ISFP to Focus on How 'Gravity Damages People,' Other Fall Protection Truths

Next week, in conjunction with Safety 2010 and in partnership with ASSE, the International Society for Fall Protection is hosting the 2010 International Fall Protection Symposium, June 16 - 17. Every two years, ISFP brings together safety professionals to disseminate information regarding advances in the field of fall protection and provide guidance for safe work at height. The 2010 edition of the event, taking place at the Baltimore Convention Center just as ASSE's PDC winds down, will be organized around the theme of "Progress through Collaboration."

Focusing on fall incidents as a subject of global concern, the symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions covering a range of fall protection topics. A strong lineup of 14 education sessions for the two days includes "Fall Protection for the Emerging Wind Energy Industry" by Joseph Feldstein of WindSAFE and "Gravity Damages People: Is the Solution a Technical or Social Process?" by Roger Kahler of The InterSafe Group Pty. Ltd. Other expert presentations and panel discussions will cover engineered system design, models for fall arrest testing, and industrial rope access techniques, to name only a few of the topics.

ISFP is designed for anyone concerned with the effectiveness of fall protection programs, including managers, safety and insurance administrators, legal staff, engineers, labor representatives, trainers, standards-setting personnel, and academics.

The symposium's featured speakers include Karl-Heinz Noetel, Dipl.-Ing.; Andrew Sulowski, M.Sc., P.Eng.; and ISFP President Randall Wingfield.

As director of the Technical Department of Berufsgenossenschaft der Bauwirtschaft (Bau-BG), an accident insurance and prevention institution in Germany, Noetel acts as coordinator for workplace health and safety issues in the construction sector. He is actively involved in several standardization and membership organizations, including the Fachausschuss Persönliche Schutzausrüstungen, the European Coordination of Notified Bodies for PPE, and DIN. He has written numerous articles in professional magazines and performed countless seminars and training courses.

Sulowski has for decades worked to advance height safety in both the United States and Canada. He holds four patents on fall protection equipment and has written two books and innumerable articles on fall protection, including co-authoring and editing Fundamentals of Fall Protection, published by ISFP in 1991. He is a founding member of ISFP and is actively involved in several other professional associations and organizations, including the Professional Engineers of Ontario, ASSE, Canadian Standards Association, and the International Organization for Standardization.

Wingfield has remained extensively involved in the continuing development of national standards for fall protection equipment and training. In addition to his role as ISFP chief, he chairs the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z359 Accredited Standards Committee and is an active member of ASSE. He also is the president and owner of Gravitec Systems Inc., a Washington-based fall protection and rescue company that specializes in engineering and training.

As workplace incidence reports over the decades have demonstrated, falls from an elevation are a leading cause of occupational fatality and pose serious risks to the health and safety of workers worldwide.

ASSE notes that, for the most part, industrialized nations have independently established policies and guidelines to guard workers against the risks of falls. It is the aim of IFPS 2010 to improve the effectiveness of fall protection policies, programs and practices by promoting co-operation beyond national and regional levels. For more information, including a complete lineup of the scheduled educational sessions, visit

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