14th Annual Northern Minnesota Safety Conference Returns To Bemidji
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to safety in the workplace, and as the years go by, we start to see new trends.
“We love the fact that they’re taking the time to come here and just learn a little bit more about safety, learning a little bit more about what they can do in their workplace to be a little bit safer,” says Paul Aasen, president of the Minnesota Safety Council.
The 14th Annual Northern Minnesota Safety Conference featured more than a dozen vendors and eight individual workshops. More than 100 area professionals were in attendance.
Aasen says, “Most of the people here are probably in manufacturing but we also have public sector employees. We have people in work in the transportation industry and we have people who do things where you don’t normally think and worry about safety like some of the outdoor activities, construction obviously, tree trimming.”
When it comes to workplace hazards, it probably won’t surprise you that driving is the number one issue facing workers. But today, it’s not just the dangers on the road: it’s the dangers found at home in the medicine cabinet.
“We know that employers are having a hard time finding employees because they’re failing drug tests. Figuring out how to deal with drugs in the workplace is a very big deal, and obviously if you’re in a risky environment like manufacturing and you have someone who’s impaired for some reason, that can be a big deal,” says Aasen.
This year’s conference also touched on generational differences in the workplace. Today, you can find five different generations working in the same place. Learning to mesh together is an important key to success.
Steve Bench, generational consulting founder and this year’s conference keynote speaker, says, “The world is changing, right? If you don’t believe that, just look at a 12-year-old kid with an iPhone, and that’s what the world’s going to look like in 20 more years, so we need to not dig our heels in and be stubborn and try to understand what got us here and stay true to that, but also to be flexible open minded to doing things a new way.”
Some of the workshops at the conference included recognizing fall hazards, stretching at work, and the risks of sleep apnea and fatigue.