Virtual Fall 2021 SafetyFest

The Virtual Fall 2021 SafetyFest was a big success!  Thank you to all who attended classes and a big thank you to our trainers!

 Thank you to our sponsors!


  • Please download the agenda here: SafetyFest: Fall 2021 Virtual Agenda Last Updated 11/12/21
  • Accommodations for Mental Health Conditions

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN): Melanie Whetzel

    Tuesday            1 PM - 2:30 PM

    JAN receives numerous accommodation questions related to individuals with mental health conditions working successfully. Although there are various definitions and lists of conditions, this training covers those obtained the most by JAN. NAMI provides useful definitions of mental health conditions and statistics on their prevalence.

    Cold Survival

    Montana State University: Shawna Page

    Wednesday       3 PM – 4 PM

    Learn to not only survive in cold and snowy conditions but to thrive in them! Gain winter survival skills & confidence to open your world during the winter months.

    Conducting Ergonomic Assessments

    Jake Sandau, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Monday             2 PM – 3 PM

    Cumulative trauma injuries are becoming one of the top workers' compensation claims that employers face. These are especially prevalent due to many employees now working remotely or in unfamiliar locations. This presentation will discuss tips on how to conduct an initial ergonomic assessment for employees. Note:  This is for preventative ergonomic assessments and does not take the place of medical advice.


    Montana Department of Administration, Risk Management & Tort Division

    Tuesday                               8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

    This 4-hour National Safety Council course educates drivers about common risks associated with driving. The course includes learning modules to help drivers understand their driving environment and avoid the most common causes of crashes. The course also emphasizes preparation for the driving experience and ways to be more aware and defensive in daily driving. The class is entertaining and contains valuable information for all participants. It uses slides, videos, and instructor comments to convey information. The 36-page course workbook is yours to take home and share with others.  Participants who sign up for this course will also be sent a link to register through the instructor’s platform so that they can receive the Defensive Driving Certification.

    How to Lower Your Work Comp Costs

    Bryan Page, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Tuesday            6 PM – 8 PM

    Learn how to control your workers' compensation cost. This class covers the cost drivers of workers' compensation and how to manage them.


    Mental Health First Aid

    Montana Hospital Association

    Wednesday                   9 AM – 2:30 PM

    Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illness, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common support. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illness, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

    Mental Health First Aid is included in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).


    • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
    • Listen nonjudgmentally
    • Give reassurance and information
    • Encourage appropriate professional help
    • Encourages self-help and other support strategies


    • Must complete the 2-Hour individual assignment before the session.
    • Must attend the full 5.5-hour virtual training.
    • Must pass the test at the end of the course.

    Montana Safety Culture Act (MSCA): Accident Investigations, Self Inspections & Safety Committees

    Bryan Page, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Friday               10 AM – 11 AM

    This session will highlight the reporting, investigating, and taking corrective action on all work-related incidents and safety committee and employer self-inspection requirements of the Montana Safety Culture Act for the Public Sector. This class will cover the required documentation to fulfill these elements. Additionally, attendees will participate in an accident investigation that will give them an idea of how to report, investigate, and take corrective actions of work-related incidents.  We will touch on available tools to assist Public Sector employers with the process. 

     **This session is interactive and will require participants to have a working webcam and microphone.


    MSCA: New employee orientation, annual refresher training & Task-Specific Training

    Tyler Sanders, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Thursday          10 AM – 11:30 AM

    This class details these three elements required under the Montana Safety Culture Act. Safety Compliance Specialists from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry will explain numerous options and ideas for completing the training necessary to fulfill the requirements of these elements. Additionally, the instructors will cover the employer documentation requirements.



    Consultation Program, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Tuesday-Thursday          1 PM – 5 PM/ 1 PM – 3 PM

    This training is designed to educate every construction worker on recognizing and avoiding the top four hazards in your work environment. Topics include fall protection, personal protective equipment, health hazards, and more. It also introduces OSHA's construction industry standards and requirements of the more frequently referenced and cited standards. Students receive an OSHA 10-hour card upon completion.

     Participants who sign up for this course must turn their cameras on during the virtual session.


    Consultation Program, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Tuesday – Thursday                   8:30 AM – 12:30 PM/8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

    The OSHA 10 class helps develop the critical skill of Hazard Awareness - an analysis of cause & effects of the most common injuries happening on any job site. Benefits include increased productivity, fewer worker injuries, greater employee engagement. Topics include OSHA overview; employer responsibilities; employee rights; slips & falls; machine guarding; material handling; hazardous chemicals; ladders; electrical; effective safety management; ergonomics. 

