Hard Work Pays Off In Customer Appreciation and Compliments

Everyone likes it if their hard work is appreciated. That’s true at Convergence Training, too.

We’ve recently created and released the new Convergence Server Enterprise Learning Management System (LMS), and our customers have been very pleased. One customer said our LMS “was the missing link” for great training; others have simply said “Wow!”

In addition, though, we’ve been in the middle of a big production push to create more of our 3D animated EHS safety training videos. And we’re happy to note that our customers are appreciating our new titles, too.

On a recent morning, we came to work to find this comment posted to our sales webpage in response to a newly purchased copy of our Emergency Action Plan training module:

“I used this video for my training business. It covers all the pertinent information about emergency action without being boring. The graphics keep your interest.”

We at Convergence are glad that our customers like this (and our other) safety training modules, and we thank you for the kind words. Know that we’ll keep doing our best to create more great training materials and keep the compliments coming.

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Several Module Updates to Hit the Shelves Soon

You wouldn’t use PPE that hasn’t been properly inspected, maintained, and even repaired when necessary. So why should you use EHS safety training modules that are old, out-of-date, and possibly inaccurate or irrelevant?

At Convergence Training, we periodically review all of our training materials to make sure they’re up to date and the best they can be. This includes all of the titles in the following libraries:

  • OSHA and EHS Safety Training
  • MSHA Part 46 Mine Safety Training
  • Industrial Essentials Training
  • Safe Driving Training

In short, reviewing and updating our training is a task that we take seriously.

We may update an existing training module for various reasons. Three of the most common are:

  • To match new or changed regulations from OSHA or other regulatory agencies
  • To meet a customer request
  • To update older modules so they match the abilities of today’s 3D multimedia training capabilities

Recently, we’ve begun work to update several of our existing modules. These include:

Fire Extinguisher Safety – In response to a customer suggestion, we’re adding new material on recharging a partially used fire extinguisher. Adding this material wasn’t necessary, but we agreed with our customer that it is would be a valuable and helpful addition.

Hazard Communication – This one has been updated once again since this article was originally written and now includes the recent GHS changes.

Overhead Crane Safety – A customer brought to our attention that one of our depictions of hook usage wasn’t considered “best practice” in the industry. Although it wasn’t a technical regulatory requirement, we always want to show best practices whenever possible, so we made the change.

Keep watching our website for future updates as we create new safety training videos and update our existing safety training course libraries from time to time to keep on the cutting edge of 3D animated safety training videos.

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The Convergence Celebrity Safety Minute

Welcome to our first installment of The Convergence Celebrity Safety Minute, where we make a few real-world recommendations for some of our safety training that celebrities could really use. Enjoy!

Confined Space Awareness for Herman Cain

With all of the allegations of harassment and media scrutiny closing in on Herman Cain, he may be feeling a bit claustrophobic. Or he may be looking for a nice small place with limited points of entry to hide out. Either way, he could likely make use of our Confined Space Awareness training since it looks like he’ll be in a tight spot for a while.

Personal Protective Equipment for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino

Since Abercrombie and Fitch offered to pay Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino NOT to wear their brand, and due to his altercation with fellow Jersey Shore star, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro that left the Sitch bruised and bloody, we offer this video. Our Personal Protective Equipment course might have helped him avoid injury as well as provided some flashy duds for his HiViz lifestyle.

Bloodborne Pathogens for Charlie Sheen

Whether you’re Charlie Sheen with a hankering for tiger’s blood or a shirtless Twilight heart-throb, be prepared to safely clean up after yourself with this video that sheds some daylight on the darker side of a liquid diet.

So there you have it. Our first recommendations for celebrities in dire need of some quality safety training. Be sure to check back with us again soon for another installment of the Convergence Celebrity Safety Minute, when we’ll have plenty more to learn about the hazards of being in the spotlight.

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National Safety Council Congress & Expo 2011 – Recap

Convergence Training would like to thank everyone who came out to visit us in Philadelphia for this year’s NSC Congress and Expo. In spite of the overall light attendee turnout, we had some great conversations with prospective clients looking to improve the quality of their training experience. Now, we’re back in the office and charged up to reconnect and help with everything from our DVDs to our learning management system and custom media.

Our “Bad Training SUCKS” theme continues to hit home with the industry. We handed out hundreds of reflective “Bad Training SUCKS” hardhat stickers to visitors whose most common responses were, “I agree!” and “I need another one of those to put on our trainer’s door.” Our new black and white “Bad Training SUCKS” T-shirt design was a hit too.

While several visitors asked where “Matt Foley” (our extremely popular entertainer from ASSE 2011 Expo in Chicago) was, we had a few other surprises in store for everyone. Instead of live entertainment, we offered complementary espresso in the morning, free beer in the afternoons, and gave people a chance to win some great prizes in our “Booogie for your Beer” challenge.

