Team Investigators –
JOHN L. SCHUMACHER, MChE, PE, CFI, CFPS
JOHN M. (JAY) FREEMAN, MS, PE, CFEI
DENNIS E. SHELP, MS, PE, CFI, CFEI
ZACHARY J. JASON, PE, CFEI
BRENT A. FUKUDA, PE, PEng, CFEI
SHAWN A. SAPP, Ph.D.
The Right Intel Solves the Problem
Industrial accidents and accidents in the chemical process industry range from small-scale losses, with minor injuries, to high dollar property claims with fatalities and multiple injuries. Each incident typically involves a unique and /or proprietary process; however, what is common to these accidents, is the systematic, scientific approach required to determine the root cause. AEI follows this approach throughout the course of the investigation, including the initial site investigation, laboratory examination, and analyses. Regardless of the size, severity, or complexity of the incident, our experienced team of licensed engineers and certified investigators work together and, alongside private and public entities, to determine what led to the accident. Understanding the root cause of the incident helps our clients make informed decisions on how to handle the claim and prevent future recurrence.
When a chemical process incident occurs, there are often considerable injuries and a staggering amount of property damage to the facility and surrounding properties. No matter the complexity of the loss, AEI has the ability to activate a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and investigators to mobilize 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our entire team is HAZWOPER certified, which allows them access to sites that have been determined to be potentially dangerous to people without this specialized training. This may be critical when an immediate response to an incident is required. Further, we have extensive experience working with government organizations normally involved in large scale chemical process industry accidents, including the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and various other state and local agencies.
Our experience and well-equipped facilities allow us to conduct analysis beyond the site investigative phase. We have the premier forensic facility in the Rocky Mountain region and one of the top forensic laboratories in the country, which gives us the ability to examine, test, and model a wide array of failure modes and accident scenarios. The team of engineers and investigators at AEI has investigated industrial and chemical-related accidents throughout the United States, providing proven results to utility companies, pipeline companies, petrochemical refiners, insurance companies, propane producers and distributors, and various other fortune 500 companies.
Typical industrial and chemical-related areas analyzed and investigated by AEI include:
• Fire and explosion origin and cause
• Combustible dusts, grains, and powders
• Combustible and flammable (ignitable) liquids
• Reactive chemicals
• Specialty chemicals
• Chemical compatibility
• Self-heating materials
• Oxygen enriched atmospheres and oxidizers
• Fertilizers and pesticides
• High explosives, detonators, and blasting caps
• Boilers and pressure vessels
• Process equipment
• Chemical releases and exposures
• Hazardous materials transportation
• Structural damage assessment
• Codes and standards compliance