The Georgia World Congress Center is the site of largest U.S. safety conference of the year, with more than 14,000 professionals and more than 1,000 exhibiting companies expected to attend. (Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau photo)

NSC Congress & Expo Going Down to Georgia

Three new wrinkles in the expo this year are a European pavilion, an NSC networking lounge, and an Emerging Trends pavilion.

The National Safety Council will host its 2015 Congress & Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The largest U.S. safety conference of the year is taking place Sept. 26-Oct. 2, with the expo set for Sept. 28-30 and more than 14,000 professionals and more than 1,000 exhibiting companies expected to attend, the event offers a variety of educational opportunities, including professional development seminars, technical sessions, workshops, multi-day seminars, and one-day seminars.

The opening session on Monday, Sept. 28, will feature National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman and Michael Abrashoff, a former Navy commander and author. Both a motivational keynote (featuring E. Scott Geller, senior partner in Safety Performance Solutions, and Charlie Morecraft, president and CEO of Phoenix Safety Management) and an occupational keynote (featuring NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard, OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Director Peg Seminario, and Dr. Thomas John Bender, M.D., Ph.D., an occupational physician and epidemiologist with Dow Chemical) will take place Sept. 29. The leadership keynote on Sept. 30, which is titled "Safe 4 the Right Reasons," features Dale Lesinski, vice president of DiVal Safety Equipment.

The conference also features an Executive Forum, 10:30 a.m. to noon on Sept. 28, that is titled "Beyond Engagement: Innovations for Sustainable Success." It is part of an Executive Edge Track presented by the Campbell Institute. The forum will feature three leaders from organizations with a history of EH&S excellence explaining "how they've gone beyond engagement," according to NSC's preliminary program. Two other workshops are offered in this track, each requiring a $99 fee per attendee.

Educational and Facility Highlights
The NSC Congress’ educational program includes eight 45-minute "Learning Lab Session" presentations on the expo floor, with presenters covering topics that range from electrical safety to using drones for high-hazard operations.

With a long list of outstanding presenters taking part, the technical sessions inside the 3.9 million-square-foot Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) will offer expert advice on fleet driver safety, preventing dropped objects, training new employees, electrical hazard recognition, the NFPA 70E 2015 edition, fighting fatigue, GHS, combustible dust, OSHA’s current activities, drug-free workplaces, ergonomics, construction safety, temporary worker safety, workplace violence, fall protection, mentoring, FR apparel, and much more, according to the preliminary program.

The program lists two technical tours, both scheduled on Sept. 30: An "Inside CNN Protocol Tour" (10-11 a.m., $40 per person) and a two-part tour of the Georgia Dome, home field of the Atlanta Falcons (1-2 p.m., also $40 per person). The first part of the Georgia Dome tour includes visits to the press box, suites, and other sections of the facility, while part two offers an overview of public safety aspects of the facility.

Another highlight of the expo has become an NSC tradition: OSHA announces the agency's Top 10 most-cited standards for the most recent fiscal year.

GWCC is called the world's largest LEED certified convention center by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the convention center. GWCC’s fiscal year 2014 sustainability data shows the center diverted more than 600 tons of material from landfills, approximately 19.3 percent of its waste stream, including more than 275 tons of single-stream recycling of paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass. The authority also installed an electric vehicle charging station in GWCC’s Red Parking Deck. The facility received the Georgia Recycling Coalition’s 2013 Spirit of Green Award for Outstanding Institutional Program after it hosted the 2013 NCAA Men's Final Four.

Expo Highlights
Three new wrinkles in the expo this year are a European pavilion showcasing exhibitors from European countries that are interested in expanding into the U.S. marketplace, according to the preliminary program; an NSC networking lounge; and an Emerging Trends pavilion.

Some of the exhibitors' newest products will be featured in a new product showcase in the main lobby, not in the expo halls.

Expo hours:

  • Monday, Sept. 28: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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