Congress Celebrates a Century

NSC describes the Safety Trail in the central aisle of the expo as "a visual journey through corridors of safety milestones from the last century."

The National Safety Council's Celebration of the Century is coming to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., this month with some bells and whistles the attendees are sure to appreciate. The council predicts the expo will feature more than 850 exhibitors, the mobile-friendly website will be highly useful, and the technical sessions (including two new tracks, Research to Practice and Young Professionals, and 12 tracks overall) will be worthwhile.

The Young Professionals track encompasses seven courses, including sessions on new technology, crisis management, advancing one's career as a young safety professional, and becoming an effective manager. Research to Practice has four sessions that concern the NORA Manufacturing RtP track, effective programs for hearing loss prevention, emerging risks of stress and inadequate sleep, and Toyota's partnership with NIOSH to evaluate and address musculoskeletal injuries stemming from overhead work. The Emerging Issues track is packed with 18 sessions on topics ranging from predictive analysis and distracted driving to GHS, aging workers' safety, safety of remote and autonomous workers, and using mobile devices in safety training.

Keynote Speakers
The event's opening keynote speaker (8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22) is Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, the retired U.S. Airways pilot who has become a popular safety speaker since he famously ditched a damaged jetliner in the "Miracle on the Hudson" incident in New York City on Jan. 15, 2009. NSC Chairman Kent McElhattan and President & CEO Janet Froetscher also are speaking at this 8:30 a.m. session.

Speaking on leadership and continuous improvement at the Executive Forum (10:30 a.m. to noon Monday) will be Dan Cockerell, vice president of operations at Walt Disney Company's Hollywood Studios; Jeff Reubesam, Fluor Corporation's vice president of global health, safety, and environmental; and Frank Sherman, president of AkzoNobel Inc.

The motivational keynote's speakers (8-10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23) are well known to safety professionals: E. Scott Geller of Safety Performance Solutions and Charlie Morecraft, CEO of Phoenix Safety Management. The leaders of OSHA and NIOSH, Drs. David Michaels and John Howard, are invited speakers for the occupational keynote (12:30-2 p.m. Oct. 23).

The finale is a leadership keynote (7:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24) featuring professional speaker Richard Hawk, director of Richard Hawk Inc. (

Sullenberger, Geller, and Morecraft will be signing their books at booth 2961 after their talks, according to the council.

Expo Highlights
The expo takes place Oct. 22-24 in the center's West Building; the convention center ( is the second-largest U.S. convention facility and welcomes approximately 1.4 million attendees annually.

Attendees who make their way to the central aisle in the expo are sure to spot the Safety Trail, which NSC describes as "a visual journey through corridors of safety milestones from the last century." It involves several booths and will showcase organizations, products, services, and actions that influenced our understanding of safety, according to the council. A Safety Theater also will show videos and films used for safety advocacy and some historical footage.

In the Solutions Center at booth 2971, technical experts from selected exhibitors will deliver 45-minute presentations about their products. On Tuesday, an OSHA official will announce the agency's most-cited violations for fiscal 2012, which will be followed by a panel discussion from International Safety Equipment Association member companies' representatives in booth 2971.

Expo hours are:

  • Monday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Orlando's Still Popular
Visit Orlando’s blog recently featured an item about the international dining scene near the convention center, with Ethiopian, Greek, Japanese, Hawaiian, Brazilian, and Cuban restaurants highlighted. Argentinean, Moroccan, Turkish, Norwegian, Russian, Colombian, Lebanese, Peruvian and Indonesian fare is available elsewhere in the city, which is one of the world’s top tourist attractions.

One indication of its popularity is the number of international visitors arriving by way of Orlando International Airport. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority reported July 31 that international air travelers visiting during the first half of calendar 2012 increased by an average 12.4 percent, and international traffic was up in June 2012 by 14.2 percent, with 295,533 international visitors arriving that month.

"The growing double-digit international numbers we've experienced so far this year are a direct result of the value of our destination. This strong international presence has helped us maintain steady numbers during a soft domestic market for the first part of the calendar year," said Phil Brown, the authority's executive director.

The 2013 Congress & Expo will take place Sept. 28-Oct. 4 in Chicago, and the 2014 Congress & Expo will be in San Diego.

This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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