ISEA’s Fall Meeting is the safety equipment industry’s premier forum for safety professionals interested in innovation, policy and business intelligence information. ISEA’s product groups and committees meet to do the essential work of the association – developing standards, formulating policy positions and planning for the future. It’s also a time for member company representatives to network with peers in the safety equipment industry.

The 2016 ISEA Fall Meeting kicked-off on November 30, with a full-day of product group and committee sessions focusing on new standards development and strategies for industry growth and sustainability. At the Annual Awards Dinner, ISEA honored James R. Thornton, Director of Environmental Health and Safety for Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, with the Distinguished Service Award.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Thornton talked about being a safety professional and saw it as his responsibility to send workers home in the same shape as when they arrived, or better. He remarked that a fatality or injury is always the employer’s fault, and the need to improve safety every day.


(Click image to enlarge. From L to R: Dan Shipp, ISEA; John Kime, Avon Protection Systems; Tom Votel, Ergodyne; Eric Beck, MSA; Jim Thornton, Newport News Shipbuilding; Brian Lyons, International Enviroguard; Sheila Eads, ERB Industries; Jim Johnson, Encon Safety; Nate Kogler, Bradley Corp.; Charles Roberson, Lakeland Industries.)

General Session:

On December 1, ISEA’s General Session speakers featured Michael Pollock, Vice President for Corporate and Community Partnerships with the National Safety Council (NSC); Lynn L. Bergeson, Esq., Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell P.C.; and John Rabovsky and Don Tolbert from Liberty Mutual Insurance.

At the general session, ISEA Board Chairman Eric Beck, welcomed new association members: Rasco FR, A&M Industrial, Majestic Glove, Mechanix Wear, Superior Glove Works, Arkane, Edge Eyewear, Hammerhead Industries, A-Med Supply, Technical Solutions & Services, Luxfer Gas Cylinders, and Global Glove. Mr. Beck spoke about the 2016 ISEA Scorecard, how ISEA continues to be recognized as a leader in safety equipment standards development, its continued progress to deliver value to the industry, being an advocate for public policy, and the go-to forum for knowledge, training and assistance to members, partners and users. Mr. Beck also noted that QSSP revenues tripled in 2016, and ISEA’s plans to introduce two new web-based courses in 2017.

ISEA President Dan Shipp provided a state-of-the-association update, highlighting the association’s financial strength, and ISEA’s continued work to develop programs that are beneficial to member companies. Based on feedback from a recent membership survey, new program development will include monitoring and reporting, information exchange, and data collection and analysis.

Michael Pollock, Vice President for Corporate and Community Partnerships with the National Safety Council (NSC), spoke about the importance of providing all-around support to workers.  Mr. Pollock highlighted additional threats that workers are exposed to, including opioid addiction and driving hazards. He encouraged ISEA member companies to be a part of the NSC’s campaign to remind workers and customers about hazards outside of work.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Esq., Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell P.C., discussed Cal Prop 65. Ms. Bergeson acknowledged the importance of knowing what hazards are out there, however, it shouldn’t be distorted, especially when the risk is low or not known. Ms. Bergeson discussed how the state provides a long list of chemicals that can cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, but in most cases does not specify an allowable level.  This loophole enables “bounty hunters” to come in with their own scientists and challenge any content that a manufacturer feels is under the limit.

John Rabovsky and Don Tolbert from Liberty Mutual Insurance, discussed trends in workplace injuries and their impact, and examined the unique role of protective equipment in mitigating risk scenarios. They discussed the 2016 top five causes and costs of injuries – overexertion, falls to same level, falls to lower level, struck-by object, and other exertions or bodily reactions. They noted the combined costs of falls to lower level and struck-by are over $10B, and highlighted the importance of safety equipment in this area.

Luncheon Speaker: Howard Fineman, Global Editorial Director of the Huffington Post, and analyst for NBC and MSNBC provided an analysis on the political landscape and the growing worldwide distrust of internationalism.

(Links to speaker presentations are available to ISEA member companies)