|OSHSPA Reports on State Plan Activities > 2001 OSHSPA Report > State Incentives: Promoting Voluntary Compliance|
|State Incentives: Promoting Voluntary Compliance|
State legislatures and state plan administrators alike believe that enforcement is just one tool for decreasing worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Federal OSHA and state plans use incentives that promote voluntary compliance, as well as employer/employee education and training to identify and abate worksite hazards. Through the strategic planning process, these activities are coordinated with the enforcement program in each state to focus on priorities identified by their strategic plans.
The state plans work to educate employers that besides reducing the suffering associated with workplace injuries, illnesses and accidents–a strong safety and health program also has a very positive impact on their bottom line. Other benefits include:
Companies whose managers and employees are working together to build comprehensive safety and health programs with proven performance levels are receiving local and national recognition. Companies demonstrate their desire to strive for excellence by using flexibility and creativity to go beyond minimum regulations–to provide the best feasible safety and health protection for workers at that site.
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) recognize worksites with exemplary safety and health programs that get tangible results from reducing industrial hazards and occupational disease, as evidenced in an injury/illness rate below the average within their industry. Initiated in California, the concept was adopted by the federal government and is now successful nationwide.
VPP is a partnership between labor, management, and government which helps businesses and industries voluntarily improve their health and safety programs to create safe worksites. The VPP Award recognizes outstanding companies that provide an exemplary work environment.
The VPP is the most prestigious safety and health award given in the nation. Award sites represent the "Best of the Best" in workplace safety and health. VPP companies have created a work environment where everyone accepts responsibility for safety, every day.
Some states also offer the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which provides an incentive for employers to develop a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program that involves employees in a significant way.
The cumulative total for all state plan VPP sites in 2001 was 206. State plan’s VPP highlights include:
States have maintained partnerships for many years with employer, employee and other organizations in a voluntary, cooperative, problem-solving relationship. States have jointly sponsored safety and health conferences and sought input from the occupational safety and health community on standards, initiatives and emphasis programs. Employer and employee training and outreach have been coordinated with other agencies and organizations that have expertise in a particular field.
Employers who reach a partnership agreement with federal OSHA or a state plan are not exempted from programmed inspections–the exemption is available only to employers who qualify to participate in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).
Alaska has established a partnership with the seafood processing industry on Process Safety Management. In Hawaii, partnerships with Associated Builders and Contractors, General Contractors’ Association, and Dick Pacific provide a safe and healthful work environment for the state’s construction workforce.
Minnesota, Arizona, Iowa
The Minnesota Workplace Safety Consultation has partnership agreements with five contractors on five large construction sites. Arizona has partnered with construction contractors to provide a visible presence on specific sites with regular consultation visits. Iowa has partnerships established with certain employers with emphasis related to construction, amputations and long-term healthcare.
Connecticut has entered into a partnership with Small Business Development Center to promote safe and healthy workplaces for small employers. Connecticut has also developed a partnership with the state’s Department of Administration Services to provide safety and health training to state employees.
Kentucky organized a private, non-profit safety and health network with participants representing business, labor, government and academia. Their mission is to increase awareness of safety and health in the workplace through educational programs, scholarships and endowments, and statewide symposiums. Kentucky is the first state plan program entering into Platinum Partnership agreement with Associated Builders and Contractors. The state has partnerships for a number of construction projects including: Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, United Parcel Service and Churchill Downs.
Michigan signed a partnership agreement between MIOSHA and the Michigan Road Builders Association with the goal of assuring road and bridge worker safety. MIOSHA also signed an agreement with the Associated General Contractors of Michigan to achieve construction workforce safety through shared goals and objectives. Both contracts are designed to further cooperation and communication, and evaluated to measure progress and set future goals.
In 2000, MIOSHA signed a landmark agreement with The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI). The purpose of the formal partnership is to focus on the importance of providing a safe workplace for all workers in the plastics processing industry in Michigan.
Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont
Maryland established a cooperative compliance partnership with a large construction group for the BWI Central Garage Project and the Cambridge Hyatt Resort. New Jersey has partnered with the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Economic Development Authority and OSHA for the states’ $12 billion School Construction Program. Vermont has formed partnerships in safety with the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and SBDC to provide training for small businesses.
