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Northwest safety event offers training to protect workers

For immediate release
April 14, 2017
Contact information
​​​Aaron Corvin, Public Information Officer
971-718-6973, aaron.corvin@dcbs.​
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Keynote speaker to address how one accident can change many lives

Salem, OR — Learn how to identify and eliminate construction hazards. Find out the key steps to operating cranes safely. Put your company on track to excel at protecting the safety and health of your workers.

Those education and training opportunities – and more – will be available during the 23rd annual Northwest Safety & Health Summit, to be held May 16-18 at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane, Wash. 

The three-day event is produced by the Region X Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association. It is designed for all industries and worksites, even if they are not part of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which encourages companies to protect workers by going well beyond minimum safety requirements. 

On Wednesday, May 17, keynote speaker Matt Pomerinke will present “Accidents are Forever,” which will focus on how one incident can change many lives. Pomerinke was 21 years old and working at a lumber mill when his arm was caught in an unguarded drive chain. His arm had to be amputated just below the elbow.

Pomerinke, a papermaker and safety representative for KapStone Paper and Packaging in Longview, Wash., said he hopes to reach attendees with a central message: an injury isn’t just about you. “The effects of an injury ripple out and touch everyone, and it will forever,” he said. 

He added that the summit is a unique opportunity for people to hone their safety skills. “Knowing about the VPP program, and the people involved in this conference, there is a lot of knowledge that is going to be just walking around,” he said. 

The summit offers everyone from operations personnel and project managers to safety managers and safety committee members a chance to receive top-notch workplace safety training and to develop relationships with others in their line of work. It includes a full-day workshop on how to complete a successful VPP application and how to achieve safety excellence at worksites. 

Other summit topics include:

  • Sleep deprivation: Effects on health, performance, and safety
  • Safety culture: Where do we want to go and how do we get there?
  • Fall protection: A practical overview top to bottom
  • The new OSHA silica in construction rule
  • Overcoming self-defeating behaviors
  • Warehouse pedestrian safety

Fees for full-day workshops (Tuesday) range from $100 to $250. The half-day Total Worker Health workshop is $75. Registration for the conference (Wednesday and Thursday) is $275 for VPP members and $325 for nonmembers. The fee for one day (Wednesday or Thursday) is $165.

For more information about the summit, or to register, visit the conference page.


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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