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2017 Archived Sessions

Pre-Conference Sessions

  • View from the Top, Executive Engagement for Safety Improvement
    Mike Williamsen, Caterpillar Safety Services

    The first and most crucial element of Dr. Dan Petersen’s Six Criteria for Safety Excellence is visible commitment from top management. After all, what leaders make important, employees make possible. This presentation shares proven methods for inspiring executive leadership to drive safety culture excellence through a demonstrated commitment to employee engagement, accountability and recognition for strong performance. This takeaway-rich presentation will empower you to start a culture shift by applying to safety the improvement methods that have driven greater production and quality for decades. Deep expertise in sustainable culture change is coupled with data from real companies whose leaders discovered how back up with action what they feel in their hearts – that safety is an unwavering value.

  • What do I do Next? The Life Cycle of a Workers' Compensation Claim: What to do and When to do it
    Jim Germain – Department of Administration, Risk Management Division
    Kristin Brusegard – Department of Administration, Risk Management Division

    Join us as we present and discuss the life cycle of a workers’ compensation claim and direct your focus to areas where Workers’ Compensation Coordinators can and should be involved, areas that are particularly prone to pitfalls, including a review of what the pitfalls are and how you can work to avoid them. We will help new and seasoned Workers’ Compensation Coordinators anticipate and respond to changing facts, factors, and outside forces so that you can best be involved in managing your agency’s claims.  We’ll offer specific tips and guidance for Workers’ Compensation Coordinators on how they can work in partnership with the Claim Specialist to proactively manage workers’ compensation claims.

  • Questions and Answers about Water and Mold Losses
    Jacklyn Christian, Paul Davis Restoration
    Cian Chase, Paul Davis Restoration

    The purpose of this course is to familiarize attendees about:
    • Analyzing water losses;
    • Life cycle of water losses;
    • Steps necessary for keeping water losses from turning into mold claims;
    • Required documentation;
    • General information concerning mold claims;
    • And what’s required to resolve a mold loss.

    We will discuss the two segments of mitigation - What can be done before the claim to lessen severity, and what can be done after the loss to stop secondary damage and lessen severity. The latest in tools and technology will be covered.

Keynote Sessions


  • Courageous Leadership – Living a Life of Influence
    Dan Meers

    On November 23, 2013, Dan Meers came within inches of losing his life while practicing a bungee jump and zip line stunt at Arrowhead Stadium… home of the Kansas City Chiefs.  What Dan anticipated being the thrill of a lifetime ended up being the spill of a lifetime.  The stunt went terribly wrong and Dan plummeted 75 feet before crashing into the stadium seats.  Miraculously Dan survived.   He spent 9 days in the hospital and got some really big scars.  Dan smiles when he says, “Scars are just Tattoos that come with a Cool Story”.  During this powerful presentation, Dan shares his incredible story and the important lessons that he learned during his long road to recovery about leadership and about life.


  • Dream it, Do it
    Kat Perkins

    Growing up the daughter of a music teacher, Kat Perkins has been singing, dancing, and performing for just about as long as she can remember, and when it comes to ‘DRIVE’ - she is an undisputed expert. Maybe it’s because she grew up in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota - a town so small the population only recently went from “unincorporated” to 281. That meant a lot of things, including that the nearest rock show was always hundreds of miles away. To get anywhere, a girl like Kat – literally and figuratively had to have DRIVE.

    Almost as soon as she stepped off the stage of her high-school graduation, she came 600 miles east to Minneapolis, MN - where her enormous talent and undeniable stage presence carved out a place for her on both the music and theater stages of the Twin Cities. Those who saw her as ‘Columbia’ in the Twin Cities’ Hit production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show are STILL talking about it.

    A different kind of drive took her overseas where she proudly performs - as recently as Christmas - for our troops serving in the Middle East. In fact, it was a road-weary night on the way home from a military show that Kat gave an impromptu performance around a piano at an airport in Amsterdam - a video that went viral, and Hollywood took notice.

    A year later, she had not only been invited to audition for THE VOICE but went all the way to the TOP 5 where her coach, Adam Levine said what many had said for weeks: “Kat Perkins is hands-down one of the best singers we’ve ever had on The Voice.”

