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WVU to host inaugural Safety Management Symposium

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The past, present and future of the safety management profession will be explored in the first-ever Safety Management Symposium at West Virginia University. The day-long event, scheduled for Thursday, October 8, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Erickson Alumni Center, will bring together thought leaders in leading first-class safety organizations to share best practices, benchmarking and current trends in managing safety.

According to Ken Currie, chair of industrial and management systems engineering at WVU, the symposium is the brain child of Safety Management Visiting Committee.

"As part of their strategic plan, the committee was seeking way to restore the safety management program's recognition on both a local and national level," Currie said. "The goal was to deliver a high-quality symposium that would attract safety professionals from the local region, including West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio."

The members of the planning committee include Andrew Peters, corporate senior vice president and chief safety officer, AECOM; Carolyn Gugliemo, consultant; Carl Heinlein, senior safety consultant, American Contractors Insurance Group; Mark Fullen, program leader, associate professor, WVU Safety & Health Extension; Teresa Cole, senior region safety manager, First Group; and Rose McMurray, chief transportation advisor, FDRsafety.

Highlights of the event include a lecture on prescription painkiller abuse in the workplace by Don Teater, M.D., medical advisor with the National Safety Council. A board-certified family physician who spends two days each week treating patients addicted to pain medications in western North Carolina, Teater will explain why opioids have become so problematic and what safety management professionals can do to protect workers and workplace.

Christine Branche, principal associate director with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and director of its Office of Construction Safety and Health, will describe the NIOSH research program that addresses construction safety and health issues to eliminate occupational diseases, injuries and fatalities and efforts in the total worker health arena.

Additional sessions include a panel discussion on how to create a first-class safety culture to achieve high performance results, a luncheon discussion led by WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons on the art of teamwork and an address by West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.



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