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My Council: OSHA

     Matt Raef, CSP, Environmental Health & Safety Head of Northern Indiana Sites for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, co-chairs the Chamber’s OSHA Council.
 
      The OSHA Council is an organization of member companies with an interest in safety and health awareness in the workplace. Representatives meet for breakfast monthly to update themselves on regulatory changes and hear from fellow safety professionals from other companies. Networking opportunities developed in this format allow for safety directors, human resources personnel, plant managers and members of plant safety committees to better understand OSHA requirements. 
 
     “We manufacture healthcare testing supplies and conduct research and development in the healthcare field,” Raef says of his employer. “My role is to help maintain compliance and drive change as it pertains to Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS).”
 
     One way of doing that is by being part of the Elkhart Chamber’s OSHA Council.
 
     “I first learned about the Council through a fellow colleague that is also in the EHS field,” he says. “I get to be involved with the community by facilitating meetings that have very knowledgeable guest speakers on a wide array of safety related topics, empowering workers from local business with knowledge to work safer each day.”
 
     “It is an avenue to learn about safety, benchmark ideas from other local businesses and network with people in the community,” he says.
 
     Raef shares chair responsibilities with Dave Knight, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager at Anco Products, Inc.
 
     Anco Products Inc. manufactures industrial grade insulation solutions for local and international customers. In addition, Anco manufactures air connectors for local customers in the RV industry.
 
     “The networking and training opportunities provided by the Chamber of Commerce are worth their weight in gold,” says Knight. “Membership in the Council has helped me transition into Elkhart’s professional community. In particular, my activity in the OSHA Council has helped enhance my own skills as an EHS Manager.”
 
     Knight says the council has a vast network of professionals willing to help local business. “Training opportunities, networking events, consultation services, and general advice are available via the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce,” he says.



The OSHA Council’s MISSION is to promote safety and health in the workplace with a professional forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience.
 
ACTIVITIES include:
•    Keep members informed of actual and proposed changes in OSHA regulations and legislation at the national and state levels
•    Conduct monthly breakfast meetings with presentations on subjects relative to occupational safety and health
•    Inform Chamber membership of changes in new and proposed OSHA regulations
•    Provide training on basic OSHA regulations and programs through 10- and 20-hour voluntary compliance seminars
•    Coordinate with the Environmental Council to sponsor an annual conference
•    Coordinate with NCI (North Central Business Assistance Center) to provide health and safety assistance to local businesses
 
For more information about the OSHA Council, visit www.Elkhart.org or email Council liaison Jim Walsh at 
jwalsh@elkhart.org. 



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