New Mexico developed partnering charters with both the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and with the Associated General Contractors (AGC) which are patterned after the national agreements. In both charters, the State participation requirements exceed the national elements. Over 30 contractors currently participate in these two agreements. New Mexico is currently exploring the establishment of partnering agreements with the NM Heavy Construction Branch of the AGC and with the local chapter of the Communication Tower Erectors. Five site-specific safety and health agreements are schedule to expire after the three year projects end in late 2002.
North Carolina has partnerships with the Regional Safety and Health Schools, N.C. Forestry Association, N.C. Arbousts Association, N.C. Department of Transportation, N.C. Professional Plumbers Association, Manager of Environmental Safety and Health, Carolina’s AGC, N.C. Community Colleges, National Association of Tower Erectors and Labor One Mobile Classroom.
The following organizations formed partnerships with Oregon OSHA to increase worker safety and health:
Tennessee OSHA is negotiating partnership agreements with several construction associations. Tennessee uses an approach that has yielded tremendous benefits: industry-TOSHA discussion groups when new standards and requirements are proposed, such as bloodborne pathogens, hazard communication, and electrical power generation, transmission and distribution standards.
Utah has had partnerships for many years with the Associated General Contractors, Utah Manufacturers’ Association, the Local Trades Council, Utah Safety Council, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, the NIOSH regional educational center, Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, and other professional, safety and trade organizations to promote safety and health and help reduce injuries and illnesses. Utah appreciates their long-term working relationship with federal partners of the Salt Lake Technical Center’s health response team, laboratory staff and computer experts–all of whom are a national resource for workplace safety and health.
Virginia has partnership agreements with the Virginia Health Department to advise VOSH on Seasonal Farm workers, Worker’s Compensation Commission to provide VOSH with First Reports of Injury and Illness, Virginia Department of Transportation to report violations cited by workers and the State Police/Sheriff’s Department to advise VOSH of fatalities and serious injuries.
The Hazard Impact Partnership (HIP) program is a Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ effort to help Washington businesses become safer workplaces. A cross-agency planning team agreed in 1998 that the new initiative must have agency-wide representation and coordination, be a joint effort with selected industries and labor, include small businesses, be realistic, implement agency priorities, and be able to be replicated. HIP focuses on industries rather than individual employers, uses data specific to the selected industry, develops mutual expectations and creates measurements to determine success. Nursing homes are the first focus industry, with emphasis on reducing back and shoulder injuries.
Participating nursing homes received up-front reductions in workers’ compensation premiums to enable them to purchase equipment for a "zero-lift" environment. Participants already report reductions in lost workdays and improved resident comfort during transfers. During FY 2000 participants reduced back injuries 43 percent and shoulder injuries 61 percent.
During project startup the department produced two new publications, Frequently Asked Questions about Portable Total Body Patient/Resident Lifts and Frequently Asked Questions about Sit-to-Stand Patient/Resident Devices, to encourage use of zero-lift technology in resident and patient care facilities–both are available on its website. (See directory.) Other activities include: performing job modifications on open claims for nurses and nursing assistants; documenting best practices currently used in skilled nursing facilities and sharing the information throughout the industry; and evaluating the interventions to determine the effectiveness of each and which ones can be modified and replicated in other industries. The department’s Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program received a NIOSH grant to complete this evaluation. WISHA provides technical expertise in risk management and occupational health and conducts annual site visits to participating nursing homes.
During FY 2000 Washington implemented a similar program for the sawmill industry. The sawmill HIP plan was developed by a joint work group that included agency staff, sawmill business owners and representatives, and organized labor. The project’s first phase includes five volunteer demonstration sites that will identify causes of musculoskeletal disorders among lumber handlers, explore remedies and develop a core set of best practices. The second phase of the project will extend implementation of these best practices to sawmills region-wide.
Federal OSHA regards partnership programs as key to leveraging federal resources and expanding the use of best practices in occupational safety and health. The program officially began on November 13, 1998, when OSHA issued the policy directive OSHA Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health. OSHA has received positive feedback attesting to the viability of this approach.
OSHA offers employers a comprehensive partnership agreement in which each participating employer must commit to implementing an effective safety and health program. Many states have already adopted standards which require employers to implement and maintain a safety and health program that consists of management leadership and employee involvement as well as hazard analysis, prevention, control and training.
Consultation, Training & Education Initiatives
During the fiscal year 2001, states provided training programs for more than a quarter million employers and their employees on topics such as: ergonomics training and back safety, confined space, hazard communication, construction and road builders safety, hazard recognition and prevention, bloodborne pathogens and training for healthcare workers, hearing conservation, and workplace violence.
