Chemical Division Classes

The Chemical Division webpage is sponsored by:



Tuesday, April 12, 2022
10:15 am
Root Blame Investigation:  How Incident Investigation Often Leads to Isolation (Basic)  Sam Strahl, Environmental Health and Safety Professional, AECOM.

Root cause investigation is necessary to preventing incidents from repeating.  However, all too often, the field staff or operators bear the blame for the incident.  In this session, we’ll examine how incidents should be investigated and how to appropriately identify causes rather than place blame.  Having these tools will help strengthen your safety program and increase the likelihood of incident reporting by team members.

11:30 am
Planning and Response to a Natural Disaster (Basic)  Corbin Berent, Emergency Response and Security Specialist, DuPont & IFF.

In this session the speaker will review and discuss the Midland County flood event that took place starting May 19, 2020.  In will cover the preparation and excavation of the plans that were in place to keep a chemical facility in a safe state.  The speaker will also review the overall response along with key learnings from the event.

1:45 pm
EPA Reporting Regulations:  RMP, EPCRA, CERCLA, and SPCC (Basic)  Monika Chrzaszcz, Environmental Engineer/Outreach Coordinator, United States Environmental Protection Agency.

This program will cover what is required under EPCRA/CERCLA reporting, what is the Clean Air Act 112 (r)?, Risk Management Program regulation updates,  what is required under the Clean Water Act?, and SPCC regulations.

3:15 pm
All Grown Up:  Learning How to Prevent Catastrophic Incidents from a Maturing Cannabis Industry (Basic)  Ashley Leitner, DEKRA.

From the High Rockies to the Florida Coast, the cannabis industry has been rapidly establishing itself as a long-lasting and legitimate industry in the United States.  The market has exploded in the last three years as more states legalize commercial use of various cannabis products.  Like other agrobusiness, the cannabis industry manages a variety of production, material handling, and chemical processing operations that come with their share of hazards.  These hazards, paired with the exponential growth of the industry, have resulted in many catastrophic incidents, which have highlighted the need for organizations to mature quickly in order to prevent future incidents that could harm workers, the surrounding community, and first responders.  This talk will review five main principles that leading organizations are using to help manage risk in the cannabis industry and how they can help other developing organizations that handle combustible fibers and flammable liquids.  This discussion will touch on topics such as Process Safety Management; Building and Fire Code fundamentals; as well as address Organizational Competency and Manage of Change challenges.  This talk will also provide recommendations for free resources offered by government agencies and industry groups that can help any small to middle-sized chemical operation manage risk.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
9:00 am
Introduction to Overpressure Protection (Basic)  Scott Tipler, Overpressure Protection Expertise Area Leader, Dow Chemical.

The speaker will share past overpressure incidents within the industry and background on the associated industry standards/codes.  He will also provide an overview of the different type of relief devices and the typical sizing basis.  The speaker will discuss alternatives to relief systems (system design) when conventional relief devices are impractical, unreliable, or not cost effective.

10:15 am
Fire, Explosion and Electrical Safety No Matter Your Hazard (Intermediate)  Michael Marando, Senior Engineer, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

This session will provide information on how safe work environments can be assured regardless of the materials being handled, the process being employed, or the type of facility.  A variety of issues will be addressed including what the hazards are, high level prevention, mitigation, and protection strategies.  The associated codes will be highlighted and further resources for developing a greater understanding will be highlighted.
     *Hazard Identification (material, process, facilities)
     *Hot Work
     *Confined Spaces
     *Gas Purging
     *Combustible Dusts
     *Electrical Hazard Classification

  • Chair:  Alyssa McGibbon, D & K Ventures
  • Vice-Chair:  Brad Blanchard, COSS
  • Division:
  • Heather Chapman, Paradigm Safety
  • Jean Cronin, DEKRA Process Safety
  • Ashley Getchell, DuPont
  • Whitney Kelly, DuPont
  • Frank Manley, Water and Protection Shelter Solutions
Future Meeting Dates

April 12-13, 2022, Lansing, MI
April 18-19, 2023, Grand Rapids, MI
April 16-17, 2024, Grand Rapids, MI


Contact us to find out how you can get involved!