ASU health and safety summit highlights, spreads university safety culture
Arizona State University hosted the 2018 Health and Safety Summit April 19 in the Memorial Union on the Tempe Campus. The one-day conference converged industry and academic professionals to advance interests in environmental and occupational safety.
These transdisciplinary fields are concerned with employees' safety, health, welfare and environmental impact. Presenters gave information about violence prevention, ergonomics, incident management and workplace safety communication.
National Transportation Safety Board senior accident investigator Don Karol,gave the keynote address. He reviewed NTSB functions and emphasized the importance of safety-focused investigations and cause analysis to identify deficiencies that cause accidents.
“Organizations with a healthy safety focus are constantly learning,” Karol said. “To avoid complacency, successful programs, like the ASU Safety Management Program, have a leadership obsession with continuous improvement.”
Summit participants received six hours of continuing education credits. Attendees gained practical safety information to share with their colleagues and enough information to host Q&A sessions in their departments, colleges or schools.
ASU's Department of Environmental Health and Safety can provide students, faculty and staff the contact information for the safety person in their respective areas. For example, a new safety management program for facilities employees was implemented by Facilities Development and Management.
“We developed a new mishap-review process, near-miss and good-catch programs and the cost of a bad safety culture,” said Alex Kohnen, FDM assistant vice president. “We’ve established accountability at all organizational levels.”
Allen Clark, ASU’s access and security initiatives executive director, discussed emergency operations and the university’s role in managing an act of violence on campus.
“Emergency managers’ responsibilities are being expanded to deal with more complex situations,” said Clark. “The summit provided valuable time for stakeholders at all levels of the university to take responsibility for university preparedness.”
A diverse group of students from ASU, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Maricopa Community Colleges attended the summit along with ASU staff, EHS compliance officers, safety and industrial hygiene professionals from many industries, and government agencies.
The event was sponsored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers and ASU Environmental Health and Safety.