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Safety Expert Takes Center Stage

A strong voice in the safety industry, Fabricating & Metalworking columnist Phil La Duke speaks at the National Safety Congress and is selected as the featured blogger for EHSQ Elite.

Posted: November 8, 2011


A strong voice in the safety industry, this Fabricating & Metalworking columnist speaks at the National Safety Congress and is selected as the featured blogger for EHSQ Elite.

Safety expert Phil La Duke, author of The Safe Side monthly column in Fabricating & Metalworking Magazine, recently spoke at the National Safety Council (NSC) on October 31 in Philadelphia, PA. His speech, “Understanding Why People Don’t Report Near Misses,” is loosely based on another of his articles, “Four Reasons, Eight Lessons: Reluctance to Report May Not Be Caused By Fear.”

La Duke is an internationally recognized writer, blogger, and speaker whose work is seen across the globe by over 200,000 readers each month. He is also a highly sought and often controversial speaker on culture change, training, and performance improvement topics, particularly worker health and safety and lean manufacturing. The popular speaker has presented at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Lean and Green Symposium of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the Washington Interactive Conference of the Society for Applied Learning Technologies. He has provided training in seven countries and is the co-founder of Rockford Greene International Corporation (Monroe, MI).

The Halloween engagement at the NSC was the fourth time that La Duke has spoken at this annual conference. Media coverage of his previous speeches has been extensive, resulting in international excitement that cumulated in La Duke presenting at the March 2010 International Symposium on Mining Safety in Lima, Peru.

“I love speaking at these National Safety Council annual conferences,” said La Duke. “I am honored to be selected to share my insights because competition for these engagements is quite fierce. I speak at a wide variety of events, and NSC consistently puts on a terrific show where some of the best minds in safety – not just worker protection, but the entire spectrum of the discipline – from around the globe gather to discuss leading edge practices. To be included in this group is truly a great honor.”

The National Safety Council is an organization that “saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education, and advocacy.” The NSC hopes to continue to decrease worker injuries, stating “by 2014, the council will save an additional 10,000 lives and prevent one million injuries.”

In related news, the founders of EHSQ Elite recently selected La Duke as a featured blogger for the 20,000+ member group on LinkedIn. EHSQ Elite features a rotating roster of bloggers with each of the four posting once a quarter. La Duke, whose work is also regularly featured in Facility Safety Management and ISHN, is the author of two respected and popular blogs. His personal blog is devoted to worker safety issues and the Rockford Greene International blog focuses on business optimization issues across the SQDCM of industry.

“I toyed with consolidating the two blogs into one, but so many people come to the two sites from different sources and perspectives that I decided that I would be better served continuing them both,” explained La Duke. “It’s a lot of work, writing for five outlets – two weekly and three that are essentially monthly commitments. But many of the ideas I introduce in one of the blogs I am able to rework and shape into new articles for print. I’d like to think that the readers of my blog get a more intimate and visceral read than they do from reading my articles. By the time they see print, most of my blog posts have morphed into richer, tighter, and more textured pieces.”

Group co-founder Pieter-Jan Blots, the process safety manager at Kemira (a Finland-based global chemicals company) and a technical committee member at The Amsterdam Process Safety Seminar Series, explains the decision to feature La Duke’s blogs. “We started this EHSQ Elite blog about half a year ago and I selected Phil as one of the blog writers because of his unique view on safety,” recalled Blots. “He makes people rethink safety issues and ensures that we don’t become self-satisfied safety professionals, knowing everything better. He makes us aware of our weaknesses.”

Blots defends La Duke’s provocative and sometimes controversial style. “These insights may hurt some weak souls, yet they create interesting discussions,” notes Blots. “These interesting discussions are exactly one of the goals of this group.” La Duke is equally excited at being featured. “I couldn’t be more pleased with having my blogs promoted in this way,” he said. “It’s truly humbling to be one of only four bloggers for the group. Also, because many of my views are controversial, I find that there is a much greater receptiveness to my views outside the U.S.”

Founded in May 30, 2008 as Safety & Loss Prevention Professionals, ESHQ Elite has rapidly grown and is one of the most popular networking groups devoted to Safety & Loss Prevention (reliability, maintainability, availability), Regulatory (laws, regulations, directives), Health, Industrial Hygiene, Environment, Quality (quality management), Sustainability and Security Professionals working in or for the Process (chemical, oil, paper & pulp, food, metals & mining, plastics) and other industries (retail, insurance, car, airline), Government Agencies and Research Institutes, Universities, the Transport sector, Security, Health care, Retail, Elderly care, and other care sectors.

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