There were 10,290 visits to Victoria's occupational health and safety trade shows, Safety In Action and Melbourne Materials Handling, together with the Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo. Show organiser Marie Kinsella of Australian Exhibitions & Conferences said she was delighted with the attendance figures and that exhibitors reported an unprecedented readiness of visitors to buy.
In all, total visits were down by about 10% on last year. Given the state of the economy, this is a remarkable turnout that, if anything, seems to have worked in the favour of many exhibitors. There were fewer browsers and more visitors intent on finding the right answers to their safety problems.
According to Jennifer Joy, Exhibitor, Wrightway Products, her company's bin lifters and waste bins drew the attention of highly qualified prospects from industries spanning building and construction through to education. The people who came to see Wrightway Products at Safety In Action wanted to solve problems they would identified in their workplaces and they were able to help them do that.
The manufacturing sector dominated attendance figures, representing around one in three visitors, while government visitors accounted for another 13% of visits. The building and construction sector was also strong, represented by almost 13% of visitors, while warehousing and logistics fielded 10%.
Visitors saw three acres of safety solutions to diverse occupational health and safety challenges, including height safety, lifting and loading, logistics, rehabilitation, ergonomics, asbestos management, first aid, electronics, flooring, machine guarding, and even workplace wellness.
Although in its twelfth year, Safety In Action continued to add new features. Among the highlights of the concurrently-held lift, move and load trade show, Melbourne Materials Handling, were the National Forklift Championships. Michael Eden and Anita Maliu, both of Woolworths, won the male and female titles, fending off fierce competition from a field of 19 finalists from Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Other winners at Safety In Action included three lucky visitors who took home door prizes from Prime Health, comprising flu vaccinations, skin screening, wellness screening, first aid training and pre-employment medicals. They were Murray Duckworth of VicRoads, Waima Brown of Target and Des Reilly of QMS.