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June 18, 2018

Americas: Learning from a Trade Show Tragedy

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Photo by Martin Barraud/OJO Images/Getty Images

Earlier this week, a woman trying out a swing chair during the annual commercial design industry NeoCon convention and trade show in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart fell and sustained a fatal head injury. Though her death was ruled to be accidental after an autopsy, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is beginning an investigation, and the president of the design firm where 57-year-old Jacqueline E. Albertine worked is expressing concern that the show didn’t have medical personnel on hand that could have treated her injuries sooner, according to this article in the Chicago Tribune.

While the results of the OSHA investigation won’t be known for months, the tragedy emphasizes the importance of being prepared for anything that could happen at your events—even accidents that occur during normal, everyday activities at your meeting that don’t appear to bear any unusual risk that would require a waiver or release.

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