“Stuff That Could Kill You (STCKY)”.

Mark Jones, CIH, CSP, Environmental Health & Safety
Plastipak Packaging, Inc.

2024 President, 93 rd Annual Michigan Safety Conference

Michigan Safety Conference – President’s Message

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I have the pleasure and honor to welcome you to the 93 rd annual Michigan Safety Conference. We bring together nearly 2000 attendees, 200+ vendors, and offer more than 120 educational programs to increase the skill and knowledge of safety professionals from across the State of Michigan. I would like to acknowledge and thank the nearly 170 volunteers who work collaboratively to organize and deliver a world class conference.

Our conference theme this year is STCKY – stuff that could kill you. Despite our best efforts as safety professionals, we continue to see serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) at alarming levels across the State of Michigan. Each one of these is a tragedy and causes an unforgettable loss, impacting a family forever. 

To prevent SIF events, we need to engage the workforce. They are the “masters of the blue”, and know the reality of how work is completed (vs planned). Engaging them to understand the scope and nature of the work, identifying the job steps, hazards, and controls is crucial. The most critical step is hazard recognition, which generally involves a source of energy which must be identified and assessed.

To engage in dialogue with the workers, we can use the 4-D model, asking them what they are asked to do that is dumb, difficult, different, or dangerous. As safety practitioners, we can learn by talking with those that are closest to the work.

We also need to be upfront and transparent and have dialogue about “stopping a job” when something is not quite right. Our instincts can be a guide, and we should only begin work “when ready”, including having our “heads in the game” mentally.

We can never give up on our resolve as safety professionals to impact SIF’s and do everything possible every day to prevent them from occurring.  We must have a mindset to not only address, but conquer a victory in preventing them.  Families are depending on us to return their loved ones home safe every day. It is a conquest and we must have a mindset of “never give up” to prevent them from occurring.

In a spirit of continuous improvement, we are adding several new things to our conference, including an industry tour on Monday afternoon before the conference begins. We have also expanded our exhibit hours to maximize the time participants can spend with vendors, and are adding a dedicated break on Tuesday afternoon to grab a snack and spend time with vendors and exhibitors. This is an excellent opportunity to view new tools and technologies, speak with the exhibitors to learn fresh ideas, and network with fellow safety professionals.

Once again, I am delighted to welcome you to our conference and look forward to your participation.

Mark Jones, CIH, CSP, Environmental Health & Safety
Plastipak Packaging, Inc.

2024 President, 93 rd Annual Michigan Safety Conference