At times on Halloween day, visitors were lined up to take their chance at getting high score dancing to Thriller in the Michael Jackson – The Experience game on our XBOX 360 Kinect. The winner of our “Booogie for your Beer” dance challenge was Nick Popehn, Senior Operator at Xcel Energy. Nick walked away with our 46” Toshiba flat screen TV. Thanks again, Nick and thanks to all who participated in making this year’s NSC a whole lot of fun!

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Three New “Valve” Courses to Enter Production Soon

With all the excitement about our rapidly growing Environmental Health & Safety course library, which now contains nearly 50 titles with a dozen more slated for release shortly, it’s easy to forget about our Industrial Essentials course library.

We’re excited to announce that three completely new, 3D animated training courses covering fundamental aspects of valves are currently in production. The working titles are: Valve Basics, Valve Types, and Valves: Common Problems.

As with all our courses, these three “valve” training modules are thoroughly researched, present the material in a clear, orderly fashion, and incorporate our excellent 2D and 3D graphics to help explain difficult concepts.

The valve training courses are currently being written and are tentatively slated to include the following topics. We’d welcome any feedback you have—things to include and not include, tips for explaining difficult concepts—anything!

Valve Basics

  • Classifying valves by purpose, port size, motions and closing methods, and applications
  • Parts of a valve
  • Body materials
  • Face-to-face dimensions
  • End connections and welded connections
  • Valve coefficients
  • Stroke and flow characteristics
  • Pressure classes
  • Shutoff classes
  • Manual- and actuator-controlled valves

Valve Types

  • Gate valves
  • Globe valves
  • Needle valves
  • Pinch valves
  • Diaphragm valves
  • Plug valves
  • Ball valves
  • Butterfly valves
  • Check valves, including swing check valves, tilting disc check valves, lift check valves, piston check valves, and butterfly check valves
  • Pressure-relief valves
  • Reducing valves

Valves: Common Problems

  • Pressure drop
  • High pressure drops
  • Cavitation
  • Flashing
  • Choked flow
  • High velocities
  • Water-hammer effect
  • Turbulence
  • Noise

Don’t forget to write with your thoughts or suggestions, and be sure to look back for updates on production and release of this exciting addition to our industrial training/industrial safety training collection.

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Zombie Safety Training

Safety Training for Zombies Image

Is your safety training met with incoherent moaning, blank stares, and open-mouthed drooling? You could be inadvertently turning your employees into ZOMBIES!

With guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Zombie World News, Convergence Training has developed courses that not only help stop you from adding to the zombie horde, but also may just save you from the pending Zombie Apocalypse.

As it turns out, workplace safety practices are also effective tools to keep you from becoming one of the undead. So, in our ongoing effort to add value to your safety training program, we offer the following tips to you.


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Convergence and CAT Collaborating at TRAM 2011

Convergence Training and Caterpillar Inc. have joined forces at MSHA’s 2011 TRAM event to strengthen ties with the mining community and raise awareness of the value that the two companies bring to the industry. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) hosts the annual Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) event at the National Mine Academy as a venue for sharing the latest safety information and training tools specific to the mining industry.

It was at the 2008 TRAM event that Convergence Training first introduced our groundbreaking Surface Miner Training compliance software, winning First Place for computer-based training products. Since that time, our Surface Miner Training DVDs and software have helped train thousands of miners and mining contractors while virtually eliminating citations related to documentation for our customers.

And now, through our strategic alliance with CAT Safety Services, Convergence Training continues to deliver on our goals of reducing human and monetary costs for our clients by providing superior quality training courses and compliance software.

Visit the MSHA website for more on MSHA Events.

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2 New Courses for Your Training Library

We’re proud to introduce our two newest additions to our growing Health and Safety and Industrial Essentials training libraries, Forklifts – Reducing Product Damage and Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

Forklifts – Reducing Product Damage covers some of the most common ways forklift operators can cause product damage in a typical warehouse environment and this video also recommends practices for avoiding this damage and the associated costs. This DVD is a must for anyone who’s either purchased our Forklift Safety DVD or currently works with a forklift in a warehouse environment.

Flammable and Combustible Liquids helps raise awareness of the potential hazards presented by common workplace liquids while offering practical instruction on labeling, storage, handling, and managing spills and waste. As a perfect companion to our Fire Extinguisher Safety and Hazard Communication DVDs, this course is will be a vital training tool for anyone interested in building an effective Fire Safety training program.

Find these DVDs at BuyBetterTraining.com or any of our authorized online resellers! And keep checking for more great courses on the way soon.

