Convergence Mobile Training Coming Soon

We’re preparing for the upcoming release of Convergence Mobile, our tablet-based mobile training solution. Designed to integrate seamlessly with our Convergence Learning Management System (LMS), Convergence Mobile is an essential on-the-job training tool.

Convergence Mobile puts information in the hands of workers in the field, leading to decreased downtime and production expenses, and makes it easier to train workers in their work environment, which cuts the cost of training while at the same time making it more effective.

If you’re Convergence LMS user, you’ll soon be able to add this fully-integrated mobile component to your training program. And if you’re not yet a Convergence customer, the addition of Convergence Mobile to the powerful features in Convergence LMS should open your eyes to a whole new world of training opportunities.

Key Features

Work Performance Support Delivery: Use the tablet’s built-in barcode scanner to view a list of any training activity or reference material related to a machine or work area and then view that material instantly. Get access to the information you need when you need it most—on the job.

On-the-Job Training (OJT) Skill Demonstrations and Approvals: With Convergence Mobile’s Instructor Tools, a supervisor can give credit to an employee for properly demonstrating skills, procedures, or knowledge in the field. The supervisor can check the employee after each item is completed, and both the employee and supervisor can sign a digital document to confirm the training is complete. Training data is automatically synched with other employee training records in Convergence LMS.

Fully Automated Training Verification: Create training activities that ask employees to identify machines, machine components, or work areas. Then let the employee take the Convergence Mobile tablet in the field and use the built-in barcode scanner to complete the identifications. Let Mobile save your money by freeing up supervisors for more important jobs.

Full PC Functionality: Convergence Mobile isn’t just a learning device; it provides you with a modern, wi-fi-enabled, touch-screen PC running Windows 7. If you can do it on a laptop, you can do it on a tablet. Send emails, write notes, update spreadsheets, and surf the internet.

Flexible Hardware Options: Convergence Mobile can run on any Windows-based tablet. From rugged, shock-proof workhorses, to slim, lightweight portables, run Mobile on the hardware most appropriate for the job.

Convergence Mobile will begin to be available to current Convergence LMS users beginning in December 2012, with a full release date planned for early 2013. Stay tuned for updates.

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16 New Workforce Essentials Courses Planned

We’re making the final preparations for the release of our Violence in the Workplace course. This will be the second title from our new Workforce Essentials library of DVD and CBT training courses, adding to our Sexual Harassment Awareness course, currently available from BuyBetterTraining.com.

Perfect for management and human resources departments, our Workforce Essentials library contains courses relevant to establishing fundamental guidelines for safe, healthy, and respectful employee conduct. We’re planning to add 16 new courses to the library over the coming year.

Workforce Essentials Courses – Coming Soon:

  • Problem-Solving Techniques
  • Meeting Customer Expectations
  • 5S Methodology
  • Understanding Facility Costs
  • Centerlining
  • Process Control Chart Basics
  • Equipment Maintenance and Reliability
  • Conflict Management
  • Workers with Disabilities
  • Discrimination Awareness
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace
  • Intellectual Property Rights Basics
  • Legal Agreement Basics
  • Workplace Stress

Of course, these new courses will be loaded with all the features you’ve come to expect from Convergence training, such as:

  • Straight, clear, and to-the-point content
  • Audio narration and full written text
  • Multimedia visuals featuring animated 3D
  • Interactive practice questions and scored assessment
  • Effective and engaging instructional design
  • SCORM 1.2 compliance

Be sure to check back to see when the courses in this exciting and highly useful new training library are available. On our end, we’ll be sure to make an announcement as each of these courses becomes available for sale.

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Contractor Orientation Training Challenges & Solutions

Many workplaces struggle to find an effective, efficient way to provide site-specific orientations to contractors who will work on their site. Confirming that contractors who arrive on site are properly trained, and maintaining accurate, up-to-date records of training, are equally challenging.

Fortunately, you can work with a training provider to create your orientation materials for you, and they can set you up with an online system that allows you to administer the whole thing online, including deliver the orientation to your contractors online and run reports to see who’s done and not done online.

Let’s look at some of the challenges in trying to provide contractor orientation (or visitor orientation) on your own, and then list some things you should look for in a contractor orientation provider.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider with a strong EHS offering. We made our Contractor LMS specifically for administering contractor orientations. In addition, we can create a custom contractor orientation online course for your workplace. Contact us to learn more.

