plenary session (1 p.m. to 2 p.m.) will be an executive summit in which a panel of corporate leaders will discuss the importance of employee safety and heath in their organizations.

Seeing Seattle
But the Safety 2006 experience is not limited to conference classrooms and the expo show floor. Attendees can sign up for a number of tours that showcase unique aspects of the "Emerald City" (Seattle's official nickname, derived from the area's lush evergreens). Guest excursions to nearby Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Falls, and Bellevue Botanical Gardens are available, as are cruises through Lake Union and Portage Bay and trips to some of the local wineries.

Technical tours will be conducted to Boeing Everett, a Starbucks roasting plant, the Beacon Hill underground tunnel, and Puget Sound vessel traffic center, among other sites. The convention center is just seven blocks from the bustling Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum, home of the 48-foot, 26,000-pound Hammering Man sculpture installed at its entrance. The Mariners' Safeco Field, historic Chinatown/International District, and the 605-foot Space Needle are short bus rides away.

Fall Protection Symposium
In conjunction with the ASSE meeting and overlapping its final day, the International Society for Fall Protection will hold a fall protection symposium June 14-15. Designed for anyone concerned with the effectiveness of fall protection programs, the symposium will focus on using a managed approach to prevent falls from heights, which are second only to traffic accidents among the leading causes of U.S. workplace deaths and serious injuries.

Discussions will encompass the design criteria for, and the difference between, fall restraint anchors and fall arrest anchors and when their use is appropriate. For more information about the ISFP symposium or details about Safety 2006, visit or call ASSE customer service at 847-699-2929.

Next year's ASSE conference and expo will be held on the opposite side of country, in Orlando, Fla., June 24-27.

This article appears in the June 2006 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

This article originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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