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Convergence Training at NSC 2011 Congress and Expo in Philadelphia

At Convergence Training, we’re stomping out bad training everywhere we go. And this year’s National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in Philadelphia is no exception. Come see us at Booth #3404 for a peek at some of our NEWEST 3D animated safety training courses.

And since the show starts on Halloween, we’ll have a bunch of very special treats for our guests. No, we’re not putting out a dish of hard candy. We’ll have some great prizes and super nice stuff you won’t get from anyone else at the show. Plus, you may just leave the show with some of the best training on the market.

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Preventing Forklift-Caused Product Damage in the Warehouse

Working with our industrial and warehousing clients, we know that product damage can be a costly problem. Damaged products result directly in financial losses, and indirectly in consumer unhappiness when the damaged product reaches the customer. Many businesses seem to accept a somewhat high level of product damage as being part of the cost of doing business, but it seemed to us there could be more education on this topic.

We set out to research the common ways products are damaged by forklifts in a warehouse environment. This is obviously a pretty wide topic to tackle, just due to the diversity of product types, forklifts, and warehouses. So we submitted a questionnaire to several warehousing experts and warehouse managers to try to whittle down the list of product-damaging incidents to those that applied to as many locations as possible.

The result, one year later, is Forklifts: Reducing Product Damage, a unique course that addresses the reasons behind most forklift-caused product damage. Some of the major mistakes covered include:

  • Insufficient fork spread
  • Insufficient fork depth
  • Load instability
  • Momentum-caused tipping
  • Rack placement damage
  • Stabbing and raking of product
  • Operator over-confidence

This course is intended as an introductory course for new warehouse workers, or as a refresher course for experienced drivers. As far as we know, this is the only training course that exists on this subject, and we’re proud to bring such a unique title to the market.

Thanks to the following warehouse/forklift experts who helped us with our research and gave us feedback on our course ideas:

  • Frederick “Rick” Heath: Material handling expert witness in Louisville, KY
  • Bill Guiher of Inflection Point in Cincinnati, OH
  • Don Benson of Warehouse Dashboard, LLC in Portland, OR
  • Dave Schneider: Logistics and supply chain consultant in Fairfax, VA
  • Frank Renshaw: Material handling expert in Florida
  • Daniel Vincent Byrne of ByrneInvent, LLC in Seattle, WA
  • Robert Footlik of Footlik & Associates, Evanston, Illinois

Check out a clip from the new video:

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New Scaffold Training Video the Result of Long Production Process

As Convergence Training has grown over the years in size and technological capability, our attention to detail has also grown more exacting. One of our recent video courses, Supported Scaffold Safety, is a case in point. This course has been our most challenging retail course thus far, in terms of the amount of research on scaffold regulations, visual scaffold component research, storyboard writing, animation, and review of the finished course.

One of the reasons this project was so complex is that there are so many different types of scaffold set-ups. We had to choose which scaffolds we were going to make, and then we had to figure out exactly how to “assemble” the virtual scaffolding so that we were showing correct procedures. For example, when we decided on a large tube-and-coupler scaffold for our primary scaffold in the course, we had to figure out the best way to set up the cross-braces, what kind of ladder system we should use, and what kind of platforms we should use.

Another reason for the amount of research required is that the OSHA scaffold regulations are quite lengthy. Because we were writing an introductory course for construction workers new to working with scaffolds, and because we never want our courses to just be a boring list of regulations, we spent time figuring out the most important scaffold regulations that our audience needed to know and how to structure that information. Good, engaging training takes time to plan.

We had some valuable external assistance on this project. The following people helped us ensure that our training shows realistic depictions of scaffold set-ups, and that our virtual assemblies reflect common construction practices.

  • Paul Gogulski, P.E., and construction expert witness, of Gogulski & Associates
  • Richard Jessup, OSHA Outreach Trainer, Jessup Consulting Group in Houston, TX
  • Ron Haverkost, Senior Safety Officer, Oregon OSHA
  • John Ellis, owner of Independent Scaffold Inspection and Training in Nottingham, UK

View a sample clip from our scaffolding video below:

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6 New Courses Released in August

This past August was a big month for us. Our recent focus on expanding the depth and breadth of our health and safety offerings resulted in the release of six new courses, and our production team is continuing to develop even more material for release in the coming months.

The new courses are currently available from our BuyBetterTraining.com online storefront and from authorized Convergence resellers. Check the links below to view video samples and details of the new material.

Job Hazard Analysis
Machine Guarding
Supported Scaffold Safety
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Trenching & Excavation Safety
Trenching & Excavation Soil Properties

We’ll be launching more new courses in September, so stay tuned. And feel free to contact us with any requests or ideas for courses you’d like to see us build.

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