And don’t forget to download our FREE Online Contractor Orientation Buyer’s Guide.

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Top 10 Problems OSHA Inspectors Look For

We recently attended a training seminar called OSHA Compliance. Most of the attendees of the seminar were small- to medium-sized business owners or managers who wanted to learn the best ways to protect themselves from being in violation of OSHA regulations.

One interesting part of the seminar was when the trainer detailed a list of the top ten problems an OSHA inspector looks for when they visit a business. Here is that list:

  1. Sources of motion
  2. Sources of high temperature
  3. Sharp objects
  4. Rolling objects (crushing)
  5. Harmful dusts
  6. Falling objects
  7. Schematic/layout of workplace
  8. Chemical exposure
  9. Electrical hazards
  10. Slippery surfaces

The above list shouldn’t be confused with the more commonly-seen Top Ten OSHA Violations/Citations list.

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Getting Better at Work (A Review of Atul Gawande’s Book “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance”)

When I’m not at work, I read a lot of stuff directly related to my work. This includes lots of books on instructional design, training, and information design. And it includes books on safety, engineering, and regulations.

Sometimes, though, I like to kick back and read something different. I even retreat into the pure escapism of a novel sometime. No, I haven’t read 50 Shades of Gray (although I did see a copy in the back seat of a car owned by someone on our sales team!). But ignoring the occasional novel, even if a book I’m reading isn’t directly related to my work, it’s often indirectly related. And that’s the case with a book I just finished: Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, by Atul Gawande.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make off-the-shelf e-learning courses, several different learning management systems (LMSs), and even custom training solutions. Contact us for a demo, to view full-length course previews, or just to ask some questions.

Also, since you’re here, why now download some of our free guides?

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Convergence Forklift Safety Course in the NEWS!

As the economy rebuilds and hiring rates increase, employers everywhere are looking toward e-learning resources to satisfy compliance requirements and other corporate training needs. One such e-learning resource is Open Sesame, an online marketplace which sells Convergence computer-based safety training courses among thousands of other valuable HR and business-related titles.

In their Business News segment titled, “Portland Tech Startup Hosts Business Classes,” KGW News Channel 8 in Portland OR reports how companies like Convergence Training offer courses through Open Sesame’s e-learning marketplace. You’ll see a sample of Convergence Training’s Forklift Safety course at 01:21 in the broadcast.

Out of over 16,000 courses, Open Sesame chose to show a sample of our advanced, computer-animated training. That’s a genuine endorsement of our talented animators and instructional designers. Way to go, TEAM!

As always, you can see samples of all our courses HERE or visit OpenSesame.com and search for “Convergence Training” to see how we compare with other providers.

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Higher Temperatures Increase Heat Illness Hazards

2011 was one of the top 15 hottest years on record. In the contiguous United States, for the period from June 2011 to June 2012, temperatures have been the hottest on record. Higher global temperatures increase the chances of extreme weather, like the severe drought that was seen in Texas this year, and the unusually high heat in England.

An increase in global temperature will lead to a higher likelihood of heat exhaustion and heat stress, so it’s important to recognize these hazards if you’re supervising outdoor workers, or if you are an outdoor worker yourself. High heat can cause body temperatures to rise to dangerous levels if precautions aren’t taken. Heat illnesses can range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke can result in death.

As OSHA points out on their website post about these increased heat dangers to workers:

“During heat waves we worry about the elderly, people who live alone, the homeless, and others. It’s time to make outdoor workers a part of that group.”

Convergence Training has a 13 minute video course meant to raise awareness of heat illnesses. Click here for a full description of our Heat Stress Causes course.

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Make Learning a Two-Way Interaction With Convergence LMS

Think back to the worst and best learning experiences in your life. If you’re like most of us, your worst learning experiences probably include listening to a boring teacher or lecturer going on and on while you slump in your seat and fight the urge to fall asleep. And your best learning experiences probably include a great teacher who helped create interesting communications that you took an active part in.

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OSHA Revises Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) to Conform with Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Chemical Labeling

Maybe you know this already, maybe you’ve heard some whispers but don’t know the full story, or maybe you’re sitting in your chair right now, reading your computer screen and asking yourself “What the heck is this all about?”