FY 2001 State Plan Positions By Title
In fiscal year 2001, state programs conducted more than 12,000 on-site consultation visits, identifying and directing the abatement of about 62,000 serious hazards. No penalties are proposed nor citations issued for hazards that are found by the consultants.
FY 2001 On-Site Visits By Type
Text Version of Chart:
Title: FY 2001 On-Site By Type
Type: Horizontal Bar Graph
Graph Elements: 3 - One bar for each type of visit with the number of visits
FY 2001 State Plan Employers & Employees Covered
California, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon
Many state plan states are following federal OSHA’s lead in providing electronic access to occupational safety and health information via the Internet, offering a wealth of program and reference information day and night. Users retrieve standards, policy manuals, information on appeal rights, public hearing notices and material safety data sheets from terminals in their workplaces, homes, schools and libraries. In some states the public can read proposed rule changes on the Internet and comment by e-mail. California, Michigan, Minnesota and Oregon have made their occupational safety and health standards available in electronic format.
Oregon provided more than 700 workshops covering various topics to employers and employees. Topics ranged from safety committee operations, hazard identification, accident investigation, safety leadership and accountability for traffic control, and fall protection.
Oregon continues to bring interactive training on-line. Ten Internet courses are offered through OR-OSHA’s website–including three new ones on ergonomic awareness, developing an effective ergonomic program, and developing a violence prevention program–and 435 participants took Oregon’s electronic courses in FY 1999. Oregon also has a web-based self-assessment tool for employers to confidentially evaluate their safety and health program and identify areas for improvement, asking the participant a wide range of questions about the employer’s safety and health program and then providing a numerical score on the program. Participants are encouraged to work with OR-OSHA consultants on deficient areas and to report progress in a one-year follow-up.
Oregon is reaching small business through a small business education program, which offers them practical hands-on training in developing a safety program. OR-OSHA partnered with the Workers’ Compensation Division to deliver Employer Coverage and Employer-at-Injury, Preferred Worker workshops across the state.
OR-OSHA undertook a major initiative designed to provide its staff with clear understanding of the seven elements of safety and health program management. This internal training ensures that OR-OSHA staff are presenting a uniform and consistent message to employers. After completing the week-long training, staff can evaluate and effectively communicate the strengths and weaknesses of an employer’s safety and health program.
OR-OSHA released its first CD-Rom in 2001, which contains regulations, documents and other technical information. It is updated and distributed quarterly.
Washington uses the Internet to deliver safety information and training. WISHA launched interactive Forklift Safety and Flagging Safety packages and is adding online Respiratory Protection training. WISHA safety professionals in partnership with the Construction Advisory Council produced on-line videos: Residential Construction–Siding Safety and Roofing Safety in English and Spanish, to be followed by Framing Safety. WISHA also published Guarding Mechanical Power Transmission Parts, available in hardcopy and on the WISHA Homepage, and has launched an Internet portal for safety and health training: WISHA University.
In Michigan, the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division focuses its outreach and training efforts on those companies with the greatest need. CET developed self-help kits for employers in industries addressed by the MIOSHA Strategic Plan. Special outreach efforts included seminars, mailings, and articles providing information on workplace safety requirements and best industry practices.
Michigan is required to report its CET activities annually to the Michigan legislature. In fiscal year 2001, Michigan provided the following consultation, education and training services: 6,935 safety and health consultations; 441 on-site consultations; and 3,074 workshops, seminars, apprentice training and special programs. They also distributed 1.3 million pieces of safety and health literature. The total number of participants in Michigan CET programs were: 29,084 employer participants and 36,400 employee participants.
Iowa worked closely with the OSHA Training Institute, a local community college and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to provide nationwide training on such topics as confined space entry and lockout/tagout via their Interactive Communication Network. IOSH staff also received training on electrical hazards through the OSHA Training Institute pilot via this network.
North Carolina, South Carolina
North Carolina set up a training network through its statewide community college system to teach a variety of safety and health topics. By tapping into this system, employers and employees both have easy access to the information. North Carolina also partnered with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the North and South Carolina Departments of Transportation, and the Carolinas’ Associated General Contractors to reduce the dangers of working in high places. A two-hour safety seminar on fall protection was telecast to sites across both Carolinas.
