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Pulp, paper industry safety conference coming to Portland

For immediate release
Nov. 6, 2019
Contact information
Aaron Corvin, Public Information Officer

Keynote speaker to discuss ‘human performance’ view of safety systems

Salem. OR – Workers, contractors, and employers in Oregon’s pulp, paper, and forest products industries are invited to attend a Dec. 3-6 conference in Portland that will highlight best safety and health practices in their respective fields.

Although the 29th annual Western Pulp, Paper & Forest Products Safety & Health Conference delves into safety and health issues in those industries, the event also offers learning opportunities that apply to many other workplaces. Those sessions include an examination of emergency preparedness issues, including earthquakes and subduction zones, and personal and jobsite disaster preparedness.

The Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) is one of several partners presenting the four-day conference at the Red Lion Hotel on the River – Jantzen Beach in Portland.

Todd Conklin, a human and organization performance consultant based in Santa Fe, N.M., will deliver the keynote presentation on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Conklin will discuss how rapidly changing technology has created new dimensions in how people react to their surroundings.

In showing how traditional methods of coping with our surroundings no longer apply, Conklin will illustrate the “human performance” view of workplace systems and safety. His presentation will include a question-and-answer period designed to help attendees apply his concepts to their own situations.

In the human performance view, Conklin said, failures and accidents are redefined. “Rather than looking at the accident in hindsight, workers and management process the situation with the idea that accidents will happen because work is performed by humans, and we are not perfect,” he said. With that approach, he added, the focus shifts to minimizing consequences, saving lives, and reducing expenses.

Additionally, the conference will feature exhibits, company safety meetings, roundtable discussions, and more than 35 workshops. Sessions include:

  • Energized equipment beyond zero: How to follow lockout/tagout rules all the time
  • Common sawmill hazards: How they happen and how to prevent their causes
  • Fundamentals of steam distribution and prevention of water hammer events
  • Advanced solutions: The future of drones, wearables, and autonomy in the workplace
  • Developing a machine guarding program
  • Employee engagement: Best practices
  • Overhead crane accident reduction through training and technology

The registration fee is $300 to attend the full conference. The fee for one day – Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday – is $100. It is $40 for Friday. To register, go to

If you have questions or need help registering, call the Oregon OSHA Conference Section, 503-947-7411.


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