    Participants who sign up for this course must turn their cameras on during the virtual session.



    Bob Dunton, Rocky Mountain OSHA University of Utah

    Thursday           8 AM – 5 PM

    This course covers developing and implementing controls and strategies to prevent or mitigate silica exposures in construction, maritime, and general industries. Course topics include describing the requirements of OSHA's Respirable Crystalline Silica standards and recognizing the hazards and risks, assessment options, and exposure control measures associated with silica exposure. Minimum student contact hours.



    Bob Dunton, Rocky Mountain OSHA University of Utah

    Wednesday       8 AM – 5 PM    

    This one-day course identifies, evaluates, and prevents exposures to fall hazards at construction sites. The goal of the course is to provide small business owners, trainers, supervisors, and employees with information on recognizing potential fall hazards at their worksites and suggest ways to avoid, minimize, control, and prevent these hazards whenever possible. The course focuses on falls to a lower level rather than falls resulting from slips and trips. Topics include identifying fall hazards, analyzing fall hazards, and preventing fall hazards, as well as OSHA resources that address fall hazards.



    Bob Dunton, Rocky Mountain OSHA University of Utah

    Friday              8 AM – 5 PM

    In this one-day course, students will learn about the role and responsibility of the employer to assign a competent person to the excavation site and arm that person with the knowledge to perform the work properly. Topics include the understanding and applying definitions relating to OSHA's Excavation Standard (Subpart P), excavation hazards and control measures, soil analysis techniques, protective system requirements, and emergency response. At the end of this course, the participant will understand the importance and duties of a competent person towards excavation work and will have the required knowledge and skills to perform those duties.



    John Oleachea, OSHA, Region VIII

    Tuesday            9 AM - 10 AM   

    This course targets employers and employees in the private sector and will cover OSHA's latest Emphasis Programs. 


    OSHA UPDATE- Emergency temporary standard for covid-19 in healthcare

    John Oleachea, OSHA, Region VIII

    Tuesday            10 AM - 11 AM

    This course covers OSHA's revised guidance regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic and workplace safety.


    Public Sector Compliance Update

    Matt Berg, DLI Safety & Health Bureau

    Tuesday            10 AM – 11 AM

    Participants who attend this session will learn what the compliance specialists will be looking for on inspections. The session will also cover OSHA's Guidance on COVID-19 safety in the workplace.  Those individuals who work in the public sector will find this session very useful.  


    Safely Navigate Montana’s Discrimination Laws

    Andria Hardin, DLI Human Rights Bureau

    Thursday 3 PM - 4 PM

    Learn about the State agency that enforces discrimination laws and the administrative process that discrimination cases go through in Montana.  Also, garner a basic understanding of the federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation and pick up some tips to avoiding and dealing with these issues in the workplace.

    Safety vs. Compliance

    Rachel Walla, Ally Safety

    Monday            10 AM – 11 AM

    When we look at OSHA's top 10 most-cited violations, they don't match up with the top injuries workers often suffer. This session focuses on understanding the difference between compliance and injury prevention and how you can take action to prevent injuries, reduce risk, and prioritize safety focus areas for better results.


    Slips, Trips, & Falls/Stairways & Ladders

    Bryan Page, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Thursday          6 PM – 8 PM

    Slips, trips, and falls are among the leading causes of accidents, both in and out of the workplace. As a result, they are a significant problem both to the public and the workplace. This class will cover practical methods to reduce slips and falls.



    Karl Rosston, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

    Monday            1 PM – 2 PM    

    This presentation focuses on suicide within our culture with specific attention towards Montana.  The presentation covers national and Montana data, demographics of a suicidal person, warning signs, risk assessment, training on how to intervene with a suicidal person, evidenced-based practices, and resources available.

    Learning objectives for this presentation include: 1) Participants will be able to identify at least three warning signs of suicide, 2) Participants will know what QPR stands for, and 3) Participants will be able to identify at least two suicide prevention resources in the state.


    Workplace Accommodations: Where to Find Help

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN), Matt McCord

    Monday            9 AM - 10 AM

    In this training, the experts at the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) will provide an overview of where you can find important information about workplace accommodations.


    Youth Injury Rates and What We Can Do to Help Prevent Them

    Emily Healy and Berke Brown, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Employment Relations Division

    Thursday         1 PM - 2 PM

    Take an inside look at Montana's youth injury rates by type and occupation and learn about what we can do to help prevent injuries. 



