Wrap-up: 2018 Indiana Safety and Health Conference

If you attended last week’s 2018 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo, you most certainly came away with enhanced knowledge, new industry connections and the determination to make your workplace a safer and healthier one.

The largest safety and health conference in the state provided over 70 education sessions, leading industry speakers and access to more than 100 exhibitors and safety vendors over the course of three days in downtown Indianapolis.

The conference was sponsored by Gibson and presented by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Central Indiana Chapter of American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), in partnership with INSafe and the Coalition for Construction Safety (CCS).

Kina Repp, keynote speaker for the opening general session (“It’s Your Safety, Don’t Give It Away”), shared her story of lessons learned from losing her arm to a moving conveyor belt 40 minutes into her job at a fish processing plant. She spent two months in the hospital and endured 11 surgeries.

At the time, Repp knew what she was doing was not safe. Today, she describes the ripple effect – the impact the accident had on her family, co-workers, supervisors and more.

“I made choices that day that hurt all those people,” she told the hushed conference attendees before posing two questions: “Whose life are you willing to change? What is it that you’re willing to trade your safety for?

Life – and safety – come down to choices, Repp attests. In looking back at her decision to take advantage of her second chance, while at the same time offering guidance to others in determining their safety outcomes, she relies on a Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

March 14 keynote speaker Sgt. Sammy L. Davis delivered a poignant recollection of the Vietnam War. A powerful philosophy guided him during the battle that won him a Congressional Medal of Honor: “If I don’t do my job, the guys behind me don’t stand a chance.”

Davis’ actions on November 18, 1967, inspired the wartime service depicted in Forrest Gump, including his citation ceremony with actor Tom Hank’s head added on top of Davis’s via computer-generated imagery. Last week, Davis was bestowed Indiana’s highest honor, the Sachem Award.

The Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards were presented to organizations and individuals that have made health and safety a priority. Find the press release with a list of winners here.

See photos from the awards luncheon and the conference here.

Ice Miller is the conference’s platinum sponsor. Gold sponsors are Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP); Community Employer Health; and RMS-Safety. Silver sponsors are Athletico Physical Therapy; CLMI Safety Training; Faztek, LLC; Indiana Safety & Supply; Indiana University School of Public Health Safety Program; KHA Online SDS™; Safety Management Group; and Sentry Safety Services, Inc.

The dates are already set for the 2019 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo! Mark your calendars for February 26-28, 2019 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.













Find conference materials and more at www.insafetyconf.com.

Nominate Workplace Safety Champions for 2018 Awards

Do you know what makes someone an “Everyday Safety Hero”? Here are some qualifications to look for:

safety in a warehouse

  • Safety and Health Leadership – Leadership in advocacy of worker safety and health initiatives which are above and beyond the traditional scope of one’s position
  • Innovation in Safety and Health – Development of innovative practices and procedures that reduce occupational hazards or risk
  • Promotion of Teamwork – Encouragement of team safety awareness, communications, and advocacy of safe and healthy workplace
  • Hazard Identification and Correction – Encouragement of improved safety self-audits, incident reporting, and other practices which lead to hazard reduction

If you recognize these traits in someone you know, nominate them for the Everyday Safety Hero award! The awards will be announced during the Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards luncheon at the annual Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo on March 14, 2018.

Nominees aren’t required to be safety or health professionals to be eligible; the award is designed to recognize those who are contributing to health and safety excellence in the workplace. Fill out a nomination form here.

Nominations are also open for the 2018 Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards (GWSA). This award recognizes Hoosier workplaces that instill a culture of employee safety and health. All Indiana workplaces are eligible for the awards. To qualify, nominees must be deemed free of compliance disputes concerning all applicable local, state and federal statutes and regulations. Find the application form here.

All submissions are due by January 19, 2018. Download application forms at www.insafetyconf.com/awards.

Safety is the Name of the Workplace Game

Two sets of workplace safety numbers to consider:

  • In 2012, there were just over 500,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses among a U.S. manufacturing workforce of 11.2 million. In that year, 314 manufacturing employees were killed in work-related accidents.
  • Twenty years ago (in 1994), the totals were: 2.2 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses (the manufacturing workforce was 18.3 million) and 789 deaths from occupational injuries.

Are the 314 deaths too many? Undoubtedly. But in 18 years, the manufacturing injury rate was cut by nearly two-thirds and the fatality rate was more than 50% lower.

Kudos to the companies and employees putting a greater emphasis than ever on safety (more than 75% in a recent survey indicated their companies to beyond the safety requirements of government laws and regulations). And keep it up as all of us want to continue to see smaller numbers in these categories.

By the way, it’s never too early to look ahead to the 2015 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo — simply the largest and best event of its kind.

If Safety is Your Game, Here’s the Place to Play

The Indiana Chamber is no stranger to the conference and seminar business, averaging nearly one event a week throughout the year. Pair the Chamber with several strong allies, however, and what you have is a signature event in the 2009 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo.

The partners include the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the American Industrial Hygiene Association Indiana Section and INSafe (a division of the Indiana Department of Labor). The event is February 23-25.

We’re not going to cover all the details here except to say myriad safety and health topics are on the agenda. National keynote speaker Michael Melnik and the Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards luncheon are among the special features.

Check it out and register online. Hundreds of your colleagues — and competitors — will be there.