Health, Safety, & Utility Conference & Trade Show

December 4 - 7, 2017 at the Sheraton Hotel, Red Deer 

This four day conference, worth up to 1.2 CEU points, begins on Monday, December 4, with the RUSA sponsored hospitality room - time to catch up with your peers from across the province!

On Tuesday, December 5, register in one of four excellent pre-conference sessions, a great time to further your knowledge and earn Continuing Education Units.

On Wednesday, December 6, join us for breakfast, followed by the welcome address and keynote sessions. At 11:30 am, the trade show opens with a buffet lunch for delegates and presenters. The trade show is open until 6:30 pm and runs concurrent with the afternoon sessions.

Our last day closes out with morning sessions, luncheon, and a closing keynote speaker from 1-3 pm on Thursday, December 7.

  • Delegate Registration 
    • Return completed delegate registration forms to Bryan Bespalko (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Exhibitor/Sponsor Registration
    • Return completed exhibitor/sponsor registration forms to Keith Bobey (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Register before November 1, 2017 for early bird pricing!


Conference Hotel:
Conference Coordinator:
Trade Show Coordinator:

Sheraton Red Deer Hotel
3310-50 Ave
Red Deer, T4N 3X9
(800) 662-7197


Bryan Bespalko
PH: 780-210-9557
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Keith Bobey
PH: 780-963-5087
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Pre-Conference Sessions

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Spaces are limited, please register in advance to attend. Sessions A, B, and D have been approved for 0.6 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs).

  • A. Everything DISC Supervisor/Team Lead Skills (0.6 CEUs)
    • Presented by Brian Ward, Affinity Consulting and Training Inc. Complete an online assessment report prior to this working session that is designed to help the Supervisor/Team Lead/Lead Hand in directing workers, delegating work, creating a motivating environment, developing workers, and working with senior management. Your email address is required when registering for this session.
  • B. WCB Employer Information and Return to Work (0.6 CEUs)
    • 2 half-day sessions rolled into 1. The first session is useful for municipal workers responsible for the WCB program in their organization. Learn to manage your WCB account from experienced professionals. The second session helps the organization with return to work/modified work plans and is a requirement for employers participating in the PIR/COR program. Both sessions will be presented by Teri Spohr, who has over 25 years of experience with WCB Alberta.
  • C. safeTALK (Suicide Alertness for Everyone) 
    • safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST.
    • safeTALK participants will learn to:
      • Notice and respond to situations where suicide thoughts might be present.
      • Recognize that invitations for help are often overlooked.
      • Move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide.
      • Apply the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe.
      • Know community resources and how to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to them for further help.
    • If there is significant interest, a morning session may be added to the schedule.
  • D. Working with Pressure Relief Valves (0.6 CEUs)
    • The pressure relief valve is an integral part of many systems, allowing for the set release of excessive pressure, avoiding damage to process, equipment, and workers. Register for this session to learn more about this vital “path of least resistance”. Presented by Keith Kierulf, Summit Controls.


Pre-Conference Meetings

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Conference registration is not required to attend meetings.

  • Alberta Cities Safety Council (10am - 3pm)
    • Presented by Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association
  • Rural Utilities Safety Association Annual General Meeting and Luncheon (12pm - 1pm)
    • RUSA members only.



Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Day 1 Sessions

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On Wednesday, December 6, join us for breakfast, followed by the welcome address and keynote sessions. At 11:30 am, the trade show opens with a buffet lunch for delegates and presenters. The trade show is open until 6:30 pm and runs concurrent with the afternoon sessions.


Welcome Address

7:30 am - 8:30 am

Registration Desk open, breakfast available for delegates. Opening remarks from the Master of Ceremonies, Ian Hooper (Government of Alberta, Partnerships in Injury Reduction), and the President of the Rural Utilities Safety Association (RUSA).