    Last Updated 9/28/21
  • Matt Berg

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Matthew was born and raised in Butte, MT. He graduated from Montana Tech with a B.S. in Occupational Safety & Health in 2016. Matthew joins the Compliance team after three years of working in the commercial construction industry throughout Wyoming & Colorado. In his free time, Matthew enjoys watching/playing sports and spending time with friends and family.


    Breeinna Bosch

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Breeinna is a native Montanan and earned her B.S. in Occupational Safety & Health with an option in Applied Health from Montana Tech of the University of Montana.  Throughout the past years, she gained knowledge and experience while working in the construction and mining industries.  With the desire to strengthen the safety culture within the workplace and ensure that workers can return home to their families each day, Breeinna became a Compliance Specialist for the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. In her spare time, Breeinna enjoys any adventure that the breathtaking state she is proud to call home has to offer.


    Berke Brown

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Berke is a native Montanan. He was born in Helena and was raised in the Laurel area. Berke has worked for Stillwater Mining Company, where he learned rules and regulations. Berke has applied his knowledge & experience to work for Mine Safety & Health Administration and the State of Montana, Safety & Health Bureau as mine trainer/inspector. Berke is currently an authorized OSHA Outreach Construction trainer for the State of Montana, Safety & Health Bureau. Berke now has 14 years of safety experience. Berke and his wife resides in Billings with their children and stepchildren.


    Billy Chilton

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Billy grew up in Missoula where he graduated from Loyola Sacred Heart High School. He then attended Montana Tech, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Occupational Safety & Health. He loves to ski, hunt, and fish.


    Andria Hardin

    Montana Department of Labor and Industry Human Rights Bureau

    Andria is the Targeted Equitable Relief & Training Coordinator for the Montana Human Rights Bureau.  Prior to taking on this role, she investigated and mediated cases of discrimination and retaliation at the Bureau.  Before moving to the great state of Montana, Andria worked as a Staff Attorney for Georgia Legal Services Program, practicing law primarily in the field of family law.  She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver and her undergraduate degree in International Business from San Diego State University.  


    Emily Healy

    Epidemiologist, Montana Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance Program

    Emily Healy is an epidemiologist for the Montana Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance program within the Employment Relations Division of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Her work focuses on utilizing data to identify, track, and monitor work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses to improve worker health and safety across Montana. The program is funded through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and relies on data from many sources including workers’ compensation, public health, and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Emily holds an MS in Biomedical Anthropology from Binghamton University and has been with the Department since 2018.


    Matt McCord

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

    Matthew McCord joined the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) staff as a Consultant on the Motor Team in April 2015. He now holds the title of Senior Consultant. As a senior member of the Motor Team, Matthew fields questions from employees and employers regarding their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and assists in identifying accommodation solutions for employees with motor and mobility impairments. He also writes for JAN on various ADA and accommodation topics.

    Matthew earned a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from West Virginia University (WVU) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Fairmont State University (FSU). He is nationally certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).

    Matthew has experience providing classroom accommodations to college students with disabilities and in providing mental health therapy services to college students, regardless of disability status.


    Shawn Mclain

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Shawn is an Industrial Hygienist who works with the state of Montana’s safety and health bureau. Shawn started with the health and safety bureau in October of 2018 and is excited to be part of the Montana consultation program. Shawn served in the US Army from 2002 to 2008 at Fort Lewis, in Washington state. Prior to joining the State of Montana consultation program, Shawn worked with the USDA in Helena, Montana while attending school at Montana Tech. A graduate from Montana Tech in Butte, Montana, Shawn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health and a Master’s degree in Industrial Hygiene. When not hard at work, he enjoys hunting, ice fishing, and camping around Montana.



    Montana Department of Administration Risk Management & Tort Division

    The Risk Management & Tort Defense Division provides training programs designed to assist state agencies to reduce their risks and prevent exposure to claims/losses


    John Olaechea


    John Olaechea is the Compliance Assistance Specialist for OSHA in Region VIII.  He provides outreach and information about safety and health hazards and OSHA policies and regulations to employers, trade associations, unions, the public, and other organizations.  Prior to this position, John worked for eight years as an industrial hygienist and compliance officer for the Englewood Area Office of OSHA.  John also served in the United States Peace Corps and graduated from Wright State University (Ohio) with a degree in environmental health science. 



    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Bryan is the Bureau Chief of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry Safety and Health Bureau. He came to Montana as a safety consultant for Liberty Northwest’s Helena office after working as safety director of Dome Technology in Idaho. Prior to joining the Safety and Health Bureau, Bryan was a safety consultant for Montana State Fund. He received his MS in Safety and Health from the University of Idaho in 2000 and earned the Associate of Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America.


