VPPPA Conference Features Ignite Session

The innovative approach features multiple speakers in quick succession on a variety of topic. They get five minutes each.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- This week's 30th Annual National VPPPA Conference featured a "Best Practices" educational session Aug. 26 that utilized the Ignite format. The same format was used in a session during the 2014 AIHce conference that attracted an overflow audience, with some attendees doing their best to watch and listen from the doorways to the hall outside.

The VPPPA session featured Raytheon speakers and was organized by VPPPA Board member J.A. Rodriguez Jr., CSP, SGE, senior manager, IIS EHS (Intelligence, Information and Services) for Raytheon Company in Dulles, Va. He organized an eclectic program with presenters who ranged from newcomers to the safety profession to seasoned veterans. Each had five minutes to present a topic with accompanying slides.

The topics ranged from the hazards encountered by worked involved in winemaking (poor postures, heavy loads, slips and falls, confined spaces, moving equipment, etc.) to motorcycle ergonomics (presenter Dave Wood showed slides of his motorcycle and asked members of the audience whether they could identify seven modifications he'd made to vary his posture while riding), engaging office employees in safety, developing a safety policy for employees who work with bladed hand tools, paintball PPE and safety rules, safety issues involved in synchronized swimming, mold remediation inside a family's lakehouse that had flooded when a plumbing fitting broke, and construction safety practices one presenter encountered when he visited Saudi Arabia.

At least 125 people attended the session. Rodriguez introduced it by saying he'd copied the Ignite model from AIHA, which had copied it from another organization. "The interesting thing is, it allows you to tie safety into personal things, which is what makes it memorable," he said. "Personal stories are engaging." He urged the audience to try it themselves when they returned to their own workplaces.

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