Top-Notch Sessions, Awards Highlight VPPPA Program

The Aug. 29-Sept. 1 conference features three packed days of educational sessions and two intriguing keynote speakers, as well as the first annual DoD VPP Achievement Awards.

The agenda for next week's 32nd Annual National VPPPA Safety & Health Conference in Kissimmee, Fla., features three packed days of educational sessions and two intriguing keynote speakers who will offer more than run-of-the-mill exhortations to be all you (the attendees) can be on the job.

The workshops are set for Aug. 30 through Sept. 1. Their topics range from electrical safety to construction fall protection, employee engagement, the safety of temporary workers at VPP sites, risks faced by an aging workforce, training, behavior-based safety, ergonomics, lockout/tagout, combustible dusts, loading dock safety, hearing loss, drug testing, emergency response, slip and fall, GHS, workplace violence/security, and many others.

A "Power Hour" presentation will be offered both Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, with presenters that include J.A. Rodriguez Jr. of Raytheon and colleagues from companies such as Cintas, Honeywell, and Mary Kay offering their expertise in a "tell me, but tell me quick" format. They promise to deliver a fast-paced session "that will have you on the edge of your seat as presenters share innovative ideas, lessons learned and technical content, all designed to invigorate your leadership and empower your employees," according to the agenda.

Elizabeth Smart will be speaking during the closing general session (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 1). The survivor of a nine-month abduction, she is the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and the NYT best-selling author of "My Story," and she has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and national legislation.

The first annual DoD VPP Achievement Awards also are being presented and the winners will be recognized during the conference. Maureen Sullivan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for environment, safety, and occupational health, put out the call for nominations on April 7, 2016, writing that 55 DoD sites were OSHA Star sites as of that date.

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