SALEM - Area workers and their employers learned about safety concerns on the job, earned training credits and networked with each other and safety equipment or service suppliers during a conference Friday.
The Columbiana County2012 Safety Conference & Expo at Salem High School attracted nearly 400 attendees and 43 health, safety and risk-related exhibitors, co-sponsored by the Columbiana, East Liverpool and Salem Area Safety Councils, in partnership with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
"Safety is everybody's responsibility," Employer Management Supervisor David Costantino of the Ohio BWC Youngstown office said.
This was the fifth consecutive year of holding safety conferences in the area and the third for Columbiana County, with an estimated 1,700 people trained over that period of time, he said.
The event opened with a BWC update, followed by morning and afternoon sessions on a variety of safety topics, such as hazard communication, accident analysis, hazardous waste training, oil & gas well exploration and drilling, transitional work plans, power tools, lift plans, explosive dusts, violence in the workplace, drugs in the workplace, distracted driving, record keeping, claims management, trench and excavation and workplace chemical hazards.
Costantino said the BWC appreciated the three Columbiana County Area Safety Councils partnering with the state and making the safety conference successful. He said being able to bring such a big group together for one day is valuable to both the attendees and their employers.
"We are very pleased to be able to offer to the businesses in our county and the surrounding area classes that focus upon safety," Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Audrey Null said, adding she was pleased with the collaboration between the Salem, East Liverpool and Columbiana Area Safety Councils along with the BWC.
She explained that each Chamber of Commerce has an Area Safety Council which meets monthly and provides educational resources to businesses within the chamber and the community.
A program is provided each month related to safety issues. One recent program dealt with distracted driving. Others have covered fire safety, drugs in the workplace and safety issues in the workplace related to digging, use of cranes and ladders or trenching.
Some of the classes at the conference were strictly for educational purposes, while others fulfilled training credits required by the BWC or counted toward human resources certification.