ISEA Growing, Poised for Strong 2012

The association's 2012 Executive Summit in San Antonio included a bullish economic report for this year and 2013.

SAN ANTONIO -- President Dan Shipp and staffers from the International Safety Equipment Association picked San Antonio's Westin La Cantera Resort for the 2012 ISEA Executive Summit this week, and it proved to be a perfect choice, based on attendees' comments about the food and facilities, the resort's two challenging golf courses, and an afternoon of skeet shooting.

The mood was upbeat. ISEA is growing again, Shipp said, and now it can and does claim to be the "sole association for stakeholders in the PPE industry" because SEDA, the Safety Equipment Distributors Association, dissolved at the end of 2011. ISEA is offering lower dues (matching the dues SEDA charged to its members) as an incentive for distributor companies to join.

Guest speakers included Sanjiv Bhaskar, global director of PPE markets for Frost & Sullivan; John Felmy, American Petroleum Institute chief economist; Henk Vanhoutte, secretary general of the European Safety Federation; and Mara Liasson, National Public Radio's national political correspondent. Especially popular was Brian Beaulieu, principal of the Institute for Trend Research (www.itreconomics.com), who has spoken repeatedly at this annual meeting. Beaulieu, who said his firm has a 94.6 percent success rate with its economic forecasts, told the attendees to expect higher spending by customers and higher profits in the rest of 2012 and all of 2013 before a mild recession hits in 2014. The PPE-intensive employment sector with the fastest growth rate right now in the United States is mining, followed by transportation & warehouse, health care, and then manufacturing, he said.

Michael Love, president and CEO of Gateway Safety, and Bob Weber, CIH, global quality and regulatory affairs manager at 3M's Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division, were elected to ISEA's Board of Trustees during the meeting. Mitch Lewellen, CEO of MCR Safety, was re-elected to a second term as chairman of the board, and Brian Lyons, vice president of sales and marketing with International Enviroguard, was re-elected vice chairman.

ISEA's recent 2011 Report to the Membership (https://www.safetyequipment.org/userfiles/File/2011report.pdf) listed several highlights, including these:

  • ISEA published revisions to its American National Standards for selection of hand protection and for high-visibility public safety vests for law enforcement and emergency responders
  • Members of Congress at a "Rally for Roads" wore ISEA hard hats as they spoke for reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund; ISEA co-sponsored the rally in Washington, D.C.
  • A "PPE Solutions from ISEA Experts" forum was featured in the 2011 National Safety Congress Expo in Philadelphia, with presentations from members about protecting workers from falls, hearing loss, and respiratory hazards
  • ISEA published a new Personal Fall Protection Equipment Use and Selection Guide and a companion Frequently Addressed Topics in Fall Protection

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