Safety Sets Sail in San Diego

The largest gathering of safety professionals in North America is charting its course west again this year for the 2010 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in San Diego. The National Safety Council (NSC) has made "Journey to Safety Excellence" the theme for the event, which will take place Oct. 3-8 at the San Diego Convention Center.

California's second-largest city, located on the U.S.-Mexico border, was the first European settlement on the West Coast and is known for its 70 miles of beaches, temperate climate, historic missions, and world-famous zoo. In addition to its tourist attractions, San Diego boasts an economy led by manufacturing, telecommunications, biotechnology, and defense.

This diverse city is the perfect setting for the roughly 10,000 health, safety, and environmental professionals expected to flock to the convention center built right on the San Diego Harbor. An expansion in 2001 nearly doubled the size of the center, which boasts 2.6 million total square feet.

At the Helm
The Opening Session will kick off Monday, Oct. 4, at 8:30 a.m. with a presentation from U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, joined by Dr. Joseph J. Ucciferro, chairman of NSC's board of directors; Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of NSC; and Michel Abrashoff, a former Navy commander.

Following the Opening Session is the Executive Forum, "Building and Sustaining a Strong Culture," which will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The forum will feature a panel of executives from three companies that have won NSC's prestigious Robert W. Campbell Award. They are Courtney Billington, vice president of manufacturing and technical operations for Johnson & Johnson; Ted Klee, senior vice president of operations for Schneider Electric North America; and Bob McGough, president of DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co. They will discuss the importance of building and sustaining a strong safety culture and the actions that drive change.

The Occupational Keynote (Tuesday, Oct. 5, 10-11:30 a.m.) will examine policy changes and OSHA's more aggressive regulatory agenda. The presentation, called "OSH Vision and Change under the Obama Administration," will feature Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels, NIOSH chief Dr. John Howard, and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main. The three will discuss the Obama administration's vision for occupational safety and health and how their agencies are implementing it.

After the keynote, from 1 to 1:30 p.m., OSHA is scheduled to announce its top 10 most-cited violations for fiscal year 2010. An OSHA representative will present the numbers, provide analysis, and take questions at booth 1239.

Know the Ropes
The Executive Edge Track returns to the expo this year. Its aim is to engage business leaders and advance EHS management through cross-sharing and leader-to-leader discussions. A series of technical sessions Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 will include presentations from leaders of EHS-focused organizations that include Glenn Murray, safety programs manager for Exxon Mobil Corp.; Mike White, global director of safety for General Motors Corp.; and Jere Zimmerman, director of sustainability for MillerCoors. A hands-on workshop will take place after each technical session.

More than 120 additional Technical Sessions are being offered this year on a wide range of hot topics. With enforcement targeting distracted driving in many parts of the country, many sessions are geared toward driver and transportation safety, including "Technology Solutions for Distracted Driving," "Using Risk Intelligence to Develop Safer Drivers," and "Eliminating Distracted Driving in Your Vehicles." Other tracks include Construction/Labor/Utilities, Safety Culture/Behavior-Based Safety, and Emerging Issues.

Next year's Congress & Expo will take place Oct. 30-Nov. 4 in Philadelphia. The 2012 event will be Oct. 21-26 in Orlando, and the 2013 event will be in Chicago for its 100th anniversary. Safe journeys!

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