    Karl Rosston

    Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services

    Karl Rosston is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.  He provides evidenced-based programs to all Montana secondary schools, implements the State Suicide Prevention Plan, supports the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline, implements firearm safety programs and statewide media campaigns, provides suicide prevention trainings, and coordinates suicide prevention efforts around the state. Karl is adjunct faculty at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and a nationally certified trainer in QPR and Mental Health First Aid.  Previously, Karl was the Director of Social Services at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena.  Before returning to Montana, he was on the faculty of the University of Colorado, School of Medicine, and a clinical consultant with the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.  Karl is a licensed clinical social worker who maintains a small private practice in Helena.  He received his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver and his Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Montana.


    Jake Sandau

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Jake has received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health. During his career as a safety professional, he has worked in a variety of industries including construction, mining, and transportation. Jake has obtained his Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certificate from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Jake and his wife Sarah reside in the Helena area.


    Tyler Sanders

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Tyler Sanders was born and raised as a Montana kid. He attended Capital High throughout high school and went on to graduate from Montana Tech In 2018 with a B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health while also being a 4-year starter on the football team. Tyler gained his hands-on safety knowledge by interning in industrial construction as well as underground coal mining throughout his previous internship in New Mexico. Tyler enjoys all the outdoor activities that Montana has to offer such as hiking, fly fishing, hunting, and skiing.


    Drew Sheehy

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Drew grew up in Lolo and then attended high school in Missoula, MT. He later attended the University of Montana and received a B.A. in Biology. After a few years away from school, Drew went back to school at Montana Tech and earned a M.S. in Industrial Hygiene in 2014. Drew worked as an Industrial Hygienist and Safety Engineer in the semiconductor industry for three years in Idaho, focusing on chemical safety and risk assessment. Drew returned to Montana to work in the Consultation Program with the Department of Labor and Industry as an industrial hygienist in 2018.  On the nights and weekends, Drew enjoys spending time on the rivers and in the woods; specifically rafting, camping and snowshoeing throughout Southern and Western Montana.

    David Sheldon

    Montana Department of Labor and Industry Safety and Health Bureau

    David began his career in the construction industry and then transitioned into managing shops and parts departments.  He led a successful career afterward in mining but unfortunately was injured.  This ended his mining career and steered him to a new profession in safety where he gets to help others.  In his free time, David enjoys spending time with his wonderful family and is a certified open water diver as well as a rescue and recovery diver. 


    Chris Tacke

    Montana Department of Labor & Industry Safety & Health Bureau

    Chris is a 2011 graduate of Montana Tech of the University of Montana, earning a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health and a minor in Biology. After graduating from Montana Tech, Chris started his safety career as the Health and Safety Manager for the Grand Teton Lodge Company in the Grand Teton National Park. While working for the Grand Teton Lodge Company, Chris also worked for Jackson Hole Fire/EMS as a Firefighter/EMT-Basic.

    In February of 2014, Chris and his family moved back to Montana and he started working for the Montana Department of Transportation as a Safety Consultant in the Billings and Great Falls Districts.

    Currently, Chris is a Safety and Health Specialist with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry- Safety Bureau in the Great Falls Field office.


    Melanie Whetzel

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

    Melanie Whetzel joined the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) staff as a Consultant on the Cognitive/Neurological Team in February 2008. She now provides expert level consultation and team leadership as a Lead Consultant on JAN’s Cognitive/Neurological Team. As the lead member of the Cognitive/Neurological Team, Melanie enables adults with disabilities to become effective self-advocates, to understand their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to be effective employees. She also assists employers in understanding their responsibilities under the ADA and how to accommodate employees with disabilities so they can continue to work productively. Melanie specializes in learning disabilities, mental health conditions, intellectual/developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and brain injuries.

    Melanie is a respected and sought-after speaker who presents nationally on accommodation and ADA topics ranging from mental health conditions to conduct and performance issues, learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain injuries, and more. She has also authored numerous publications for JAN and outside sources.

    Prior to her career with JAN, she taught and advocated for students with disabilities in the public-school system for fourteen years. Becoming a JAN Consultant was a perfect way to transition from teaching and advocating for students, assuring they had the modifications they needed to be successful in the classroom, to facilitating adults in their employment pursuits and helping them be successful in the workplace.

    Melanie holds a Master of Arts degree in Special Education, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and has earned sixty hours above masters’ level. Her post-graduate work has been primarily focused on special education. She has completed a graduate certification in Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition and became a certified brain injury specialist in December 2014.

    Last Updated 9/28/21
Back To Top