Convergence Acquired by Vector Solutions

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We’ve got some huge news!

Convergence Training has been acquired by Vector Solutions, a long-time online training innovator and leader in performance solutions for commercial, education, and public sector clients. We’re really excited about this new opportunity to grow and provide our customers more courses, more services, and even more value.

As the newest addition to the Vector Solutions family of brands, Convergence Training joins RedVector, TargetSolutions, and SafeSchools in their ongoing efforts to provide industry-focused online solutions for training, compliance, safety, and productivity.

Our combined vision positions Convergence Training as a strategic complement to the RedVector brand, strengthening the industrial and safety markets within its line of commercial training offerings. While Convergence Training has spent years developing a strong foundation in the industrial safety arena, alignment with RedVector extends the combined market scope to include IT and cyber security, facilities management, project management, architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) clients.

The unified assets and skill sets of the Convergence Training and RedVector teams represent a competitive advantage otherwise unmatched in the industry. Clients will benefit from access to a range of new resources, including over 2,500 eLearning courses and knowledge assessments, courses accredited by more than 100 licensing bodies and professional associations, license and credential management tools, professional evaluation tools, and SDS management.

Don’t worry. While our organization grows and evolves, you’ll still get the same premium courses, feature-packed LMS options, and excellent customer service you’ve come to expect from Convergence Training. You’ll just get more of everything!

So stay tuned. We’ve got some great things in store!

In the meantime, check out the press release below for more details. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Vector Solutions Acquires Convergence Training,

Strengthening its Commitment to Delivering Optimum Training Technology

eLearning and Performance Optimization Company Strengthens Industrial Market Share

TAMPA, FL. (April 24, 2018) — Vector Solutions, the leader in industry-focused eLearning and SaaS performance support solutions, announced today it has acquired Convergence Training, a leading provider of training content and software solutions for industrial operations, manufacturing, and mining, specializing in 3D and animation. The acquisition solidifies Vector’s position as an innovator in training technology, strengthening its focus on skills-based training, expanding its portfolio of industry-specific solutions, and broadening the types of modernized content it can deliver to clients.

“It’s our mission to create the most effective training to maximize learning and retention for optimized performance,” said Jeff Gordon, CEO of Vector Solutions. “And one of the best ways to engage learners is by leveraging cutting-edge educational technology like the 3D modeling used in Convergence courses. This type of media allows us to bring topics to life, convey complex information and processes, give rare looks inside machinery and other large items, and create scenarios that could otherwise risk safety. This is an important step as we work to modernize our entire course library and bring personalized instant intelligence to our clients.”

Convergence serves over 50 Fortune 500 companies and has more than 400 clients including Caterpillar, Honeywell, LafargeHolcim, Microsoft and International Paper. Their course library includes 750 courses, many offered in 14 languages, on a broad range of subjects including health and safety, paper and pulping, corrugated packaging, power and utilities, mining, and HR.

“Our two teams share a passion for innovation and driving results,” said Randy Kohltfarber, CEO of Convergence Training. “We could not be more excited to see what the synergy between us will bring to the future of training, both in the industrial space and other industries served by Vector. The reach and power behind their LMS, mobile technology and course library will better enable us to reach a wider audience with our 3D training while better serving our existing clients.”

The acquisition provides clients across Vector and Convergence with access to thousands of new courses in a variety of modern formats and includes content accredited by hundreds of licensing bodies and professional associations. Clients will also benefit from increased platform features and modules for optimized performance. Convergence Training products and solutions will be offered under Vector’s Commercial business unit, partnered with the RedVector brand.

Vector Solutions is focused on creating mobile, intelligent solutions that deliver real-time training to help optimize employee performance. The addition of 3D modeling comes as the company launches its first Virtual Reality training course for firefighters and also rolls out its first Augmented Reality prototype.

For additional information, please visit the Vector Solutions website and Newsroom

About Vector Solutions

Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education industries. Its brands, RedVector, TargetSolutions, and SafeSchools, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance management solutions using the latest innovations in learning and technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library exceeds more than 7,000 courses written by over 250 subject matter experts and reaches almost 6 million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit www.vectorsolutions.com. Follow us on twitter @VectorPerform and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/VectorPerformance.

