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

All Eyes on Indianapolis

The 2017 National Safety Congress & Expo has brought thousands of safety professionals and exhibitors from around the world to an eye-popping conference in this city's sparkling downtown.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Scenes of mammoth storms and flooding can't be far from the thoughts of many EHS professionals attending this week's National Safety Congress & Expo here, as Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City still try to recover from a cascade of recent natural disasters, but the weather and setting for this event are ideal. The conference, taking place in downtown Indianapolis, which is experiencing an unusual fall heat wave, shifted into high gear on Sept. 25 with the opening keynote and the expo's first day as highlights.

There's a lot to take in here at the Indiana Convention Center: the National Safety Council's CEO, Deborah A.P. Hersman, starting the day in the opening session, sharing the stage with keynoter Kyle Petty, and then unveiling a new tool to combat employee fatigue, a key problem spotlighted in many accidents and an issue that the council and her former organization, the National Transportation Safety Board, have been concerned about for years.

Petty, part of one of U.S. auto racing's royal families, traced his family's history in the sport, from his grandfather to his own son, who died in a racing accident. He said the sport has been made much safer in recent years, with softer walls and car modifications introduced that have become standard equipment. He discussed a North Carolina camp the family founded as a memorial to his son, a camp for children suffering from serious illnesses or injuries, and Petty said the camp has welcomed more than 27,000 children during its 14 years in operation.

The expo will continue Tuesday and Wednesday, with numerous Learning Lab sessions taking place in the expo hall and about 125 technical sessions presented in meeting rooms of the convention center.

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