Registration is open for the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference, to be held March 6-9 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. With more than 160 workshops and sessions, the conference – the largest workplace health and safety event in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest in the U.S. – offers a comprehensive set of learning opportunities for improving the health and safety of workers across a variety of industries.
“This event provides a unique chance for organizations to rejuvenate their commitment to on-the-job safety and health,” said Renee Stapleton, administrator of the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA). “Everyone from professionals in the field to employers, supervisors, and workers can use GOSH as a resource in helping bolster their efforts to create and maintain safe and healthy job sites.”
Keynote speaker Steven Eberlein, resilience director at Ethos Preparedness, will address the importance of preparing for earthquakes. Eberlein has dedicated his career to education and advocacy in the realm of disaster preparedness, with specific focus on workplaces and communities in the Cascadia subduction zone and San Andreas Fault system.
During his GOSH keynote presentation, Eberlein will touch on several topics, including earthquake and tsunami preparedness for the home and office, creating a preparedness culture in the workplace, and training. In addition to his keynote presentation, Eberlein will conduct a breakout session about Shake Alert!, the earthquake early warning system.
Eberlein said one of his key messages will be that a culture of preparedness grows from the bottom up, not the top down, with people putting in the energy and time to make it happen.
“Studies have shown that people are not even minimally prepared for disasters in an increasingly disaster-prone world. In an unsparing examination of its own efforts, FEMA concluded that only the development of ‘individual cultures of preparedness’ from the bottom up could eventually lead to a more resilient nation,” Eberlein said. “Your workplace is potentially such a culture. With your leadership, your work community is 75 percent more likely to prepare. I hope that the audience will see that culture isn’t something that happens to us – it’s something that we have the power to create through our personal advocacy efforts.”
Eberlein said delivering the keynote at GOSH is one of the greatest honors of his career. “I realized early in my speaking career that convincing everyone to prepare is an unrealistic aim that overestimates my own influence,” he said. “My role is to influence influencers to exercise their influence. The GOSH Conference is a critical gathering of those influencers. I’m eager to share my concerns and strategies for creating a new preparedness culture so that we can make a difference together.”
Oregon OSHA encourages safety committee members, emerging environmental health and safety professionals, safety managers, and human resources personnel to mark their calendars for the 2023 GOSH Conference. The event offers many opportunities to learn about best practices for specific workplace health and safety issues, meet new vendors and suppliers, and reconnect and share ideas with industry peers.
In addition to topics for general industry and safety committees, the event will offer session tracks on many specialties, including:
- Motor vehicle safety
- Safety and health leadership
- Workplace violence
- Communication and training
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Agriculture, pesticides, and cannabis
- Health care, ergonomics, and safety
- Organizational development and culture building
- Risk management
- Environmental and hazardous waste
Register now for the GOSH Conference. Check out the conference’s social media toolkit, which includes graphics attendees may use to show their involvement and share their activities. Stay connected to GOSH Conference updates by signing up to receive emails. Learn more by visiting the GOSH Conference website, contacting the Oregon OSHA conference section at 503-947-7411 or emailing Oregon.GOSH@dcbs.oregon.gov.
Meanwhile, registration for the Columbia Forklift Challenge – a hallmark of the GOSH Conference – is open to participants. On Wednesday, March 8, trained forklift drivers will compete for cash in an obstacle course designed to test their skills and safe operation.
The GOSH Conference is a joint effort of the American Society of Safety Professionals Columbia-Willamette Chapter, Oregon OSHA, and labor and businesses in Oregon and southwest Washington.