National Safety Congress
Ehstoday 2261 Congress Keynote 1

NSC 2015: Highlights from the National Safety Congress

Sept. 28, 2015
Check out our complete coverage of the 2015 National Safety Council Congress & Expo.

The National Safety Council is hosting its 2015 NSC Congress & Expo in Atlanta Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. This year's event, Building Safer Workplaces, features more than 1,000 exhibitors, more than 100 professional development seminars, 14 keynote speakers and an executive-edge track, giving attendees access to unparalleled resources to improve safety.                

"Each year, over ten thousand safety professionals attend the National Safety Council Congress and Expo to gather the knowledge and the tools they need to influence safety in their workplaces," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO at NSC. "The goals of our education sessions and the Best-in-Show product displays are to support safety leaders on their journey to safety excellence and reduce preventable injuries and deaths." 

Keynotes for this year's event include Michael Abrashoff, former Navy commander and author; Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of Labor and Health at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and Dale Lesinski, QSSP, vice president of DiVal Safety Equipment.

Hot technical session topics include workplace violence, drones for high hazard operations, training new workers, mergers and acquisitions, fighting fatigue and achieving safety excellence through leading indicators, among others. The council also added eight Learning Lab Sessions on topics including risk assessment, giving safety a brand identity, safety contacts and electrical safety today.

Schedule Highights:

Monday, Sept. 28

Opening Session: Building Safer Workplaces

When: 8-9:30 a.m.

NSC President and CEO Deborah Hersman will discuss the challenges facing safety professionals and how to meet them head on. Michael Abrashoff, former Navy commander and author, will share his safety journey, and NSC Board of Directors Outgoing Chairman Jeff Woodbury will hand over the gavel to incoming Chairman John Surma.

The winners of the Robert W. Campbell award and the Distinguished Service to Safety awards also wereannounced.


When: Mon., Sept. 28, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tues., Sept. 29, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 30, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year’s Expo offers more than 1,000 companies from around the world. The new product showcase just outside the doors in the main lobby features participants vying for “Best in Show” honors. You won’t want to miss the Emerging Challenges section located at the front of the 3800 aisle, and make time to see the new NSC Learning Lab at Booth #158. There you can participate in eight, 45-minute educational sessions on topics including electrical safety today, drones for high hazard operations and giving safety a brand identity.

The NSC Resource Center can be found in Booth #2239. EHS Today is at Booth #1163

Executive Forum: Beyond Engagement: Innovations for Sustainable Success

When: 10:30 a.m. to noon

The Executive Forum is a platform for safety-minded professionals of all levels to address timely and relevant EHS concerns, followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Speaking on this year’s panel are:

Todd Conklin, human and organizational performance expert and advisor, Los Alamos National Labs

Sam Smolik, SVP Americas Manufacturing and Refining Operations, LyondellBasell

Aaron Walsh, director, Immersive Education Initiative Faculty, Boston College

Tuesday, Sept. 29

Motivational Keynote: The Human Side of Injury Prevention

When: 8-9:30 a.m.

Back by popular demand, E. Scott Geller, PhD, senior partner of Safety Performance Solutions. will team up with Charlie Morecraft, CEO of Phoenix Safety Management, to deliver a motivational keynote on the human side of injury prevention. The speakers explain the interpersonal dimension of occupational safety through an incredible real-life example.

OSHA’s Top 10 Announcement

Where: NSC Learning Lab, Booth #158

When: 10 -10:30 a.m.

Congress and expo attendees will be the first to hear OSHA’s Top 10 most-cited violations for fiscal year 2015 from an OSHA official live from the Expo floor.

Occupational Keynote: The Future of Workplace Safety and the Impact on the Safety Profession

When: 12:15-2 p.m. 

Occupational illness is a serious workplace issue affecting thousands. While illnesses are subject to reporting challenges due to latency periods associated with their onset, estimates indicate illness-related deaths are more than 10 times that of injuries. IN addition to the human suffering, there is also a significant economic burden estimated at more than $50 billion annually. This session will explore what some of the most significant issues are and what can be done to better protect workers. 

Occupational keynote panelists include:

Dr. David Michaels, PhD, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health for OSHA

Dr. John Howard, JD, MPH, director of NIOSH

Dr. Thomas Bender, MD, PhD, occupational physician and epidemiologist, The Dow Chemical Company

Peg Seminario, safety and health director, AFL-CIO

National Awards Celebration Ceremony

When: 5:30 -8 p.m.

This events celebrate the accomplishments of NSC members and safety leaders. It features a reception before the ceremony with NSC member companies, friends, family and colleagues as the safety leaders are recognized for outstanding safety achievements. 

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Leadership Keynote: Safe 4 the Right Reasons

When: 8- 9 a.m.

Getting employees to value their personal safety is the key to eliminating incidents both on- and off-the-job. Understanding our basic human instincts and appealing to what comes natural to us makes Safe 4 the Right Reasons a powerfully effective message. This message from Dale Lesinski, vice president of DiVal Safety Equipment, addresses WHY employees must value their personal safety.

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