DATE:  March 16, 2001     NO: 01-45  

CONTACT: Lynne Seville  PHONE: (907) 562-2266 

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

2001 Alaska Governor’s Safety & Health Conference
"Achieving Safety Excellence"
Space Shuttle Astronaut among Keynote Speakers

Space shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane heads off an impressive list of keynote speakers and events at this year’s Alaska Governor’s Safety & Health Conference, "Achieving Safety Excellence," March 26-28 at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage. 

Mullane, a retired US Air Force Colonel, completed 150 combat missions in Vietnam and was selected as a Mission Specialist in 1978 in the first group of Space Shuttle Astronauts. He completed three space missions and logged 356 hours in space aboard the shuttles Discovery and Atlantis before retiring from NASA and the Air Force in 1990. Mullane will present "Lessons Learned from Challenger," a behind-the-scenes look into the circumstances that brought the pre-Challenger NASA team to disaster.

"Providing a forward-looking approach to safety and injury prevention and examining the effect of leaders and leadership on safety and health in an organization are the goals of this year’s conference," said Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Ed Flanagan.

While workplace injuries and fatalities decrease across the country, Alaska has historically had the highest occupational fatality rate in the nation. In an effort to provide timely, effective workplace injury prevention information and tools to Alaska’s business leaders, safety professionals, and workers, the Alaska Safety Advisory Council (ASAC) each year sponsors the Alaska Governor’s Safety & Health Conference with world-class speakers and cutting-edge information on occupational safety and health topics. 

Among this year’s conference highlights: 

Small Business Safety Workshop An introduction to workplace safety focusing on small business safety and injury prevention needs from OSHA compliance to cost savings on workers’ compensation insurance. Free and open to the public. 

"Leadership for Safety, Health & Environmental Excellence" Michael Topf, President of the Topf Organization will show how positive improvements in performance and effective organizational leadership can be achieved through a culture change process. Highly recommended for top executives.

Awards Luncheon Tuesday, March 27, honoring citizens and businesses that have worked to improve the safety and health of their company and community. 

Exhibit Hall  Open Tuesday, March 27, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to conference attendees. Over 65 exhibits and vendors on location to showcase the latest in workplace safety products, rescue equipment, ergonomic innovations, and safety & health resources, including Alaska Occupational Safety & Health (AKOSH), Federal OSHA, NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health), and many more professional organizations. The Exhibit Hall is open to the public free of charge on Tuesday afternoon, March 27. 

Educational Tracks  Construction Safety Management, Advanced Ergonomics, Advanced Workplace Safety. 

Ten-hour OSHA Construction Outreach  A traditional favorite for many contractors and laborers will be offered again at this conference along with a post-conference 20-hour OSHA 510 completion course.

Pre-conference Safety Symposium on Aviation Passenger Safety  Monday, March 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Performing Arts Center. Seminar speakers will share information on how business passengers and managers, who rely on small aircraft for travel in Alaska, can help prevent crashes and encourage safer flying. Free and open to the public.

For more information on the conference, call Kathy Miller at (907) 269-4922, or visit the conference Web site.


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