Safety+ Symposium Setting Records

Safety+ Symposium Setting Records

The VPPPA annual national conference has more than 3,500 attendees and its largest exhibitor number ever, Director-at-Large J.A. Rodriguez, Jr. and other officials reported Aug. 28.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — This year's Safety+ annual national symposium of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association is setting records for the event.

"We have record attendance — over 3,500 — and a record exhibit hall," VPPPA Director-at-Large J.A. Rodriguez, Jr. said Aug. 28 as the conference got under way at the Gaylord Opryland and its convention center, where the expo would open hours later. "The energy is very good for the association at this time," he added.

A chart on display in the registration area shows there are 2,246 VPP sites nationwide: 2,208 OSHA VPP sites and 38 Department of Energy sites. States boasting more than 100 sites are California, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

VPPPA members and VPP sites have increased this year, said Rodriguez, CSP, SGE, who is running for chair of the VPPPA national board of directors at this conference. Voting on that and other top positions will take place Aug. 29-30, with results announced Aug. 31 during the closing general session.

Speaking at the annual VPPPA members' meeting, Rodriguez stressed enhancing global partnerships and taking a new approach to achieving codification of VPP through federal legislation, should he be elected chair. The other candidate for board chair is Mike Guillory, SGE, the current chair, who is HSE director for the Brock Group in Houston. He has served on VPPPA's board for 19 years and is the longest-serving Special Government Employee in the country, he said during his remarks at the meeting.

He asked for members' votes and discussed the importance of achieving VPP codification, "which I believe is the lifeblood of our association down the road," he said. Both VPP and VPPPA "are on the cusp" of strong growth in the near future, he said.

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