The Indiana Convention Center is across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photo Courtesy of Lavengood Photography)

Safety Shines Brightly in Indy This Month

There will be plenty to learn and do at the NSC Congress & Expo in downtown Indianapolis.

It's NSC time once again, with the National Safety Council's 2017 Congress & Expo taking place Sept. 25-27 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis—the capital city located at the center of the state that Indiana's governor, Eric Holcomb, called the "Crossroads of America" July 13 when he announced the first phase of a 20-year transportation infrastructure program that will include repair or replacement of about 1,300 bridges in the state.

But that's a story for another day. This month, the spotlight is tightly focused on the NSC Congress, the biggest annual meeting and exposition for the U.S. safety and health industry. About 15,000 professionals are expected to attend it, many of them staying at one of the 10 official hotels for the event. (The JW Marriott Indianapolis is the headquarters hotel this year.)

The Indiana Convention Center is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium.

The NSC Congress always offers an excellent educational program. This year there are professional development seminars Sept. 23, 24, 27, 28, and 29 on topics ranging from electrical safety to slip-and-fall prevention, ergonomics, CSP exam preparation, and job safety analysis. The Executive Track features a Sept. 25 executive forum starting at 11 a.m. with top safety and health leaders from Dow Chemical, DEKRA, and Eli Lilly, as well as two Executive Edge Workshops on Sept. 26 about preventing serious injuries and fatalities.

The technical session menu is filled with hot topics such as addressing fatigue risks of first responders, utilizing predictive analytics, creating a safety culture for a multigenerational workforce, drones in the workplace, driving and fleet safety, 2018 changes to the NFPA 70E standard, safety strategies for temporary workforces, OSHA recordkeeping, trench safety, analyzing dust hazards, medical marijuana and prescription painkillers on the job, workplace violence, and more.

Keynotes include NASCAR driver Kyle Petty at the Opening Session on Sept. 25 along with Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council; the occupational keynote at 8 a.m. on Sept. 26 and Bonnie St. John’s motivational keynote at 1 p.m. that day; and the leadership keynote, "The Seven Most Dangerous Ideas in Safety," by Corrie Pitzer, CEO of SAFEmap International, starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 27.

Given that the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway is nearby, the event's racing theme makes sense. Besides Kyle Petty's involvement, attendees can look for the new NSC Auto Safety Tech Zone, which will showcase major auto manufacturers and new auto technology.

Experiencing Indianapolis
Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy, suggested in its Spring/Summer 2017 guide several ways attendees can take in the Circle City's sights and sounds while there. His recommendations:

  • Ride a bike or ride on a Venetian gondola as you explore Central Canal in White River State Park, a 250-acre park downtown
  • Visit the Indianapolis Zoo
  • Watch Triple A baseball at Victory Field
  • Play the artist-created Mini Golf course at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

"One of the best ways to see the city is by following the eight-mile Cultural Trail [http://indyculturaltrail.org/about/faq/] that connects six of our vibrant neighborhoods packed with incredible dining, Indy-only shops, public art, and plenty of personality," Hoops wrote. "A day exploring all of the amenities along the trail will showcase why Travel + Leisure selected Indy as one of the 'Best Places to Visit in 2017' after canvassing the entire globe."

The metropolitan area is home to 1.8 million people. The city boasts the largest children's museum in the world and is second only to Washington, D.C., in the number of war memorials, according to the Spring/Summer guide. Other attractions include the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Indiana State Police Museum, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum (www.indyracingmuseum.org/), which has one of the world's largest collections of racing, classic, and antique cars, including more than 30 that won the Indianapolis 500 race.

The Indiana State Capitol, completed in 1888, is another popular spot that offers weekday guided tours. It's located a few blocks north of the convention center.

The Expo
The council says 70 percent of NSC expo hall hours are exclusive this year, which means they will not be competing with educational sessions.

Expo hours, including dedicated expo hours, for the event are:

  • Monday, Sept. 25—9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (dedicated expo hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Sept. 26—9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (dedicated expo hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Sept. 27—9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (dedicated expo hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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