Whether you know about this already or not, the fact is that labeling requirements in the United States for hazardous chemicals are about to change.

OSHA has updated their Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) so that it will comply with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. In catchier terms, this is known as the Globally Harmonized System or simply the GHS.

The purpose of the change is to standardize chemical labeling requirements not just within the United States, but throughout the entire world.

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OSHA Offers Free Heat Safety App for iPhone and Android

OSHA’s got a free heat safety app for iPhone and Android phones/devices, and we wanted to make sure you knew about it.

The app calculates the heat index for your site, displays a risk level for your workers, and even gives you precautions to follow to keep workers safe.

We’ve got the link for you to click so you can download the app below. It’s been hot this year, and this isn’t a bad tool to have in the safety and health toolbox.

Here’s what you can go to download the app from the OSHA site.

You can get even more out of the app by backing it up with a fundamental understanding of the causes of heat stress. And we’ve got some stuff for you below to help with that.

Here’s a pretty informative article about heat stress here. Check that out if you’re interested.

This short article focuses on four ways to beat the heat (and heat stress).

OSHA’s got an entire website dedicated to Heat Stress, too–not just an app.

Want to know what causes heat stress? Our Heat Stress Causes eLearning course gives the straight skinny.

And of course, it’s important to know how to prevent heat stress and recognize its symptoms. Our Heat Stress Prevention and Symptoms eLearning course gives you what you need to know.

We know you’re reading this article because of a specific interest in heat stress and the app from OSHA, but why not download a free copy of our Guide to Effective EHS Training since you’re here, too?

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Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

Download Free Guide

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Arc Flash Safety Video Gets Review: “Highly Recommended”

Our new course Arc Flash Safety received its first online, customer review. It reads:

“I found “Arc Flash Safety” to be a well produced, effective tool for communicating hazard risks and required mitigation techniques associated with working on and around energized electrical equipment. The content begins with basic information, becomes more specific with time, and is delivered in lay person terms. The graphics serve to create understanding, maintain attention and interest, and reinforce key learning points. I highly recommend this DVD for anyone desiring to stimulate a general awareness through all levels of their organization, motivate additional learning, provide refresher awareness training for experienced personnel, and affect positive behavioral change.”

-Steve S., from Georgia

Thanks, Steve, for the thoughtful review. We very humbly agree.

As Steve points out, our courses begin with basic information and become more in-depth as the course goes on. This “layering” approach is an important part of good instructional design, especially when communicating with an audience that is relatively new to the information you are teaching. For instance, for our arc flash course, we began with a simple primer on how electricity works, and the basic science behind arc flashes and arc blasts, and then we layered on more complex ideas, such as what common electrical work scenarios lead to these incidents, and how NFPA 70E guidelines protect against risks.

A common mistake in many introductory, awareness-raising safety courses is that they do not layer the information in such a way. For instance, the course might immediately start to discuss electrical regulations and guidelines. But if your audience doesn’t even have a good idea of what the general hazard is, and why they should be afraid of it, the motivation and ability to absorb the more technical information is not going to be there.

As Steve also says, the visual graphics and animations of the course “create understanding, maintain attention and interest, and reinforce key learning points.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Besides the educational value from seeing concepts illustrated visually, the Convergence style aims to engage workers. When it comes to safety and health training, sometimes the biggest challenge is just getting your workers to sit still and watch the training. With our dynamic 3D animations, one of the hardest parts of the learning process—getting the attention of your audience—is accomplished.

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Valve Performance Video Now Available

You may know how valves work, but do you know how to select the right valve for the job based on its performance characteristics? If not, this is the course you’ve been looking for. Learn all the basic concepts and terms for evaluating a valve, including those for the amount of fluid that can flow through a given valve in a period of time, the distance the valve stem travels from the open to closed position and the relationship between the valve travel distance and the corresponding changes in flow rate. You’ll also discover how the performance of a valve can change after it’s installed in a real system with varying conditions, how well a valve can withstand pressure and prevent leakage, and how control systems can be used to increase the efficiency of valves.

Our Valve Performance course includes training and test materials for the following subjects:

  • Valve coefficient
  • Stroke
  • Flow characteristics
  • Pressure classes
  • Shutoff classes
  • Actuator-controlled valves
  • Control loops
  • Rangeability

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for details on how to purchase our Valve Performance dvd.

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