CANTON  The Stark County Safety Council is made up of local companies dedicated to the safety of their employees. Members meet regularly to examine and resolve potential and existing safety problems.

The Stark County council, which has the largest membership of the more than 80 other saftey councils in Ohio, holds a monthly luncheon and brings in a variety of speakers to talk about safety issues or to do training on safety topics. Most recently, members listened intently to presenter Ken Berryhill during the July luncheon. Berryhill is the director of safety at Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resorts.

"We are one of the largest if not the largest safety council in the state of Ohio," said Stark County Safety Council Program Manager Connie Cerny, adding that the group has been meeting for more than 40 years and has 304 members. "The Council is an Ohio Bureau of Workman’s Compensation program and The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce helps administrate the program."

Vice Chairman Randy Martin said the purpose of holding the monthly luncheons for members serves multiple purposes.

"Members can earn a premium rebate for attending 10 out of 12 of the lunches per year and by having the company’s CEO attend at least one meeting," Martin said. "The meetings also allow us to educate employers and individuals on ways to improve safety in their company and to protect its workers. Each of the lunch meetings either has a training component or helps to build awareness of safety practices like the one held in July. I’ve been in safety for over 20 years and the Stark County Safety Council is one of the most active councils I’ve been involved with."

Some of the topics covered in the past includes, near miss reporting, ALICE training, OSHA presentations, concealed weapons, safety in the workplace and social media in the workplace. Members heard about the different factors that Berryhill has to monitor for safety at Cedar Point.

Just a few interesting facts included:

- Cedar Point has 400 full-time associates and 7,700 seasonal workers with 1,500 international associates with 4.5 million man hours clocked throughout the year.

- A short list of job titles includes ride mechanics, auto mechanics, electricians, controls technicians, carpenters, plumbers, railroad engineers, landscapers, painters, printers, welders and others.

- The park has 70 total rides, 16 roller coasters, two waterparks, 12 associate housing facilities, four hotels and a lighthouse point.

- There are also 76 retail stores, 26 main food restaurants, eight live entertainment venues and two marinas.

"It’s like a small city inside the park and we have safety procedures for everything in the park, we have 24/7 fire and police departments, 54 sprinkler systems and 2,300 fire extinguishers to monitor" Berryhill said. "Our associates start on safety training the day they start and continue to learn about safety through their entire employment."

Berryhill asked the group who else had over 2,000 fire extinguishers in their company and nobody raised their hand. He also asked at the end of his presentation who had never been to Cedar Point and two people raised their hands. Berryhill told them to see him before they left and he would make sure they had a chance to experience the park.

The council’s main objective is to inform participants about new safety techniques, products and services. In conjunction with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Division of Safety and Hygiene, the council directs safety campaigns throughout the county to promote a greater interest in the prevention of occupational accidents and disease.

For more details or to become a member, visit the website or call 330-456-7253.