The City Where 'Safety Works'

Chicago welcomes the National Safety Council's 95th annual Congress & Expo this month.

THE Windy City." "Second City." "Chi-town." More recently, "Da Chi." Chicago is known the world over by these and other monikers, but it is the nickname coined by the city's former Mayor Richard J. Daley (father of current long-term Mayor Richard M. Daley) that the National Safety Council has apparently found most appealing. He called his hometown "The City That Works," and, riffing on that, NSC has made "Safety Works" the theme for its 95th annual Congress & Expo, which convenes this month lakeside at McCormick Place South. The dates are Oct. 12-19, including the Oct. 15-17 exposition.

As in 2003, which was the last time NSC converged on "Illville," the Honorable Thomas J. Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania, will lead off the event's Opening Session (8-9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15). Since leaving his Homeland Security post in early 2005, Ridge has continued consulting on security and risk-related matters, making him a particularly appropriate repeat choice for inaugurating this year's Congress, which offers more focus on those subjects than ever before.

Ridge's perspectives on "Leadership and Preparing for the Unknown" will be the first of several notable addresses from national leaders during the event. A mere half-hour after Ridge leaves the stage, FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison will take the same podium at Lakeside Center to deliver the Emergency Preparedness Keynote (10-11:30 a.m.), followed by the afternoon's Occupational Keynote (1:30-3 p.m.) from OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin G. Foulke Jr., MSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Richard Stickler, and NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. The Safe Communities Keynote and Motivational Keynote take place Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, from 8-9:30 a.m.

That Toddlin' Exposition
New this year on the Expo floor are two pavilions that showcase exhibitors in distinct safety arenas: The Security Pavilion brings together a range of security products covering communication, homeland security, surveillance, and threat assessment, while the Home & Community Pavilion highlights off-the-job safety products and services. By popular demand, NSC will again provide a sneak preview of the industry's latest wares at its New Product Showcase (Booth #1250) and elsewhere offer attendees the opportunity to see some of those products in action at its Live Product Demonstrations booth (#1886).

Also returning to the Expo floor this year, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, is Safety+Health magazine's live presentation of "OSHA Top 10 Violations," for which an OSHA representative will be on hand to give a rundown of the 2007 preliminary data detailing the agency's 10 most-cited violations (Booth #1886). For attendees who decide to forgo lugging a laptop, NSC is again providing its E-Mail Oasis at Booth #2364 with services available as long as the Expo is open. Expo hours are:

• Monday and Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Throughout the week, experts from all walks of safety and health will present some 140 technical sessions covering hazard-reducing elements in everything from blowmolding to nanotechnology. Seven sessions will be presented in Spanish and translated into English. For those interested in learning more about the host city, Chicago Safety Coordinator Chuck Armstrong will be presenting "How the City of Chicago Works--SAFELY!" as one of Tuesday's sessions (8-9:30 a.m.). Meanwhile, 36 one- to four-day professional development seminars will be taking place during the week, nearly a third of them new this year and all offering continuing education credits.

Driving for Safety
Proving that "safety plays" as well as works, NSC will launch its 2008 Golf Fore Safety Tour at the 2007 Congress. At press time, this first event of the second annual season was scheduled for a shotgun scramble start at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14, at Harborside International Golf Center in Chicago, with an alternate activity planned in the event of inclement weather. For information, sponsorship, or registration, call AiMee Madden at 800-621-7615, ext. 2304, or e-mail development@nsc.org. Future Tour events include a Texas Outing on March 30, 2008; a Georgia Outing on May 12, 2008; and another Illinois Outing on June 30, 2008.

Next year's Congress and Expo returns west and will be held Sept. 19-26 in Anaheim, Calif. The 2009 edition of the event will cross the country and take place Oct. 23-30 in Orlando, Fla.

For more information about Congress & Expo 2007, visit www.congress.nsc.org.

This article originally appeared in the October 2007 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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