Conference History

History of the Georgia Safety, Health, and Environmental Conference


In early 1994, Georgia Labor Commissioner David Poythress asked Earl Everett, the State Director of Safety Engineering, to develop and arrange an event where he could meet with the people who were dedicated to keeping Georgia’s employees safe in the workplace.

With the help of volunteers representing both private and public sector employers and safety personnel within the State University System, the first Conference was organized and held. 

That first Conference was called the “Governor’s Safety Conference” and consisted of a one day event held at a hotel near Georgia Department of Labor office.  The initial Conference set the stage for future, more inclusive and detailed conferences by focusing on cost effective and convenient training for representatives of Georgia employers.  It provided networking and the exchange of ideas between Georgia’s largest and best known employers as well as smaller, individually owned businesses with only a very few employees. 

Over a 20 year period under the leadership of five Commissioners of Labor and beginning in 2012, the Commissioner of Insurance, the Georgia Safety, Health, and Environmental Conference became recognized as a premier venue presenting a wide range of topics in safety, health, environmental, industrial hygiene, transportation, human resources, workers’ compensation, and risk management. 

The original one day Conference has grown into a four day event, with over 50 sessions, attracting attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors from across the U.S. It has remained focused on being able to provide an economical and professional resource for all sizes and types of organizations in the region. 

The growth and success of the Conference is due mainly to the involvement and support of the dedicated members of its volunteer advisory board drawn from both public and private sectors, many of whom have been actively involved since the Conference’s inception. 

The Conference has evolved into a non-profit organization to be administered by an advisory board drawn from a coalition of volunteers and professionals from professional disciplines who will lead the Conference into the future.