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2017 Oregon GOSH Conference coming to Portland

For immediate release
Dec. 14, 2016
Contact information
Aaron Corvin, Public Information Officer

Keynote speaker Todd Conklin to focus on ‘defenses’ in boosting workplace safety

Salem, OR — ;With more than 150 workshops and sessions, the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference will be held March 6-9, 2017, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The event is the largest of its kind in the Northwest and will feature speakers from across the United States.

GOSH 2017 logo 

Keynote speaker Todd Conklin will present “Thinking Differently About Safety” on March 7, 2017. Conklin, who has a doctorate in organizational behavior, spent 25 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a senior advisor for organizational and safety culture. He speaks all over the world to executives, groups, and work teams who are interested in better understanding the relationship between workers in the field and an organization’s systems, processes, and programs.

Conklin’s presentation will focus on the human performance theory of safety, where investigations are conducted before accidents happen. “Safety is not the absence of events,” he said. “Safety is the presence of defenses.” 

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) encourages safety committee members, emerging environmental health and safety professionals, safety managers, and human resources personnel to mark their calendars for the 2017 GOSH Conference.

The event will offer session tracks on many specialties, including:

  • Construction
  • Workplace violence prevention
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Emergency response and preparedness
  • Communication and training
  • Utilities
  • Craft brewing and winemaking

Registration for the event is scheduled to open in January, and organizations can reserve exhibit space now. The popular Columbia Forklift Challenge also will return, with teams and individuals competing for cash prizes based on skill, time, and safety.  

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is partnering with SAIF Corp., the Portland Business Journal, the Oregon Columbia Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, and others to sponsor the conference.

For more information about exhibit space, the keynote speaker, conference schedule, and sponsors, go to


About Oregon OSHA:

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to

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