    Her first single ‘Fearless’ hit #5 upon release on iTunes with her latest single ‘DRIVE’ charting within 24 hours of its release.

    Join us for Kat’s unique message of remaining determined, fearless, and following your dreams and a live performance!

General Sessions


  • Safety Perceptions of the State Workforce
    David Weightman, PMA Corp

    Studies suggest that there is little correlation between safety program audits and safety performance. Safety guru Dan Peterson would go on to write “a culture survey, properly constructed is a better measure of safety performance and a much better measure of safety results.” As safety cultures become more positive and distinct, injury rates decreased.

    In the final quarter of FY17 the State of Minnesota rolled out a safety perception survey to over 50,000 employees of Minnesota State and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government. Nearly 20,000 employees responded, sharing their perceptions on safety in state government.

    This general session will:

    • Discuss the purpose and goals of a statewide safety perception survey.
    • Provide an overview of the statewide survey data.
    • Describe how to interpret and utilize survey data.
    • Share process change considerations and next steps.


  • Distraction Free Driving: Saving Lives through Awareness and Education 
    Vijay Dixit, Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation

    According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each day in the United States, 9 traffic fatalities and 1,000 injuries occur in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Data shows that electronic devices like cell phones distract drivers the most, any additional non-driving activities by a driver cumulatively increase cognitive impairment.

    Vijay Dixit understands distracted driving, the risks associated with distracted driving, and the real life consequences that can result from distractions caused ordinary activities that many of us chose to do while driving.

    Vijay will share his family’s story and the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation’s mission, to raise awareness of distracted driving, educate the community on safe and distraction-free driving, and encourage drivers to be mindful of the safety of other drivers and passengers on the road.

Concurrent Sessions


  • Focusing on Leading Indicators to Transform your Safety Culture
    Mike Williamsen, Caterpillar Safety Services

    This presentation identifies what needs to happen for an entire organization to make the leap from lip service to active and visible involvement that can achieve lasting sustainable safety results. Safety change and "zero-incident excellence" isn’t a matter of prioritizing. Rather, it requires incorporating safety as a core value and integrating well-defined accountabilities — leading indicators — into the organization’s overall operations from top to bottom. Safety accountabilities become a key metric directly tied to job performance just like those for production, quality and customer service. Using success stories from a variety of industries, this presentation focuses on the leading indicators for which to establish a culture of safety accountability. Get the larger view of why incidents happen in the first place and penetrating insights into the Six Criteria for Safety Excellence.

  • Fleet Safety Standards and Telematics
    Adam Bald, Department of Administration – Risk Management Division
    Holly Gustner, Department of Administration – Fleet & Surplus Services

    This session will provide an overview of Administration’s Fleet Services SAFE Telematics Program. Fleet Services has been working over the few years to implement a vehicle telematics program to assist Fleet with its goal of providing safe and cost effective transportation solutions for use in official government business.

    The SAFE Telematics Program will focus on:

    • Safety
    • Accountability
    • Fleet Optimization
    • Environmental sustainability

    This session will also provide an overview of the current efforts underway to update the statewide fleet safety standards. A taskforce of agency fleet specialists have been meeting to discuss current fleet safety issues and trends in an effort to update the minimum requirements for agency fleet polices.

  • Fraud in Minnesota Workers' Compensation System
    Jonathan J. Ferris, Supervisory Special Agent – Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau

    An introduction to the Fraud Bureau at the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Learn what types of cases are investigated, and how workers’ compensation fraud cases are reported and investigated.

  • Step by Step Communication to Transform Difficult Interaction
    Dr. Jody Janati

    Most people have come to accept that conflict is inevitable. Assertive communication promotes healthy boundaries and can transform conflict during difficult conversations. There are a number of conflict management workshops offered each year, yet rarely does the facilitator tell participants exactly what should be said or done. The purpose of this workshop is to specifically address, "What do I say and do" when dealing with people during difficult situations to avoid destructive patterns. Participants will learn how to control their anger and emotions, be assertive and effectively defuse conflict through a variety of applied approaches. Multiple techniques will be discussed to demonstrate that practical solutions are attainable through a variety of step by step methods.


