Pittsburgh, Pa., October 22, 2002 — The eighth annual National Environmental, Health and Safety (NEH&S) Conference for the Graphic Communications Industries will kick off March 23, 2003, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Typically drawing 200 to 300 people, the NEHS conference covers environmental, health, and safety issues for the entire printing industry. The seminar is a collaborative effort of five partnering organizations: the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA), the Screen Printing and Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA), Gravure Association of America (GAA), and the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM).
"Many of these seminars overlap among the different print processes," said Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D., director of membership and environmental services for FTA and this year’s conference chair. "A flexo printer produces many of the same hazardous wastes as a screen printer. So if we have a topic covering handling and disposal of hazardous waste, it doesn’t matter what type of printer you are."
Composed of two general sessions and a total of 16 breakout sessions, discussions at the 2003 NEHS Conference will cover a variety of topics in a range of detail. Subject matter, according to Monteleone, will include ergonomics, toxic release inventory, test methods, injury and illness reporting, effective health and safety programs, permanent total enclosures, air sampling, calculating your emissions, and more.
Monteleone said the NEHS Conference is not like many conferences. "It’s a laid-back, friendly kind of event. You get this different comfort level when you’re interacting; people are more willing to discuss their problems because everyone has the same issues. It’s not that you’re there to produce a better product than your competitor. Rather, you’re trying to overcome the same environmental issues as your fellow printer is. Direct competition is not an issue. Everyone is there to do the right thing, and people are more willing to share information on how they went about doing it -- how they developed a safety program or how they went about dealing with a particular environmental regulation."
For the first general session, the partners hope to recruit John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). This summer, FTA, SGIA, GATF, and others signed an alliance with OSHA to promote safe work habits throughout the industry. The other will cover new source review, which Monteleone said is "essentially what happens when you’re opening up a new facility or expanding an existing one."
The conference moderator will be Vint M. Johnson, safety director at Thomson Legal & Regulatory. Guest FTA member speakers will include Productions Supervisor Casey Van Duynhoven and Environmental Engineer Jennifer Chasse-Fernald from Georgia-Pacific Corp., Director of Sales Christopher Anguil of Anguil Environmental Systems Inc. and David See, environment and safety coordinator at Prime Environmental Inc.
According to Monteleone, the conference will target two types of environmental administrators: the novices and the experts. "We’re trying to keep it so that we have some sessions geared toward the newbies, and others geared toward the more experienced environmental, health and safety professionals," she said. "We have people coming who are wearing the human resources hat and the accounting hat. Then they’re sent here with the environmental hat and told, ‘Learn everything, come back and tell us what to do.’ They come to the conference with very little EHS background. That’s why we have some sessions geared toward those who are novices to the field and need basic information, while others are for those who can’t wait to do emissions calculations; that’s what they want."
Registrations are being accepted by GATF. Conference costs are $695 ($495 for member of GATF and the Printing Industry of America). Special discounts apply for government employees, educators, students, and small businesses. Group rates also are available. Hotel room rates have been set at $121. For more information, visit the official conference web site at www.nehsconference.org or contact Gwen Martin, GATF conference coordinator, by phoning 800/910-GATF extension 116, or by e-mailing [email protected]