Virginia, in an effort to combat the rising number of injuries and fatalities among loggers, developed a voluntary compliance program in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Tech School of Forestry, and Virginia Forestry Association. Safety and health training is provided at the logging worksite. Loggers who request on-site training are contacted at home in the evening to establish a meeting time and place. Materials including safety checklists, a safety manual, and lists of logging injuries are reviewed with loggers. Group training sessions arranged by Department of Forestry regional representatives are also conducted for loggers and their families.
Virginia’s Consultation Services Program produced two training videos with a grant from OSHA. Getting Started with Safety outlines steps to begin a safety program and the benefits of having one. Common Safety Problems describes five safety problems common to most small businesses. Both videos are used to help small businesses establish effective safety programs. These materials are available for other state consultation programs to customize for their own use.
Recognizing that construction is an especially high-hazard industry, Minnesota established a bimonthly training seminar specifically for them–the Construction Breakfasts were attended by construction employers, employees and union representatives. Average attendance was 125. The discussions included analysis of recent construction accidents, new standards, workers’ compensation and other safety and health topics pertinent to the construction industry. Training and outreach go together in the Minnesota program and provide much the same service to stakeholders as the new compliance assistance positions do in federal OSHA offices. One position was added to the four in FY 2000 to provide better/faster response to stakeholder questions.
Through cooperative efforts of the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky and Kentucky OSH Division of Education and Training, free job safety and health training is brought to construction worksites in a training van equipped with audio-visual equipment. The mobile classroom makes training accessible to more contractors and their employees while dramatically reducing down time at the site. Kentucky redesigned its website to include online training programs.
The Safety Partnership Program (SPP) is a new training effort in Kentucky. It offers long-term assistance to smaller employers with a history of high injury and illness rates and high workers’ compensation costs. SPP helps employers develop a proactive approach to safety and health management, which improves production, increases employee morale, and significantly reduces workers’ compensation costs. Employers are required to make a three-year commitment, and management as well as employees must be willing to fully participate. Participants are assigned a team of safety and health consultants from Kentucky’s Division of Education and Training, and receive priority over all other training service requests. Once SPP requirements are fulfilled, employers can apply for the Voluntary Protection Partnership (VPP).
Because the demand for training in employer workplaces is high, Puerto Rico is delivering training and conference sessions open to general audiences in different towns on the island. Information on each session is published in the newspaper to reach and benefit a higher number of employers, employees, students and the general public.
Puerto Rico emphasizes training to small employers of less than 100 employees. As part of its Strategic Plan, PROSHO has chosen laundries, dry cleaning businesses and bakeries as target industries. These employers receive preference in consultation visits and training. Puerto Rico also translated two NIOSH publications into Spanish and adapted them for use in training.
New York recognizes that many public employers need help complying with regulations that require a written program, and has developed model programs to help employers comply with the bloodborne pathogen and permit-required confined space standards.
The New York State Labor Department sponsored sharps injury prevention conferences in the state’s eastern, western, central and southern regions. Conference speakers included physicians, epidemiologists, infection control specialists and safety and health professionals with expertise in needlestick prevention devices, AIDS, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B prevention, post-exposure follow-up treatments, and challenges in enforcing the OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard. New York State Department of Labor Safety and Health staff organized the conferences, which drew more than 500 participants throughout the state. Participants received information on bloodborne diseases and resources for prevention and intervention. Vendors displayed and demonstrated products, including needleless systems and a variety of needle covering devices. The publication Needlestick Injury Prevention Solutions, funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Labor Safety and Health Inspectors and Industrial Hygienists, provided additional information. Feedback was very positive.
Wyoming developed four training programs for specific workforce segments:
California participated in seminars statewide on subjects related to high incidences of workplace injury/illness, such as fall injury protection, ergonomic and agricultural hazards. Cal/OSHA Consultation Service materials range from model programs and guides to training videos. Their Easy Ergonomics guide for general industry won national acclaim, and a new video features employers from the state’s diverse industries who explain how the consultation service helped them attain their safety and health objectives, heightened employee morale and helped their bottom line.
Risk of injuries in the Virgin Islands construction industry will be on a high scale of probability during a $500 million, three-year expansion of the local oil refinery, Hovensa. VIDOSH began conducting a four-hour safety orientation for hundreds of local prospective employees who were applying for positions in Hovensa’s expansion project.
