The Flexible Packaging Association recently held its 2014 Environmental Summit and Safety Conference. Environmental, health and safety professionals and managers, at both corporate and plant levels, attended the three-day summit. This important forum provides valuable regulatory updates and compliance guidance, and networking opportunities among industry professionals and regulators. Presentations during the 2014 Summit were provided by industry professionals, and US EPA and US
FPA Vice President, Technology & Environmental Strategy, Ram Singhal, provided highlights from the summit in a recent interview.
Q: Can you describe the value of attending the summit in person?
Singhal: Although we post all the session presentations online after the summit, the real value is the interaction with regulators and industry professionals who are dealing with regulatory compliance every day. The dialogue and the take-away knowledge is invaluable. Many multi-year participants say this is the most comprehensive and relevant summit they attend.
This annual event is an intensive two-and-a-half days. The first day is devoted to safety issues and the following day and a half to environmental regulations and updates. These sessions are content rich and provide a tremendously effective interactive forum for managers and other professionals who are responsible for their company’s environmental, health and safety compliance.
Q: You had twenty-five presentations, what were some of the topics covered?
Singhal: FPA is fortunate to have leading experts from the EPA, OSHA, and the industry. Many sessions are presented by flexible packaging industry professionals who share their expertise and experience in dealing with facility compliance at the state and federal levels. This is invaluable for plant managers, coordinators and decision makers.
Q: Can you share some insights from the sessions presented this year?
Singhal: Each day carries a dozen presentations. For the safety session: OSHA priorities, inspection strategies and global health and safety standards development; 2012 Hazard Communications Standard implementation; preventing static fires; and reducing chemical exposure risk in the workplace were critically relevant to safety professionals to do their job more effectively.
On the second day, the conference began with EPA highlights of federal and state regulatory and legislative priorities. This session is very helpful to attendees in preparing them for upcoming regulations. It was followed by many impactful sessions, among them was spill prevention and management; clarifying the Industrial Wipes Rule and how to comply with it at the plant level. Almost all FPA members are impacted by this rule. Additionally, the confusion associated with complying with the RICE Rule was effectively addressed. The benefit of this session alone, is a good reason to attend the conference.
Q: With the content rich agenda, was there anything different in the take-aways from the conference?
Singhal: The highlight of the overall agenda is that it includes several case studies which leads to engaged discussion that is tremendous value to EHS professionals at every level.
The 2015 EHS Summit will be held January 28-30, 2015. Registration will open in late 2014.