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Annual safety conference scheduled for March 23

The fifth annual Northern Minnesota Safety Conference will be 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 23 at Evangelical Covenant Church in Bemidji.

The conference is designed for business owners, managers or employees, or anyone looking to enhance knowledge of current safety issues. Participants will be shown how to reinforce their safety programs and built professional skills.

Gary Anderson of Minnesota OSHA will give in the morning an overview on OSHA and Steve Vietor of Riverland Community College in Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna, Minn., will speak on wind power following lunch.

Breakout sessions from 10-11 a.m. will be on "Distracted Driving," with Minnesota State Trooper Scott Mattfield; Combustible Dust," Steve Pecharich, Minnesota OSHA; "Bloodborne Pathogens," Jan Fedora, Minnesota Safety Council; and "What is an OSHA Grant?", Vicki Sanders, Minnesota OSHA.

Breakout sessions from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. will be on "Lockout/Tagout Objectives," Fedora; Emergency Preparedness," Carole Sele, North County Regional Hospital; "Industrial Fire Brigade and Incident Command, Part 1," Dan Rehkamp; and "Workplace Violence," Sanders.

Breakout sessions from 1:30-2:45 p.m. will be on "Fall Protection - Are You Prepared?", Gary Underwood, Capital Safety - USA; "Work Comp and Negligence," Mark Rodgers, Rodgers Law Office; "Industrial Fire Brigade and Incident Command, Part 2," Rehkamp; and "Office Ergonomics," and Dr. Lyle Erickson, Sport and Spinal Rehab.

Vendors will be on hand to offer products and services.

The conference is presented by the Center for Research and Innovation, the Minnesota Safety Council and the Northern Minnesota Safety Council, with participation from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Workplace Safety Consultation; Paul Bunyan Telephone, Otter Tail Power Company, Beltrami Electric and North Country Health Services.

The registration deadline is Friday, March 12. The $75 cost covers refreshments, lunch and materials. Continuing Education Units will be earned. Prizes will be awarded.

For details, call the CRI at 755-4900 or 888-738-3224, e-mail or visit