  • Minnesota OSHA Update
    James Krueger, Director, MNOSHA Compliance

    Join us as James Krueger, MNOSHA’s Director of Compliance, covers:

    • Overview of Minnesota OSHA
    • Current structure and program activities
    • Fatality and injury trends for the last five years
    • Standards cited most frequently in the last year
    • Regulatory initiatives for MNOSHA, including:
      • General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards Crystalline Silica
      • Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
      • Beryllium Exposure
      • Penalty Adjustments
    • MNOSHA enforcement areas, including:
      • Trenching
      • Fall Protection
      • Crystalline Silica
      • Machine Guarding/Lockout/Tagout

  • Product Liability & Subrogation 
    Juan Ramirez, Rimkus Consulting Group

    Product Liability and Subrogation is a 1 credit hour course designed to give adjusters a close-up look at ways to uncover product liability or subrogation possibilities.  The program discusses how and why a product fails, the steps used in the investigation, and the elements required for subrogation.  Examples of cases are used to illustrate each particular point.

  • Basic Investigation & Elements of a Workers' Compensation Claim
    Luke Seifert, WC Program Attorney, Department of Administration – Risk Management Division

    Learn the importance of an early investigation of a claim and the basic elements that determine if a claim is covered.

  • Workplace Violence: Knowledge is Prevention
    Issac Monson, Hilmerson Safety Services

    Workplace violence is a commonly misunderstood topic. Although high-profile mass shootings receive significant media coverage, they are statistically rare events. Understanding low-profile workplace violence events and the associated risk, true cost, and prevention strategies, are the first steps in preventing them from happening within your organization. From there, empowering your staff with accurate knowledge and common sense training is an organization's best approach to preventing and preparing for workplace violence.

  • Agency Safety Initiatives 

    Several safety management initiatives are occurring within agencies intended to influence safety culture and reduce injuries. This session will feature three initiatives:


    Keith Juliar, MnDOT

    MnDOT eSAFE is using the EIOR platform to assist supervisors and managers to fully analyze lost time injuries.  It provides an opportunity to determine root cause, ensure that preventive actions are taken and followed up on, and communicate to management the findings of the analysis and the end results.

    MPCA Health & Safety Management System Implementation

    Ryan Ricci, MN Pollution Control Agency

    The Pollution Control Agency is actively implementing a Health & Safety Management System to usher in a new era of health & safety management. PCA is implementing a tailored system to meet specific agency demands using an assortment of the best and most practicable content from nationally and internationally recognized consensus standards, including OHSAS 18001, ANSI Z10, and draft content from the soon to be published ISO 45001 standard.

    MN DNR Leadership Safety Training

    Rebecca Carpentier, MN Department of Natural Resources

    The Department of Natural Resources has a safety initiative to create a safety culture and reduce incidents of injury.  This initiative was spearheaded by a 3 module training program on safety leadership, designed to assist supervisors and managers on how to be leaders in safety.

  • How to Analyze & Photograph a Vehicle Accident 

    Michael Urban, Rimkus Consulting Group

    How to Analyze & Photograph a Vehicle Accident is a 1 credit hour course designed to assist adjusters in examining and photographing vehicles that have been involved in accidents in order to obtain and preserve the evidence for an accident reconstruction. In addition to the vehicles, the course discusses information that should be gathered and recorded at the accident site. With this information, a proper investigation will provide the information needed to resolve conflicting claims and explain why the accident occurred.

  • Exploring the Ekdahl & Hartwig Decisions
    Gary Westman, WC Program Manager, Department of Administration – Risk Management Division

    Two Supreme Court cases in 2013, Ekdahl v. ISD #213 and Hartwig v. Traverse Care Center and resulting legislation passed during the 2017 session have substantially changed how offsets of governmental pension benefits in permanent total disability claims are made.  Learn how these cases and the legislation impact state government.

  • Verbal De-Escalation Strategies: Using Your Words to Bring Calm
    Issac Monson, Hilmerson Safety Services

    Workplace Violence rarely happens spontaneously or without warning. Many of the early warning signs of potential violence are verbal and non-verbal communication, and how managers, colleagues, and peers respond when confronted with verbal aggression and hostility can be the difference between a good or bad outcome. In this presentation we will discuss basic strategies individuals and organizations can deploy to help de-escalate hostile situations in the workplace.

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