Welcome Speaker

8:30 am - 10:00 am

Listen as David Ainsworth from the City of Edmonton presents on active intruders. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion following the presentation.


Occupational Health and Safety Compliance Update

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

A popular session that is requested each year by our delegates. Refresh your knowledge of OHS legislation as our favourite OHS officers highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly! There will be an opportunity for questions following the presentation.


Driving Safety and Attitudes - You Can Make the Difference

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (30 minute breaks)

Kevin Brandvold (Public Safety Consulting Canada) will discuss “Booze, Belts, Speed and Intersections”. His presentation covers impaired driving, distracted driving, intersection safety, importance of occupant restraint systems, speed, general traffic safety, collision dynamics and driving attitude. After the session, join Kevin in the the Trade Show for demonstrations with the Vehicle Roll-Over Simulator and Fatal Vision Alcohol Goggles. Representatives from the RCMP will also present on the YIELD (Youth Initiatives & Education in Lifestyles & Driving) program.


Hazard Writing Workshop

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (30 minute breaks)

Parkland County’s Jewel Day-Hampton returns with the ins and outs of writing a hazard program for your municipality. Review tools, standards, and enjoy ample time for asking questions to better understand the concept of hazard writing. 


Source Protection Discussion

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (30 minute breaks)

How to protect municipal water sources and the provision of operator updates. Further session details are under development.


Day 2 Sessions

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Our last day closes out with morning sessions, luncheon, and a closing keynote speaker from 1-3 pm on Thursday, December 7.


Remote Monitoring and System Management

8:00 am - 12:00 pm (30 minute breaks)

This session will look at technical advances in the application and use of SCADA and other technologies for the daily monitoring and data collection for water and waste water operations in remote and compliance sensitive sectors of municipal operations. Further session details TBA.


Young Workers and the Multi-Generational Workplace

8:00 am - 12:00 pm (30 minute breaks)

Kristen Cummings (Cantos Performance Management) will discuss employing young workers, with an emphasis on communication, safety statistics, and training. The session will also review the effects of a multi-generational workplace, and how to deal with different expectations and styles of communication in order to bridge the gap and stay safe.


Drugs 101: Drug Awareness

8:00 am - 12:00 pm (30 minute breaks)

Christine Laval (Alberta Health Services) presents Drugs 101, discussing the availability and types of drugs in Alberta. The session will also explore the signs and symptoms of being under the influence of various pharmaceuticals. 


Delegate Luncheon & Closing Ceremonies

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join vendors, delegates, and the RUSA conference team as we close out the 44th annual Health, Safety, and Utility Conference and Trade Show. RUSA is excited to feature Jody Laird for our keynote presentation of “Put Yourself in our Boots” (1:15 pm-2:45 pm).


Keynote Session

Put Yourself in our Boots, Presented by Jody Laird from 1:15 pm - 2:45 pm

Take the initiative to make the workplace safer for first responders and create a safer workplace for everyone.


While responding to a warehouse break and enter, Calgary police officer John Petropoulos died after falling nine feet through a false ceiling, a tragic but preventable accident. When first responders are injured or die due to this type of workplace hazard, its often dismissed as risks that are all “part of the job.” But each of us has a duty to protect those who protect you. 

This presentation provides a different perspective on workplace safety – that of a first responder who may have to attend a premises during an emergency, such as a crime in progress, a fire, or a medical situation. 

Constable John Petropoulos’ death is a powerful example of why workplace safety measures need to be in place for everyone who may attend a work site – and how to help make this happen. Even though you may know your workplace and the hazards that are there, a firefighter, paramedic or police officer is in unfamiliar surroundings and not necessarily aware of those liabilities. Stressful circumstances and poor lighting can impede the first responder’s ability to see or know the hazards.

In this presentation, Jody will provide tangible examples of how risks in the physical work environment can be significantly minimized. A ten-minute safety video will also be featured to help you learn how to create a culture of safer workplaces.

Visit for more information about the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund.