Contingency Planning Pays Off at Safety+

Some attendees and exhibitors also stayed away because of Harvey, but not as many as might have been expected, J.A. Rodriguez Jr., a VPPPA Board of Directors member, said Aug. 31. Attendees from Valero and ExxonMobil were on hand despite the storm's impact on refineries and offshore platforms, and some exhibitors from the affected areas came late -- some on Wednesday evening -- but still arrived in time to exhibit on Thursday.

VPPPA's 33rd annnual national conference, the Safety+ Symposium in New Orleans, is going smoothly Aug. 31, which was the second full day for exhibitors and an important day for attendees interested in the event's educational program. J.A. Rodriguez Jr., CSP, an elected VPPPA board member, an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Special Government Employee, and CEO of Make My Day Strategies LLC, said the day turned sunny and the day's sessions went off without a hitch.

"We had a contingency plan and it worked," he said, explaining that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey's damage in southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana kept some session presenters from attending, but VPPPA had substitute presenters ready and was able to fill in where necessary.

Some attendees and exhibitors also stayed away because of Harvey, but not as many as might have been expected, Rodriguez said. Attendees from Valero and ExxonMobil were on hand despite the storm's impact on refineries and offshore platforms, and some exhibitors from the affected areas came late -- some on Wednesday evening -- but still arrived in time to exhibit on Thursday, he said.

"We're having a successful conference," he explained. "The weather here: just a little rain. Even if it rained, it didn't matter."

He reported that an impromptu collection at the conference of needed supplies for storm victims brought out the best from attendees and exhibitors alike. They donated soap, shampoo, and necessities but also insoles, PPE, and safety equipment that's sure to be needed, Rodriguez said.

"It's on everybody's mind -- Houston or wherever is hurting the worst," he said.

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