Letter to the Editor

ISHM is proud and honored to exhibit at several safety trade shows/expos yearly.

As with most vendors, we arrive a day early and use most of the available time to set up our booth area.

Often we will take a break and walk the expo floor, where pandemonium reigns, as show contractors deliver boxes to the various booths and install carpeting and pick up trash.

Recently we witnessed several forklifts moving about the aisles full of boxes and people. None of the forklifts had a back-up alarm. I asked one of the drivers about the alarm and he told me that they have not worked in years. I would think that the contractors have an obligation to the show directors to observe applicable federal, state and local safety requirements.

During our walk we observed folks setting up booths using power tools without wearing eye protection. Others were standing on folding chairs to reach heights to set up their displays. Some were standing on the top step of ladders.

While there were many more instances of activity where safe work practices were not in use, the examples listed above are what we believed to be the most serious to the safety of personnel.

All of us – vendors and contractors – need to step back and re-think our work procedures at trade shows. Hopefully we can prevent serious incidents from occurring.

Larry Curtis, CSHM-E
CEO, Institute for Safety and Health Management
Yuma, AZ

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