Maryland, New Mexico, Utah
Maryland’s MOSH developed for middle management employees a safety and health curriculum based on the cost of loss control initiatives that follow the 1989 OSHA guidelines for safety and health program development. New Mexico conducted joint training with the New Mexico Department of Health and University of New Mexico Medical School. Utah continues to provide training, education and consultative services for associations, employers and the public requesting assistance, using current guidelines from NIH, CDC, NIOSH and states such as New York and California.
Tennessee OSHA is working to develop partnerships with associations and stakeholders, striving to improve the strategic planning process and targeting programs, and has produced a 20-minute video overview of special emphasis programs for statewide distribution. Nevada has produced promotional videos in Spanish and English on their consultation program, and spot announcements aired on local television stations.
Utah passed a bill in 1995 authorizing 25 percent, about $1 million of the workers’ compensation premiums, for workplace safety and health programs including consultation and training. Utah uses pre-construction conferences extensively for large projects. A single point of contact helps customers with their questions and concerns.
Connecticut continues to conduct many training programs to enhance the safety and health of the firefighting community through outreach, training, consultation and coordination with the state’s Fire Academy.
Financial Incentives, Awards & Grants
Business and labor organizations in Washington requested legislation to appropriate some of the state’s medical aid fund for an occupational safety and health impact grant program. The medical aid fund is a portion of the workers’ compensation system into which workers pay dividends, and its use must benefit workers. Approved by the 1999 Washington State Legislature, with $5 million appropriated for the first biennium and $5 million each successive year, the grant program is administered by the Department of Labor and Industries in consultation with the WISHA Advisory Committee.
The grants are intended to help prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives, and educate Washington employers and employees about workplace hazards and safe work practices. The program is particularly aimed at small businesses that lack the injury and illness prevention resources of larger companies. Using a competitive application process, grants can be awarded to trade and business associations, employers, employee groups or organizations and labor unions. Applicants can form partnerships with educational institutions and other organizations.
The four grant categories are: education and training; technical innovation to develop engineering controls or other technical solutions for injury and illness problems; best practices for the application of hazard control; and innovative statewide programs to address safety and health. Nearly 200 applications with $38 million in requests were narrowed to 32 recipients with collective budgets totaling $4.7 million. The expected outcome and results of each project will be built into the grant contracts and monitored by staff to ensure completion of milestones. The projects reflect a diversity of Washington industries, companies, labor unions and government agencies.
Three Indiana companies received the inaugural Governor’s Workplace Safety Award in March 1999 at the Hoosier Safety Council’s 13th Annual Convention. The awards recognize the most innovative safety and health initiatives among Indiana’s workplaces. All of the award recipients have taken a proactive stance to educate workers, develop new safety technology and forge partnerships to maintain a safe workplace. Sponsored by the state’s Department of Labor, Bureau of Safety Education and Training in partnership with the Hoosier Safety Council, the awards salute companies who believe safety in the workplace should be the number one priority of every employer.
The Michigan CET Grant Program was established in 1979 to enhance the services provided by the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division. In FY 2001, Michigan awarded 17 CET Grants totaling $1 million to promote workplace safety and health.
Most of the grants focused on the performance goals identified in the MIOSHA strategic plan. The 17 statewide projects included a wide range of training activities and proficiency levels. Many of the grants offered interactive computer-based training modules and may include: text, video, interactive questions, and retention testing.
Minnesota, North Carolina
Minnesota has a Safety Grants Program that awards matching funds up to $10,000 to qualifying endeavors for projects designed to reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses. North Carolina celebrated the 55th year of its Safety Awards Program receiving 2,516 applications and presenting 1,704 Annual Awards at 29 banquets.
Oregon administers two grant programs for public- and private-sector employers to improve workplace safety and health. Training grants awarded for developing innovative educational programs are funded from the civil penalties paid by employers. The Oregon Worksite Redesign Program provides grants from workers’ compensation funding sources to conduct research and development for worksite modifications designed to reduce non-disabling claims or preclude them from becoming disabling claims, to preclude on-the-job injuries from recurring, to reduce disability by returning injured workers to the job sooner, and to help injured workers remain employed.
Wyoming gives employers a 75 percent penalty reduction if they lower their workers’ compensation claims 25 percent over a 12-month period, and offers employers a 50 percent penalty reduction if they fix hazards the same day. Another option is to waive all penalties if the employer agrees to work cooperatively with consultation for three years.
