2016 IAAP Convention and Safety Conference Highlights
SPRINGFIELD, IL Where were you the first week in March? If you were not in Springfield, Illinois, for the IAAP's 48th Annual Convention combined with Aggregate Miner Safety Conference then you missed seeing your friends and business associates working in the aggregates industry and learning about the goods and services offered by 73 associate member companies. Three days of educational workshops and social events made the whole week worthwhile.
During the Aggregate Miner Safety Conference, John Head (Q4 Impact Group) explained the role of engineer in accident investigation; spill containment and absorption was addressed by Scott Lucero (American Melt Blown & Filtration); MSHA's priority issues, top 10 citations and safety concerns were highlighted by Scott Johnson (MSHA North Central District Assistant Manager); Mike McCoy (GZA GeoEnvironmental) helped you understand noise dosimetry and how GIS/GPS can be used in evaluating employee noise exposures; Chris Jerger (Training Solutions, Inc.) identified factors leading to better human performance; Dave Kohaus (Hanson Material Service) told us about his company's "Best Practices" program which won the 2015 IAAP Innovative Safety & Health Leadership award. The safety conference wrapped up with Attorney Mark Savit (Jackson Lewis) explaining how to conduct yourself during a MSHA inspection and investigation.
The IAAP convention included outstanding educational seminars such as lessons learned from actual cases Attorney Matthew Korn (Fisher & Phillips) brought from clients contesting MSHA citations; unique aggregate policy explained by Sheila Beshears (Illinois Department of Transportation Bureau of Material and Physical Research); Mark Krause (McClanahan) presented Crushing 101 saying let's not make this too complicated; Mark Blanchflower (MAB Equipment) compared dewatering screen systems to traditional sand screws; Matt Korn (Fisher & Phillips) looked at MSHA's top 10 enforcement issues from the operator and contractor perspective; the basic concepts of screening aggregate was addressed by Joe Schlabach (Deister Machine); Josh Quinn (Bluff City Materials) moderated an IEPA roundtable on air and water issues along with Darren Gove (IEPA Bureau of Water) and Ron Robeen (IEPA Bureau of Air); we learned a lot more about conveying from Bill Humphry (Superior Industries); and an update on current IDOT Specifications with Sheila Beshears (IDOT); Don Weinhold (Caterpillar) explained the five pillars of fuel efficiency; interesting applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were noted by Richard P. Celender &Bryan Hazelwood (Civil and Environmental Consultants); and Don Mikulic (Illinois State Geological Survey) helped you understand the importance of geology in the aggregate industry. All of these topics were presented before we had the pleasure of hearing a speech by Governor Bruce Rauner who outlined the challenges faced by the State of Illinois and his ideas to fix them.
Governor Bruce Rauner told a crowd of more than 400 IAAP members and guests during IAAP's annual convention March 3rd that mining companies are the barometer of Illinois' economy and that successful companies run efficiently. Governor Rauner wants to help Illinois be successful by ensuring its government runs efficiently as well. The Governor indicated that, along with education, rebuilding the state's infrastructure is one of his administration's top two priorities. Prior to Governor Rauner's speech, IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn addressed the convention and spoke about the new federal highway program saying it was good but not good enough to ensure the work that needs to be done gets done. With the looming revenue shortfall for Illinois' road program, he noted the need for a sustainable revenue source to ensure the general health of Illinois' infrastructure. Blankenhorn also discussed plans to ensure IDOT remains efficient and fills staffing gaps that will help make the agency better.