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ISEA members hear OSHA Head David Michaels and oil industry safety panel at the 2012 Fall Meeting.


Dr. Michaels, assistant secretary of Labor for OSHA, was the keynote speaker at the Fall Meeting general session on Thursday, November 29.  He described what he calls the “deterrence strategy” for improving worker safety and health, combining compliance assistance, standards and enforcement, effectiveness data and random inspections to increasing the number of workers whose employers have good EHS programs that reduce hazards.  In a wide-ranging Q&A session, he answered questions from ISEA members about fall protection, noise prevention, agency funding, VPP and other topics.

A panel of safety and health experts from the oil and gas sector described the challenges to safe operation of offshore rigs and shale gas extraction operations, and industry approaches to loss prevention and control.  James Watson, director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and Charlie Williams, executive director of the Center for Offshore Safety, described the offshore industry’s transition from prescriptive to performance measures of health and safety and the implementation of a comprehensive Safety and Environmental Management System.  Ralph Tijerina, vice president for safety and environment at Range Resources and co-chairman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition safety committee, described the numerous hazards facing workers at fracking sites, often under the control of employers that are new to the practice of safety management. 

TIME Magazine’s chief political correspondent Michael Duffy and editor at large Nancy Gibbs gave the luncheon audience on Thursday an up-to-the-minute look at national politics, matched with a broader perspective on the institution of the Presidency.  Duffy noted that after an election that cost $6 billion, not much has changed either in the Administration or the Congress, and he saw little impetus to move toward a solution of the deficit crisis until the very last moment.  Gibbs provided a unique look inside the exclusive club of past Presidents, describing how their relationships with each other and the sitting executive have shaped policies and politics. 

Read more about the general session, with links to the speakers' presentations, on the Fall Meeting page.

The Fall Meeting is ISEA's largest national meeting, with more than a dozen product group and committee meetings scheduled over three days.  It's the time when the association gets down to business, developing standards, formulating legislative and regulatory positions, examining market trends, planning for the future.