Utah, Puerto Rico, Hawaii
With a 25 percent workers’ compensation premium tax, the Utah Labor Commission promotes workplace safety and health through consultation, media outreach and workplace safety grants. Puerto Rico’s Quick Fix program provides a 15 percent additional reduction in penalties for safety and health violations abated during the inspection. Hawaii’s 5 percent workers’ compensation premium discount is offered for workplace safety and health programs certified effective.
Bilingual and multilingual publications on workplace safety and health are produced by California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Utah, and Virgin Islands. Most of the state plans publish their Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster in English and Spanish.
California publishes posters and booklets in English and Spanish for the agriculture workforce. A brochure on job safety and a booklet on bloodborne pathogens are published in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
Minnesota publishes its Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster in English, Spanish, Hmong, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Laotian. The poster summarizes employee rights under the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Puerto Rico has two official languages, Spanish and English. All government and private transactions are usually conducted in Spanish, and all state laws and regulations must be in both languages. The safety and health poster advising employers and employees of their responsibilities and rights is in both languages, as are some NIOSH and OSHA publications, all the state-adopted occupational safety and health standards, and citations issued. This reduces the probability of violating employer or employee rights through lack of understanding the language.
Virgin Islands distributes Spanish literature and brochures provided by Puerto Rico OSH to its extensive Spanish-speaking workforce. In 1999 its consultation program offered a course, Derechos de el Empleado Bajo la Ley OSHA (Employees’ Rights Under the OSHA Act), which was attended by Spanish-speaking public employees.
Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Wyoming, Nevada
Oregon developed workshops in Spanish on hazard identification and ergonomics awareness. South Carolina and Virginia publish a bilingual workplace safety and health poster. Wyoming publishes its strategic and performance planning material in Spanish. Nevada produced promotional videos for their consultation program in Spanish.
Michigan prints its Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster in English and Spanish. MIOSHA also publishes two brochures, Your Rights and Responsibilities under MIOSHA, and the Michigan’s Employee Right to Know in Spanish. The MIOSHA video, MIOSHA: Your Workplace Partner - Onsite Consultation Program, was dubbed into a Spanish version.
Safety & Health Conferences
Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and Washington held or participated in safety and health conferences.
Iowa has held an annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference for 26 years. The conference is organized by a committee of representatives from labor, industry and the public sector, and draws attendance from many segments of the state population. Nationally known speakers are featured. The conference is so successful the committee established scholarships totaling $9,500 for seven college students who are safety and health majors.
Oregon’s biennial Governor’s Conference draws more than 3,000 participants to the Portland Convention Center. Education in a conference format is also offered in all the state’s geographical regions, as well as a second major safety and health conference every other year in Eugene.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Washington State Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference, which was held September 26-27, 2001 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. Expected attendance is 4,500. The annual conference alternates between western Washington in Seattle and eastern Washington in Spokane.
Kentucky’s annual Governor’s Conference was first held in 1985. This joint effort of business, labor, government and academia is facilitated by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and Kentucky Safety and Health Network. It averages 50 sessions, 115 exhibitors and 1,800 participants. Complementing the Governor’s Conference held in Louisville each spring are mid-year symposiums offered at a variety of locations throughout the commonwealth during the late fall.
The Tennessee Safety Congress, sponsored by TOSHA and Tennessee chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, is an assembly of safety and health professionals sharing information and ideas on programs and educational techniques that promote good workplace safety and health practices. The Congress is nationally recognized for its high quality and diverse activities.
For more than 50 years Michigan has sponsored an annual conference on industrial ventilation systems. Staffed by ventilation experts of the United States and Canada, the weeklong conference features general ventilation information and the newest control technologies.
Minnesota OSHA is an active participant in the annual Minnesota Safety and Health Conference sponsored by the Minnesota Safety Council. The conference has been held for the past 66 years and draws more than 1,700 participants. The conference includes exhibitor/vendor booths and numerous seminars on safety-related topics–including regulatory compliance, ergonomics, behavioral issues, risk control, commercial vehicle safety, basic workplace safety and safety management.
Maryland, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Virginia
Maryland’s OSH, along with its safety council and a number of safety organizations, sponsors an annual safety and health conference that draws an average 500 people. Puerto Rico has an annual three-day safety and health conference with workshops on compliance requirements and updating professionals in safety and health and related disciplines. Virgin Islands sponsors a biannual safety and health conference on St. Croix and an annual conference on St. Thomas. In June 2000 Virginia hosted its fifth annual safety and health conference, which brought employers, employees and associations together to discuss current safety and health initiatives in Virginia.
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