Engaging in Workshops Can Benefit You and Your Company

Brenda Seggerman, an EHS Engineer with Hydrite, takes notes during a breakout session at the 2015 National Chemical Safety Symposium.

Get the most out of workshops at the 2017 National Chemical Safety Symposium – Hosted by ChemStewards 

Learning and engaging in workshops at conferences are a chance for members of a group with common interests to meet in the context of a focused and interactive discussion on advancing many subjects, including process safety management topics. And I encourage you to take part in this opportunity to move a topic forward in your organization or build knowledge for your team during the National Chemical Safety Symposium – Hosted by ChemStewards®, set for October 11-12 in Houston, TX.

Workshops and breakout sessions can be a comfortable, open environment for practicing professionals. I like to spend time reflecting on my professional goals before attending a workshop. Conferences can be highly effective at assisting a wide range of professional objectives. Many look at titles of topics and turn the other way. Looking at new topics is a way to expand and build upon new opportunities.

Engage and participate by raising your hand, offer a comment, tell a story, frame a challenge, suggest a solution, give an example. All reflect as great ways to advance the conversation on a topic. Before attending previous conferences, I reviewed past ChemStewards audits to obtain ideas, and I reviewed best practices that had been identified. Being an active, appropriate member rather than a passive participate allows the group to engage. Much of the learnings that take place in workshops or breakout groups happen through peer-to-peer sharing and interaction.

Take notes and develop ideas for applying key learnings. During each session develop key takeaways and consider how you might use the information. You could pass them on to a colleague, share with a different team, etc. I have found setting a goal to take away at least one idea, tool, concept or a topic for enhancing your process safety program that can be applied to your daily practice provides significant value. Also, I like to keep my handouts and notes to reference when I return to the office. Maintaining the documents and following up until I have completed the action plans serves as a nice reminder.

If you are attending the Symposium with colleagues or friends, split up when the groups break into different sessions. This allows the group to gain the most information and share notes. 

Taking advantage of your workshop experiences at SOCMA's National Chemical Safety Symposium will provide tremendous value to you personally and your organization. Challenging yourself to develop or act on new ideas continues to allow for engaging fun breakout or workshop sessions.

Learn more about the Symposium and registration for the Early Bird Discount here

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