Highlights of the VPPPA Conference's Educational Program

The 30th Annual National VPPPA Conference kicks off Aug. 25 with pre-conference workshops at the Gaylord National Convention Center and offers a stellar educational program through Aug. 28.

An impressive lineup of workshops is set for the 30th Annual National VPPPA Conference, an event that begins in less than two weeks at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

The topics and presenters for this Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association, Inc. event range from behavior-based safety (SafeStart Senior Safety Consultant Kevin Cobb) to fall protection standards (LJB Inc. Principal Kevin Wilcox), contractor safety (Brian Rodgers, corporate director of safety and risk management for Butterball), and even whether energy drinks can be hazardous on job sites (Bobby Manuel, Huntsman rotating equipment specialist) – and these are just some of Monday morning’s highlights. Sessions about slip and fall prevention, prevention of serious and fatal injuries, overcoming complacency, and recognizing signs of workers' drug use are on the afternoon agenda that day.

Tuesday's workshops cover topics that include respiratory protection, electrical safety PPE; confined space safety; fall protection and rescue equipment; the essential elements of an effective and successful joint health & safety committee (presented by Darren Swisher and Robert Hill, co-chairs of the committee at ExxonMobil's Beaumont Refinery); the causes of musculoskeletal disorders (Riley Splittstoesser, manager of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s ergonomics program); using Big Data to predict injuries (Chuck Pettinger, Predictive Solutions process change leader); and advanced lockout/tagout programs (Jimi Michalscheck, ESC Services CEO).

Some of Wednesday’s educational highlights are sessions on wellness programs and how NASA's Kennedy Space Center makes use of industrial hygiene health hazard evaluation data; managing hot work permits; GHS/HazCom compliance; and safety certification of maintenance workers (presented by Kristyn Grow, VPP manager at Cintas).

A 6-8 p.m. reception Monday evening opens the show's big expo, and it continues Tuesday (8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) and Wednesday (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

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