PulpandPaperTraining.com Launched!

Convergence Training is pleased to announce that we have launched a new website, dedicated to our pulp and paper customers.

Specific topics covered by this new website include:

We invite you to browse the new site and give us your feedback!

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MSHASafetyTraining.com Adds Surface Miner Training Online (Enterprise Solution)

Do you have many miners at many sites?

Do you need to get MSHA Part 46 training to those miners?

Do you have a hard and costly time getting those miners together for training?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes!”, then MSHASafetyTraining.com has an enterprise solution for you.

After many requests, MSHASafetyTraining.com is proud to announce our award winning MSHA training is now available in an online msha training solution. Our Surface Miner Training, combined with our Online Learning Management System, provides a fully-integrated training management solution. You can set up training plans, deliver training, test trainees, and automatically produce records of training in a centralized internet-based system. Access the system from any PC connected to the internet. With our online system you will save time and money!

Check it out here:
Surface Miner Training Online

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Spanish MSHA Part 46 Training?

Over the last couple of years, we have been getting more and more requests to have our safety training DVDs and MSHA Part 46 training translated to Spanish. Because of the additional requests, we are looking into translation services and budgeting to see what it would take. Not everyone fully understands some of the challenges we face by undertaking the translation. There are several different ways to approach it with different levels of end-product quality. Here are the options:

Add Subtitles and Audio to Safety DVDs – $$$
The “easiest” way to get into Spanish is to target just our DVD products. We can get the scripts translated and recorded in Spanish, and just add an alternative audio track. This may sound simple, but keep in mind we have over 16 hours of combined EHS and MSHA training. The cost just for us to have the script translated and recorded could be more than $50k! In addition, the downside is that only the audio gets translated, so all the graphics on the screen will be in English and American standard measurements. For native Spanish speakers, they could hear appropriate text, but the animations and graphics may not coordinate.

Translate On-Screen Graphics and Add Spanish Audio – $$$$
The next step would be more translation including the on-screen graphics. This would include doing the above translation, PLUS a translator would have to watch all of our training, transcribe the text and graphics on screen, and then we would have to manually update all the text. I’m guessing that cost would be another $50k or more, plus the time it would take someone internally to make all the required graphics changes. There is still one downside to this method, and that involves the 3D scenes. Any of the photos, or textures used in the 3D scenes would still be in English.

Update 3D Scenes, Translate On-Screen Graphics, Add Spanish Audio – $$$$$
The ultimate translation job would include both of the previous steps, PLUS the translation of all 3D assets. This can be truly difficult because it will involve photoshopping texture files and photos to remove English text. It would also require a lot of time to re-render the 3D files, which would then need to be re-imported into our video editing software (Adobe After Effects). Imaging showing a render with a street sign that says “one way” on it in English. It wouldn’t make any sense to someone who couldn’t read it.

In my opinion, the last path would end up with the most usable training product for Spanish speakers. If you only translate the audio and/or some of the graphics, the training can’t possibly be as effective or engaging. Since we are talking about some fairly technical information that definitely has the ability to save lives, wouldn’t you want it to be as effective as possible?

If you are interested in Spanish version of any of our training, contact us to let us know. info@thinkconvergence.com, 1-888-634-7346

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Convergence Training Visits Northeast

Convergence Training will be meeting with prospects and clients in a weeklong trip to the Cincinnati, Ohio area. We will be meeting primarily with pulp and paper customers and surface mining operations.

If you would like to schedule a meeting with a Convergence representative in your area, visit our Contact Us page and let us know.

We look forward to our trip and meeting with everyone!

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Convergence to Launch New Website Focused on Mill Training

Convergence Training is launching a new website exclusively for pulp and paper producers! The new site will feature training products focused solely on the pulp and paper industry. This will help our forest product customers get what they need to more easily manage their most important asset, their workforce.

