BCI Environmental Health and Safety Conference — Philadelphia, US • October 22-23, 2018
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the City of Brotherly Love, and the home of the cheesesteak sandwich, hosted 95 attendees at the Battery Council International Environmental Health and Safety Conference, October 22- 23.
The conference was aimed at providing safety professionals with information on current best practices and updates on regulatory and legislative initiatives affecting the lead battery industry.
Participants learned from a number of noted experts and shared ideas on improving worker safety and compliance.
Among the highlights was a presentation by Nicholas DeJesse from the Philadelphia Region III OSHA office who provided a comprehensive update on the agency’s activities, processes and links to a myriad of resources available to business and the public.
“His frank delivery and willingness to both challenge the industry and to answer tough questions was like a breath of fresh air,” said one delegate.
BCI enlisted scientists from the International Lead Association to report on the current progress in blood lead health science, the medical surveillance study on the scientific data regarding the health effects of lead, and the life cycle assessment study of lead batteries and the environmental footprint. Steve Binks and Cris Williams fielded questions about research by ILA and other initiatives working in conjunction with BCI.
BCI’s outside counsel for environmental health and safety, Roger Miksad of Wiley Rein, spoke on BCI’s voluntary blood lead level reduction program, State OSHA, Federal OSHA, and a list of things to come that could affect the industry in the US. “The lead battery industry continues to be a leader in worker health and safety improvement. This conference is a key piece of BCI’s effort to promote this mission”, said Miksad.
The program was rounded out by a series of presentations on best safety practices focused on wastewater treatment, robotics, industrial ventilation, and industrial hygiene and medical management. Information and suggestions on new ways to reduce worker exposure came from experts speaking on this wide range of subjects.
Across many of the conference presentations, a common thread arising from the conversation was that employee buy-in is critical to enforcing compliance and improving workplace practices. This was highlighted in a session led by Carl Raycroft, VP of EHS compliance from RSR Corporation, on behavioral and observational safety incentive programs who provided an overview of RSR’s highly successful program and piqued the interest of many in the room.
The conference ended with the ever-popular 60 ideas in 60 minutes giving each attendee an opportunity to share their own ideas and takeaways from the meeting.
In support of the conference, four companies participated as exhibitors displaying their products and services — ESCA Tech, Cooper Environmental, State Safety & Compliance and Tamarac Medical.
It was a jam packed, one and half days of education and networking. Jim Anderson from Crown Battery and a member of the Conference Planning Committee, summed it up: “All the speakers were engaging and informative and the topics highly relevant to our industry.”