 

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How to Use Learning Teams for Safety Incident Investigations

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At some workplaces, incidents occur and there’s no thought given to incident investigations. This is a no-no.

At others, probably most, incidents occur and are followed by an incident investigation that attempts to identify a single root cause and then put in a corrective action to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This is probably the most common response to incidents at organizations.

But there are criticisms of that second, common method, which might be considered the traditional safety approach to incidents and incident investigations. One criticism is that it’s overly simplistic, with its emphasis on identifying a single root cause instead of noting the interplay of interrelated systemic issues. Another criticism is that the explanation often–too often–claims that a worker made a poor decision, often the result of not following procedures. And a third is that the corrective action often boils down to simply providing training and perhaps enforcing discipline on the worker who’s thought to be the cause of the problem.

In his book Pre-Accident Investigations: Better Questions–An Applied Approach to Operational Learning, Dr. Todd Conklin makes the points above about some of the problems with a traditional safety incident investigation approach at work and makes a recommendation for a different approach: learning teams.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Conklin’s book and recommendations. As always, we recommend that in addition to reading the article, you get the information straight from the expert as well, so please buy Dr. Conklin’s book (all three of them, really) and/or listen to the video of Dr. Conklin speaking at the ASSE Safety 2017 national conference, which we’ve included at the bottom of this article.

For those of you who have been reading along as I’ve been reading Dr. Conklin’s works, you’ll know this is the third such treatment we’ve done here at the Convergence Training blog. The other articles include:

So with all that said, let’s get to learning about learning teams for building the safety capacity of your organization.

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Online Safety Training in Spanish (and Other Languages, Too!)

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The number of workers in the US who speak Spanish as a primary or even a sole language is large and is growing.

As a result, trainers who don’t speak, write, or understand Spanish often struggle to communicate with those workers. And that inability to communicate can have serious negative consequences for organizations, trainers, and employees, including creating serious safety risks.

And don’t forget that it’s an OSHA requirement that safety training be provided in a language the employee can understand.

Although there’s no one simple solution to this issue, one way to address it is to use online safety training at work that’s multi-language, allowing the worker to select the language they’d prefer to complete the training in.

In the article below, we’ll talk you through that a little more.

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Do Contract Construction Workers at Surface Mines Need All 24 Hours of MSHA Part 46 Training?

Consider this hypothetical situation:

You’re a construction worker, you’re preparing to work as a contractor at a surface mine covered by the MSHA Part 46 training regulations, and you’ll be building a structure (not at all what comes to your mind when you think of surface mining). 

Got that? If you’re still reading, we think that’s because this isn’t such a hypothetical situation to you at all, and maybe it directly relates to something you’ll be doing soon.

So the question is this: Do you have to take all 24 hours of the mandatory MSHA Part 46 New Miner training?

We answer that question in this article. So read on.

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Why Mental Health and Suicide Prevention is the Next Frontier in Construction Safety

Mental Health, Suicide, and Construction Image

Did you know that as recently as 2016, the construction industry had the highest number of deaths by suicide amongst all industries, and that it had the second highest rate of suicide?

Sadly, both are true. Mental health issues, including depression and suicide, are a very serious problem in the construction industry.

Here at Convergence Training, we’ve been friends with Cal Beyer for quite some time. Cal’s the Director of Risk Management at Lakeside Industries in Issaquah, WA, but more to the point he’s a tireless advocate on the issue of suicide in the construction industry. If you’ve attended safety conferences in the Pacific Northwest, you may have seen Cal out speaking on the topic.

Cal was nice enough to participate in the interview below in which he explains the scope of the problem and gives us all some tips for trying to deal more productively with it to help save lives and reduce suffering. Thanks to Cal for all of his efforts and for taking the time to share what he knows with us here.

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Evidence-Based Training: Learning Maximizers & Learning Myths (An Interview with Dr. Will Thalheimer)

In this article, the continuation of our series of interviews with noted learning researcher Dr. Will Thalheimer, we’re going to discuss evidence-based training methods and learning myths with no supporting evidence.