A rough outline of topics that will be included on www.PulpAndPaperTraining.com can be found below:

Orientation Training

  • Contractor Orientation and Training
  • New Hire Orientation

Custom Training

  • Process and Equipment Training
  • Converting Training
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Training
  • Other Site-Specific Training Customized for Your Facility

Mill Safety Training Library

  • 28 OSHA-Based Safety Courses
  • Over 10 Hours of Training
  • Contemporary, Engaging, To-The-Point

Mobile Training

  • Track Classroom Attendance
  • Perform Real-Time Task Training
  • Capture electronic signatures
  • Identify Equipment Using Barcode Scanner

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Convergence Training Welcomes Two New Employees

We would like to welcome two new designers to the Convergence Training team, Bobby Morin and Dustin Langley.

Bobby and Dustin bring additional horsepower to our creative team by way of their 3d and animation skills and will help us continue to meet our project deadlines and business goals. Dustin is currently working on a building the model for a customer paper machine course and Bobby is helping us with a different site-specific paper machine training project.

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Paying For Our Training is Way Better Than Getting It For FREE!

Why Pay Convergence When We Can Get Training For Free From MSHA?

Simple. Because MSHA’s free training really isn’t so free. Granted, MSHA training programs can be a cost-effective approach to staying compliant. But many mine operators and mining contractors either don’t have the flexibility necessary to meet MSHA’s training schedules or can’t coordinate the minimum number of attendees for an MSHA training session.

Remember that when you’re trying to save a few bucks with a free training session, you have to take into account all the additional expenses involved, including travel time, fuel, food, and accommodations.

Let’s Look At The Real Cost Of Free Training

Let’s compare the difference between sending five employees (the minimum allowed) to a free MSHA training session, and using our Surface Miner Training DVD Set.

With MSHA’s free training, you’re paying:

MSHA Requires a minimum of 5 attendees. Wages include an average of $20 per hour for 8 hours of annual refresher training and 6 hours of travel time (300 round trip miles). Transportation costs assume 15 mpg at $3 per gallon. Meals are factored in using $25 for each attendee.
MSHA Free Training 5 Workers
Wages During Training $800
Travel Time $600
Food $125
Fuel $60
Mileage $165

By the time you’re done getting your employees their annual refresher it is far from free, and that’s for just five employees.

Now Let’s Look At Our Surface Miner Training DVD Set

You just can’t beat the cost-effectiveness of training your team onsite on your schedule. Our Surface Miner Training DVD Set covers all the same required Part 46 content, but with a modern look and training style that your employees will engage with. With these DVDs, you can train at your convenience, and without the scheduling, logistical, and cost headaches.

So, here’s what it will cost you for the same training:

Convergence Training 5 Workers
Wages During Training $800
Travel Time $0
Food $0
Fuel $0
Mileage $0 Surface Miner Training DVD Set $499 $1,299

With Convergence Surface Miner Training, you benefit from:

  • Cost-Effective Training – A one-time cost of $499 for the DVD set (testing tools and certificates included).
  • Scheduling Flexibility – Training done at your convenience.
  • Hassle-Free On-Site Training – No worrying about employees missing the MSHA appointments.

With our Surface Miner Training DVD Set, you can use it as many times as you like. Train your new miners and use it for your annual refreshers as well.

Let’s Compare One Last Time

Using the DVD Set instead of the free MSHA training will actually save you hundreds of dollars the first time you use it – an immediate savings of $451. Over the life of the DVDs you will save even more – after using the DVDs for five years you will be saving more than $4,250, and that’s assuming you only have to train five employees.

However, you decide to train your team, just consider the real cost of free training. Many of our customers already have.

All numbers in this article are estimates. Your actual numbers may vary.

