31st Annual Joint Safety and Environmental Professional Development Symposium Scheduled for April 17-21, 2023

By JERROLD SCHARNINGHAUSEN, PH.D., Workplace Safety Division, Directorate of Assessments and Prevention, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, Fort Rucker, AlabamaDecember 6, 2022

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The current limitation of training dollars makes it difficult for many safety and occupational health professionals to earn sufficient continuing education units (CEU) to maintain required certifications. Additionally, over the past couple of years, COVID-19 travel restrictions and the restructuring of Career Program-12 further complicated matters, necessitating alternative means of receiving safety-related training.

One available option is the Naval Safety and Environmental Training Center’s 31st Annual Joint Safety and Environmental Professional Development Symposium (PDS), which will convene April 17-21, 2023. The PDS is a professional development opportunity for Department of Defense uniformed and civilian professionals to share innovative ideas and new trends and information in areas of safety and occupational health, environmental protection and industrial hygiene. The event is hosted in an online venue using the web conferencing tool Adobe Connect and is provided at no cost to presenters or attendees.

This free symposium has been presented online since 2013 and continues to grow both in the number of attendees and topics offered. The 2022 PDS provided 100-plus education sessions to more than 2,900 registered participants from 50 states, one U.S. territory and 35 countries. Participants’ backgrounds ranged from safety, industrial hygiene, environmental, occupational health, public health, radiation health and occupational medicine.

Presenters from government, industry and academic agencies participate in the annual event, and speakers present from locations around the world on topics such as health and safety for disaster response and recovery, general safety, operational safety, occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, environmental protection and other trending topics.

The 2023 PDS will feature claimant meetings, keynote speakers and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. The virtual meetings and sessions will provide attendees the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge and continuing education credits without the burden of travel or conference fees.

The conference planning team is looking for claimant meeting sponsors and breakout session presenters. The meetings and sessions will be hosted virtually, allowing presentations from across the globe. All meetings and sessions will provide users a certificate of attendance documenting continuing education credits earned. Claimant meeting sponsors and breakout session presenters will be assigned a PDS point of contact to assist before and during the event. Training on how to use the technology to present content and engage a virtual audience will be provided.

Breakout presentations from all government, industry and academic agencies will be considered. However, please note that presenters requesting presenter fees will not be accepted and no compensation will be provided. Presenters have the opportunity to reach a large target audience during their virtual session. The average session attendance has been over 100 participants for several years. Presentations may cover anything within the following broad topics:

  • General Safety
  • Operational Safety
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Health and Safety for Disaster Response and Recovery
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Radiation and Laser Safety
  • Environmental Protection

If you are interested in presenting a topic, copy and paste the submissions link into your browser: http://jointpds.adobeconnect.com/pds2023presenters/event/registration.html. Follow the screen prompt to submit your presentation proposal by Jan. 20, 2023. You will receive a confirmation of your submission via email. There are limited speaking slots, so please submit your proposals as soon as possible. The proposals will be reviewed by the PDS planning team and leadership. If you are selected to present, you will be notified by Jan. 20, 2023. Information submitted in your proposal will be provided to registered attendees via the event website. Please ensure the information provided reflects the intent of your presentation.

Claimant meetings provide up to 15 different organizations the opportunity to host a one-day conference on April 17, 2023. This time will allow organizations the opportunity to host a session specific to their organization. Topics can range from trending issues, updates, training, etc. The meeting sponsor will be responsible for the agenda and content presented during the meeting. All content must be unclassified and releasable to the public. If your organization is interested in a claimant meeting, paste the request link below into your browser and complete all fields provided. Once your proposal is submitted, the PDS team will review your proposal and confirm your proposal is approved.

Key Dates

  • Call for Speakers: Nov. 8, 2022 – Jan. 20, 2023
  • Session Approval Notification: Feb. 13, 2023
  • Presenter Training: Feb. 28, 2023, 1300-1400 EST, March 9, 2023, 1000-1100 EST or March 14, 2023, 1400-1500 EST
  • Claimant Host Training: March 23, 2023, 1000-1100 EST or April 5, 2023, 1300-1400 EST
  • Presentation Materials Due: April 7, 2023
  • Session Setup/Practice: March 1 – April 12, 2023 (Must submit presentation materials prior to practice session)

Please contact the PDS committee at NAVSAFENVTRACEN_JOINT_PDS@navy.mil if you have questions regarding this event.