The focus on evidence-based training methods is central to Dr. Thalheimer’s career and work, and it’s been the central focus of our earlier articles with him, which looked at smile sheets, spaced learning, and elearning effectiveness.

In this article, you’ll read about three three models for applying evidence-based training, about some learning methods that many think are proven and effective despite a lack of evidence supporting that, and about the importance of fighting the good fight to identify and use learning methods that truly support the learner.

And since this is the final article in the four-article series, we’d like to issue a big thank you to Dr. Thalheimer for his time and knowledge, both of which have been greatly appreciated. Don’t forget to check out his new model for learning evaluation, which he finished while we were writing this series. Maybe he’ll be nice enough to come back and discuss that with us in the future.

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Updated Electrical Soldering Online Training Course Released

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We’re excited to let you know that we’ve recently updated our Online Electrical Soldering Training Course and it’s available in its new, updated version.

The newly updated electrical soldering course is one of several courses in a series on industrial equipment and tools, which is itself just one part of our industrial maintenance skills online training library.

We’ve got a preview video of the newly updated soldering course for you below, but in addition know that we have other courses on related topics such as Welding and Welding Safety.

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Evidence-Based Training: Is eLearning More or Less Effective than Classroom Training? (An Interview with Dr. Will Thalheimer)

Question for you: what’s more effective in aiding employee learning–elearning courses or classroom training?

We asked the noted learning expert Dr. Will Thalheimer to answer that question. And presenting information from his Does eLearning Work? white paper and metastudy, the simple answer he gave was: classroom training < elearning < blended learning solutions.

(If it’s been a while since you last attended math class, that means classroom training is less effective than elearning, which is in turn less effective than blended learning solutions that use both classroom training and elearning.)

But….there’s much more to the answer than that. And in fact, that simple presentation of the answer isn’t just incomplete, it’s misleading.

So we encourage you to read this interview with Dr. Thalheimer to learn more about the effectiveness of elearning and classroom training, and to learn more about how to make both more effective.

If you’ve been reading along lately, you know we’ve also published interviews with Dr. Thalheimer on the topics of smile sheets and spaced learning.

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Updated Current, Voltage, and Resistance Online Training Course Released

Electrical Current Image

We just updated and re-released our existing Current, Voltage, and Resistance online electrical training course.

The course is one of a collection of courses in our Online Industrial Electrical Training series of courses, which is itself part of our Industrial Maintenance and Skills course library.

We’ve got some additional information, including a course preview video, below for you.

Know that in addition to the course, series, and library mentioned above, we also offer online electrical safety training courses as part of our online health and safety training library.

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Preventing Workplace Fatalities (Based on Dr. Todd Conklin’s Book “Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict”)

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We’ve been studying up on Safety Differently, Safety 2, New Safety, and Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) lately, and in particular have recently been looking at books by Dr. Todd Conklin about Human and Organizational Performance (HOP).

In two earlier articles, we took a look at some key lessons from Conklin’s book Pre-Accident Investigations and his book about learning teams. And in this article, we’re going to look at some key lessons from his book Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict (buy a copy at the link you just passed).

We hope you enjoy this look at an important, influential, and somewhat controversial thinker in safety, and we tip our hat to the good work Dr. Conklin is doing. And by the way, we’ve included a video recording of Dr. Conklin’s appearance in the plenary session of the ASSE Safety 2017 conference near the bottom of this article for you.

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3 Required Parts of an Energy Control Program

Energy Control Program Image

OSHA’s standard for the control of hazardous energy, also known as lockout-tagout or LOTO, is 1910.147. As the regulation explains in 1910.147(a)(1)(i), “This standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy.”

In 1910.147(c)(1), the regulation explains that “the employer shall establish a [energy control] program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.”

So the energy control program required by OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy/Lockout-Tagout regulation requires the employer’s program to have three parts: (1) energy control procedures; (2) employee training; and (3) periodic inspections.

We’ll look at each of those three required parts of an energy control program more closely in this article.

As we do, we’ll draw some materials from two of our online safety training courses related to lockout-tagout:

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