Safety in Seattle

Submitted by: Jimmy Burgin, Senior VP and Director of Loss Control for AEU

The AEU Safety Committee held its twelfth meeting October 6 – 7, 2010 in Seattle and was chaired by Mr. Steve Morris, AEU Senior Loss Control Manager.  The meeting was the most well attended of any AEU Safety Committee, which is an indication of how valuable the committee is to ALMA members.   

AEU President & CEO Mike Lapeyrouse opened the meeting with a discussion of why companies must have good loss control programs and how loss control contributes to AEU’s success.   Mr. Matt Mayon, Safety Manager with Conrad Industries, gave the committee some insight into the Conrad Safety Steering Committee program and the successes the company has made.  Mr. Mayon urged ALMA members to implement this effective tool to build accountability into the safety process.   AEU Senior Vice President Larry Kangas discussed how coaching and counseling skills should be used to build safety culture at an organization.  

Next, the committee participated in an open panel on USL&H claims management.  Sitting on the panel were AERS Branch Manager, Will Scheffler and Senior Vice Presidents, Jack Martone and Donna Long.  The panel covered “Permanent Partial Disability and the Employer’s Burden to Show Suitable Alternative Employment”.  

Following a lunch provided by AEU, the committee was informed about recent issues in maritime crane safety.   Mr. Mike Parnell, a recognized industry expert in cranes and President of Industrial Training International, gave this interesting presentation.  He opined that OSHA’s new crane and derricks standard in the construction industry will not be carried over to maritime cranes.   He also discussed the proximate cause of several major crane related failures.  AEU’s Carl Halgren informed the group of OSHA’s new penalty structure, which means that if OSHA finds safety violations, employer penalties will be higher than previous amounts.   The Shipyard and Marine Cargo Handling Sub-committees met the remainder of the afternoon.  Both had productive break-out sessions.


  • Shipyard Tool Box Safety Meetings
  • Shipyard Small Business Plan
  • Safe Ship Fitting Practices
  • OSHA Inspections in Shipyards
  • Bridging Documents between Shipyard Labor Providers and the Primary Shipyard Contractor


  • Gangway Talks for Marine Cargo Handling
  • Review of OSHA’s RoRo Safety Guidance Document
  • OSHA Inspections in Marine Cargo Handling
  • Safety Committee Structure in Marine Cargo Handling
  • Marine Cargo Handling Small Business Plan

The second day of the meeting began with a presentation from T.C. Kurtz of Check-6 Safety Systems, who is also an ALMA member.   Mr. Kurtz outlined how his company is bringing critical behavior issues into the oil and gas industry.   Chairman Morris provided the committee with a copy of AEU’s Strain Injury Prevention program and asked the committee to write a guidance document on strain injury prevention. 

For the final meeting presentation, ALMA member Hitrak Staffing, Inc.’s Dr. Paul Friedman discussed best methods to conduct employee placement screening.  To conclude the meeting, Chairman Morris thanked everyone for participating and reminded the committee to submit ideas for the next AEU Safety Committee.  We look forward to the next meeting, which will be held April 6 – 7, 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina.

One thought on “Safety in Seattle

  1. Chip Newhart

    It was a great meeting. Every speaker was excellent and had value. The attendees shared a lot of their knowledge and experience, which was very helpful.

    My only question is how did AEU arrange for the great weather?

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