EVENT: 2018 Minnesota Safety and Health Conference and "Leading with Safety" Executive Safety Summit
WHEN: Conference — Tuesday, May 8 — Thursday, May 10, 2018
Leading with Safety — Thursday, May 10, 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Governor's Safety Awards Luncheon — Thursday, May 10, 11:45 a.m.
WHERE: Minneapolis Convention Center
PROGRAM: www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org/conf/2018Brochure.pdf

2018 Minnesota Safety and Health Conference highlights include business leader session, Governor's Safety Awards and education sessions
Risks of fatigue, opioids in the workplace and workplace violence among focuses

The 2018 Minnesota Safety and Health Conference runs May 8-10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center and features:
  • A special invite-only "Leading with Safety" session for business leaders including Cargill Chief Executive Officer David W. MacLennan who will share why the largest privately held company in the United States put safety at the forefront of efforts to boost its bottom line.
  • The annual Governor's Safety Awards Luncheon to recognize organizations with exceptional safety records.
  • More than 75 education sessions and 135 exhibitors, drawing 1,200 safety professionals and others.
  • The kick-off of the Minnesota Safety Council's year-long 90th anniversary celebration.
"On a typical day, 205 Minnesotans suffer a workplace illness or injury. Of these, 97 are serious. Every five days, a worker in Minnesota dies on the job. Every fatality, injury or illness is one too many and all are preventable," said Minnesota Safety Council President Paul Aasen. "Safety is good business. An effective safety program reduces costs, maximizes profitability and builds morale. Long term, companies with the strongest safety records are the most successful."

The three-day conference features numerous news opportunities including interviews with experts on high-profile safety issues. The event has many high-impact visual elements including rescuers rappelling from the convention center dome, a mobile safety training center and an opportunity to experience the visual effects of fatigue through special goggles.

The conference is the oldest and largest gathering of workplace safety and health professionals in the region. The Minnesota Safety Council, founded in 1928, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Minnesota by preventing accidents.

Among the newsworthy topics:
  • The Risks of Fatigue: As a society, we sleep 20 percent less than we did 100 years ago, but lack of sleep has greater repercussions than just dragging through the day. The sleep deprived can become a risk to themselves and others on the job, on the road and at home. And it's increasingly clear that lack of sleep hinders learning for teenagers, especially those with early school start times. Sleep and fatigue experts available for interviews include Birdie Cunningham, associate director, Health and Wellness, and director, Center for College Sleep; JoAnn Dankert, principal consultant, Training Concepts & Solutions; Dr. Conrad Iber, medical director, Fairview Sleep Center; Sarah Moe, founder/CEO, Sleep Health Specialist, and Roxanne Prichard, associate professor of neuroscience, University of St. Thomas.
  • Opioids' Impact on Business and Society: Ceil Jung, Medical Services director, SFM, and Katie Schofield, assistant professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth, offer perspectives on the impact of opioid use and abuse on the medical community, businesses, social organizations and individuals. They can also discuss the economic impacts and approaches businesses and all of us can take to minimize damages and limit costs of opioid mistreatment, misuse and abuse.
  • Outdoor Safety Basics: With warm weather finally here come the risks of working outside. Patrick Werley, DNR acting assistant supervisor/Fire Team leader, and Dave Palet, DNR safety administrator, offer guidance on how to stay safe when working outdoors including managing ticks and Lyme disease exposure; chainsaw safety and boat safety.
  • Putting Family Safety First: Companies and employees can extend workplace safety knowledge to keep families safe. Julie Philbrook, Injury Prevention Program coordinator, Hennepin County Medical Center, can talk about the most common causes of injuries across the age span and how employers can promote family safety in the workplace. Her expertise includes child passenger safety, poison prevention and home safety, teen safe driving, and senior fall prevention.
  • Urban Hazards: Beyond Traditional Safety: Construction workers, utility employees, lawn/tree care teams and others working outside in urban environments face unique risks like exposure to meth labs, violence/assault, and homeless encampments. Cynthia Braun, of Braun Safety Associates, advises employers and workers on how to think "outside the box" to stay safe while doing their jobs.
  • Preventing Workplace Violence: Workplaces that are unprepared to handle violent incidents are gambling with their employee's welfare and lives. Vikki Sanders, Workplace Safety Consultation, MNOSHA, details early warning signs of workplace violence and offers employees simple tools to plan for prevention, recognize impending signs of violence, respond in an appropriate and timely fashion and understand the importance of reporting.
Members of the media are welcome throughout the event; secure a name badge at registration. For interview requests and other needs, contact Lani Jordan at lani.jordan@minnesotasafetycouncil.org.

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