By Michelle Francisco, BWC Safety Council Program Manager
Two-hundred and forty miles total. Four hours roundtrip. Ottawa County Ohio employers didn’t let that keep them from capitalizing on the nation’s largest regional occupational safety and health conference. Several employers from Ohio’s north shore descended on Columbus a few weeks ago to find valuable information and resources at BWC’s Ohio Safety Conference & Expo 2017 (OSC17).
It’s no surprise that so many of these employers are also members of the Ottawa County Safety Council. That’s because Jessica Kowalski, manager of the safety council, keeps her membership engaged and focused on workplace safety.
After OSC17, she surveyed members of the Ottawa County Safety Council to get feedback on their experience at this year’s event. Below are some of their thoughts.
Dave Barth of Bay Point Resort & Marina attended several sessions on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s new reporting guidelines and found sessions to enhance his understanding of job assessments and their benefits. In the Expo Marketplace, he met several vendors he intends to contact about future business.
Julia Catlett of Magruder Hospital applauded BWC for providing classes that are educational from a variety of different perspectives, ranging from safety officers to human resources. She appreciates that sessions provide credit toward her certifications and give her useful information to implement in everyday processes.
Michelle Ish, Ottawa County HR Director, attended her 13th safety congress this year. She appreciates seeing other industry professionals and knows many are repeat attendees, adding, “It’s nice to network on such a large scale!”
Evan Viery of Signature Label found OSC17 to be an excellent summarization of where safety has gone in recent years and where it intends to go. He also felt it was a great opportunity to meet people from other companies and to see what fellow Ohio companies are doing to keep an edge. “Every time I attend I am more pleased with OSC,” he says.
Tim Gerkensmeyer of Martin Industries tries to attend the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo as much as he can. He said he enjoys catching up with people who he doesn’t see often, adding that he met several new people from his own county.
Adam Holmes of The Ashley Group praised the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Medical & Health Symposium. He attended the symposium for the first time, saying it covered topics related to almost every industry, and it promoted open conversation and sharing of ideas among professionals from several different backgrounds. He says, “The chance to hear first-hand from a variety of employer organizations regarding the challenges they face helps me improve as a consultant to my clients. “That in itself is invaluable and reason alone to make the trip again next year!”
No matter the distance to Columbus, employers from all over the state have many reasons to attend the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo. Make your plans to attend in 2018, March 7-9, in Columbus.