Since first originating in 1944, the Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference (GOSH) has been a longtime fixture within the Oregon occupational health and safety community. For as long as I can remember during my career, March of an odd-numbered year meant it was time to prepare for and attend GOSH: whether as an attendee, instructor, exhibitor or planner. Having previously served as co-chair of the program’s committee and now as part of the Executive Planning Committee, what is most amazing to me about this conference is the terrific collaboration of people, organizations, time and sponsorships to create what has proven to be one of the best safety and health conferences available. There is no doubt in my mind, without the strong conference team at Oregon OSHA and the partnership with the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals, this feat would be nearly impossible to pull off.
And so, mark your calendar to attend the next Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference March 6-9, 2023. Followers of this event will remember that the last GOSH happened in March of 2019; what feels like ages ago. Although many of us had been involved in planning the program for GOSH 2021 and were hopeful for its occurrence, the pandemic made the planning team veer from the course and the event was cancelled. Although some organizations have changed what once was a live conference into a virtual experience, those with GOSH experience knew that this conference truly needs to be in person. As a regular biannual feature at the Oregon Convention Center that requires a large amount of exhibit and classroom space, GOSH needed to stay in an odd year.
At this time, the Executive Committee (with sub-committees addressing the technical program, the exhibit hall, awards, sponsors and more) has already begun meeting. Volunteers to any of these subcommittees are always welcome. The technical program committee picked up where they left off, following cancellation of GOSH 2021 and so those of you who had confirmed speaking at that event can expect a renewed request soon if you haven’t yet received it. And organizations like ours, here at OccHealthSci, look forward to once again exhibiting in the fashion that allows us to see our partners and stakeholders in person. And in case you were wondering, yes – the forklift rodeo and GOSH Student/Young Professional are both also in the planning stages. For more information, follow the Oregon GOSH website.