Safety 2016 – Speakers, Students, and Vendors Create a Vibrant Atmosphere

Safety 2016 Day 2

Incoming ASSE President Tom Cecich (right) takes the reigns at Safety 2016.

I was asked to contribute daily as a guest blogger by ASSE for Safety 2016.  This post was my last but due to some IT glitches it was not posted to the ASSE website.  I think the learnings from the expo were meaningful though, so I am posting it here.  See my other posts from Safety 2016: House of Delegates Meeting (Sunday),  Conference Opening Day

Day 2 of Safety 2016 started off with an exciting opening session.  We witnessed the change of the President, recognized the regions for their work in the Safety Matters Campaign, and watched the awarding of student scholarships.  Seeing the students come on stage and receive the scholarship money is certainly a feel good moment for all of us.  They represent the future of our profession and the ASSE Foundation is our commitment to a bright future.  See my post on Engaging the Next Generation of OSH Leaders on LinkedIn for more of my perspective on this topic.

The Expo was full of energy!  The vendors bring an air of excitement and discovery.  As you walk the many isles of the Expo, you can’t help but feel that new answers and solutions are literally right around the corner.  For the first time last year, and again this year, I was also an exhibitor.  My ATI Worksite Solutions colleague Julie Nelson and I had a lot of fun talking with Expo goers.  I really enjoy just striking up a conversation with my fellow OSH Professionals as they stroll by and share experiences and ideas.  We, like most other vendors, are there because we truly believe we have exciting and innovative solutions for OSH issues .  This year we had a vendor new to the OSH industry beside us. He is fine a young man who believes in his product and is working hard to be successful.   It was fascinating to watch him take in all that OSH is.  He commented on how collaborative and friendly we are as a profession and how interesting our work is.  It gave me pause yesterday after the expo closed, we completed our work of taking down our booths and were enjoying a quiet moment after the storm of exhibiting, when he said to me: “I really like this industry and I think I might want to become a Safety Professional”.  That, my fellow OSH Professionals, is the golden moment when you realize what an impact our way of doing things has on the world around us.  Thank you for showing him who we are.

Last area I want to comment on is the educational sessions.  That’s the other reason why we attend!  I caught some great ones.  It’s very important that you give your honest feedback on each session.  This is done through the Safety 2016 app or in the link in the email you should receive each night.   That information is used by the ASSE Conference committee to determine trends of interest, vet speaker applications for the next year, and by the speakers to improve their presentation skills.  Your feedback is critical to the quality of the conference.

I enjoyed the last day of conference also, participating in it as an OSH Professional simply there to learn.  Like the young vendor I mentioned above, I continue to be in awe of our OSH world.  I remember being a student attending these events and looking at the seasoned pros, pining for they day I could include myself in their ranks.  I never want to lose that sense of appreciation for the job we do and the results it brings to our lives and those for whom we labor to protect.

As OSH Professionals actively practicing in the field, it’s hard to get away from our daily work but, time must be taken to learn to be even better at what we do!  I hope to see you at Safety 2017 in Denver.

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About Chet Brandon

I am a highly experienced Health, Safety and Environmental Professional for Fortune 500 Companies. I love the challenge of ensuring HSE excellence in process, manufacturing and other heavy industry settings. The connection of EHS to Sustainability is a fascinating subject for me. I believe that the future of industrial organizations depends on the adoption of sustainable practices.
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