Safety Is a Part of Every Industry

More stories from Matthew Prandoni

Lighting up Huntington
December 1, 2015

The idea of safety comes into play in almost any industry. The Safety­–Beyond Compliance Conference involved the interaction of people, rules and departments in the workplace.

The topics being discussed include what makes a good work place, personalizing safety and worker’s compensation.

The keynote speaker was Todd Conklin, senior advisor for Organizational and Safety Culture for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Conklin spoke on how to prevent accidents.

“In about 1953, car designers said something really important. Accidents are super hard to predict,” Conklin said. “ Instead of asking drivers to not wreck, what car designers said is ‘let’s assume that everybody that drives a vehicle has a 100 percent chance of wrecking the car’.”

Member of the Marshall University Safety Technology Advisory Board, Josh Parsons, spoke on tolerance in safety.

Parsons said people take risks every day. “It’s what makes us human,” Parsons said. “We need to have a system that can account for the mistakes.”

Parsons demonstrated in the beginning of his speech how people can be afraid to speak out. Parsons had an assistant put an apple on top of her head. Parsons got out a bow and arrow and said “I have been practicing this for years.” He drew the bow and asked “Is anybody going to stop me?’”

The point of this demonstration was to show that often times, people do not like to speak out when they see someone doing something dangerous.

Conklin also spoke on successful failures, which is when there is a mistake, but the mistake was prepared for. The example Conklin used was a crane picking up a crate of sand. The crate broke off from a rope not being tied well together. While workers did fail to move the crate of sand, the company was prepared by clearing the area incase the crate would fall.

I felt that the first speaker went on for too long. The speech on the lawsuits was the most interesting aspect. The law can be harsh on industries,” said one of the conference attendees.

According to speaker, Dave Wellman, in order for there to be compensation, the accident has to be work related. There also has to be at least a 13 percent impairment rating to be considered a serious injury.

The conference took place on Thursday in the Foundation Hall. The event started at 8 a.m. and ended at 4. There were more than 50 people in attendance.

The event was targeted towards people who were in any sort of safety department and safety students.

Matthew Prandoni can be contacted at [email protected]