Creating New Conversations

Remember back when an occupational safety and health conference was just that? Information about safety and health – respirators, emergencies, forklifts. My, how our conversations have expanded into so much more – chronic disease, sleep problems, stress.

Kudos to the planners and sponsors of this week’s successful Cascade Safety and Health Conference in Eugene. Not only did I have the opportunity to co-teach a class addressing Total Worker Health, but we particularly enjoyed the discussions we shared with you at our exhibit. We learned about the bus drivers who – upon losing weight – found that it was not only more comfortable to drive, but that their sciatica pain had gone away. We heard from a safety manager who was pleased that their 2014 wellness fair has been expanded to be a safety and wellness fair. And we heard how an organization is continuing to use the material provided from our Sleep Symposium to further discussion as they attempt to better address shift work for their employees. Oh, and we learned that you actually read our e-newsletters!

Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood welcomes Cascade attendees.

This is not to say that our traditional safety and health topics aren’t just as important as they have always been. Clearly, they are. But the expansion and integration of safety and health with wellness and well-being is evident now in many of our organizations. Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

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About the Author

Dede supports the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center's research, engagement and education programs. She is a certified industrial hygienist.

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