The Safety Champions Conference is an event for labor and management to come together as an active part of a larger conversation about safety. The conference ties directly into the mission of the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust, Inc. (SMOHIT) to build a culture of safety in the sheet metal industry through the sharing of information and ideas.
The 2023 conference content will focus on the following themes.
Staying safe on the job site used to simply mean abiding by OSHA requirements and using common sense around physical hazards. Today, we know safety on the jobsite also means much more. It’s about looking out for one another in every sense of the word. Suicide, substance use disorder and mental illness are just as much a threat to job site safety as any of the dangers highlighted in training OSHA certifies. Healthy sleep habits help you stay alert and reduce the chances of workplace accident, while staying fit and eating a healthy diet can lower your likelihood of developing heart disease and diabetes — both of which pose risks on the job and could keep you from enjoying the retirement you are working toward.
Health and safety are the responsibility of every person on a job site, from pre-apprentices to the CEO. Looking out for employees is the foundation unions were built on, and making sure health and safety initiatives exist is paramount in keeping a safety culture alive and consistently evolving within a company. Taking responsibility for health and safety could mean noticing a co-worker is feeling down and asking them about it or creating a program where employees can freely make safety suggestions. No matter how big or small, everything that keeps employees healthy and safe is vital.
No one would blame a co-worker for being injured in a car accident or diagnosed with a disease. So, if you don’t feel like your head is right, no one should blame you for that either. With a high suicide rate among all construction trades, it’s important to talk about what is bugging you before it feels overwhelming. There is no problem too big or too small if it’s affecting the way you live your life. SMOHIT has resources for you, from the 24-hour Helpline (877-884-6227) and referrals to local professionals to trained peer counselors at your union hall and classes to help you manage your mental health. It’s okay to not be okay, and it’s possible to be okay again.
Attendees from all areas of the sheet metal industry benefit from a collective exploration of solutions to safety challenges. Interactive workshops, insightful keynote speakers and skills development are all highlights of this opportunity in which workers, contractors and owners convene in the name of safety.
During the conference, participants attend popular breakout sessions where participation is highly encouraged. Guest speakers from all facets of the industry inspire, educate and share best practices involving safety and health. The conference is the forum for exciting annual announcements including the winners of the annual Safety Matters Awards and the Safety Design Contest.