NSC Set to Raise Expectations

Anyone who has participated in any of the National Safety Council's 95 previous annual Congresses might have a hard time taking literally the theme of the 2009 version of the event: "Beyond Your Wildest Expectations." That's because most in the industry already recognize it as the biggest show in the safety kingdom, and this year, despite the execrable economy, the preliminary numbers are setting up to maintain that tradition. Even if the turnout for the show, set for Oct. 25-30, falls short of its usual 16,000 safety, health, and environmental management professionals--including some 800 exhibitors showcasing their wares at the attendant Expo--more people will be making their way to Orlando's Orange County Convention Center to attend than for any similar event this year. We've come to expect that.

Given our previous Congress & Expo experiences, we also will be expecting the most luminous safety leaders in the land to be on hand, giving us insight on the state of the safety union and, hopefully, some inspiration to take home. The lineup for the Occupational Keynote on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 10:30 a.m.-noon should accomplish all that and then some. Titled "Occupational Safety and Health Under the Obama Administration," the presentation will feature freshly reappointed NIOSH chief Dr. John Howard, former OSHA head John Henshaw, the University of Washington School of Public Health's Dr. Michael Silverstein, and, at press time, OSHA's acting leader Jordan Barab. Depending on how quickly the confirmation process goes, the latter could be replaced at the podium by Dr. David Michaels, the George Washington University research professor and epidemiologist whom, in late July, President Obama selected to take Barab's place at OSHA's helm.

Earlier on Tuesday, from 8 a.m.-10 a.m., Virginia Tech psychology professor Dr. Scott Geller and Phoenix Safety Management President Charlie Morecraft will team to present the Motivational Keynote titled "The Human Side of Injury Prevention." Geller and Morecraft are names that should be well known to NSC regulars; in recent years, their participation has been as reliable as the council's popular presentation of OSHA's Top 10 Most Cited Violations (which again will take place on the Expo floor at Booth 3029, also on Tuesday from 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m.). While the duo will be undeniably motivational, that fact should surprise no one.

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