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Jack, Say Hello to John, Your Replacement

In launching the new driving courses, we decided to make an update to our main character, Jack. We have a brand new model, John, with many upgrades such as:

  • More realistic looking skin
  • Better facial expressions
  • More eye and mouth detail
  • Upgraded jeans and boots
  • Hair (and optional beard) realistically rendered

We are working on setting up the facial morphs, the skeleton and rigging system, as well as the PPE (hard hat, safety glasses, hi-visibility vest, etc) and will begin using John on our next courses.

Without further ado, we would like you to meet John:

See these renders of our old character, Jack:

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Death, Money and Facts for American Surface Mines

Good News
In 2008, the number of fatalities at U.S. surface mines dropped to a record low of 28. Great!

Bad News
28 American surface miners needlessly lost their lives. Not so great.

More Bad News
For that same year, MSHA slammed surface mines with a record $194 million in penalties. That’s 2.6 times the amount for the previous year.

Last year (2008) was an all time low for surface mine deaths in the U.S. totaling only 28 lives. This statistic shows us that with the proper safety training we can reduce the number of deaths and injuries. At the same time, this also points out the loss of 28 surface miners which could have potentially been avoided with proper training.

As surface mine operators subject to MSHA Part 46 regulations, you should be aware of the heavy fines for safety and health violations. In 2008 MSHA assessed 198,700 penalties for violations, compared to the 130,100 violations in the previous year. The dollar amount for all these penalties in 2008 was $194 million, compared to just $74.5 million in 2007. Penalties of this magnitude indicate that MSHA is being proactive in assessing mine safety and health and that remaining out of compliance poses huge financial risks for those willing to gamble.

According to MSHA, the root cause of the 28 U.S. surface mine deaths was attributed to:

  • Inadequate training
  • No risk assessment conducted
  • Inadequate policies, procedures, and controls
  • Not using personal protective equipment
  • Lack of pre-operation checks
  • Not maintaining equipment
  • Failure to conduct examinations

Record low deaths of surface miners and record high penalties for violations of safety and health go hand in hand. We see that MSHA has raised awareness in order to save lives by increasing enforcement and handing out $194 million in penalties.

At Convergence Training, we feel very strongly that we can help improve surface mine safety while keeping mine operators compliant with MSHA Part 46 training requirements. Everybody wins when miners get to go home to their families and mine operators lower their costs.

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Will Libraries Be Around in 10 Years? 20? 50?

I read a really interesting blog post on replacing library books and text books with digital textbooks. The article made some really good points, and I’d like to re-spin them here, of course giving full credit to Thomas Curtis, the original author. Read the full article here.

Here is a summary of what I took away from his article:

Why pay up to $100 for an average textbook that could be missing really important events only a short time after printing?
Electronic versions are cheaper and can be updated with current events such as the Iraq war, the country’s first Afican American president, and the decoding of the human genome to name a few that have occured in the last six years.

When studying a textbook, how often do you read the entire thing versus manually searching for specific pieces of information?
Every wish you could use CTRL+F (the keyboard shorcut for ‘Find’) on a textbook and search for information? 🙂

What hours is your library open, and how many copies can they have of each book?
Digital textbooks could be available 24/7 and available to an unlimited number of people (possibly limited by licensing)

I really liked the ideas in the article and hope more people can think outside the box on the future of textbooks for our students. Similar questions can be asked to paper mills and industrial facilities:

  • How many copies of user manuals or safety books does your site have sitting in a room somewhere?
  • If someone needs access to it, can they get it?
  • Can they quickly find the specific information they need?
  • What if someone else has it checked out or sitting on their desk?
  • How up to date is it?

Has your site done anything outside-of-the-box to help make information accessible? Let us know!

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An Online LMS for Way Less Than a Trip to the Emergency Room

Convergence Training is bringing safety training tools to just about any business. Soon, pretty much any company will be able to train, track, report, and get important notifications anywhere at any time for way less than a trip to the ER.

Convergence WebExpress is our new Internet-based training delivery and management system. It’s an online learning management system, or LMS, without the expensive servers or sophisticated software. Keep reading to find out more.

Old School LMS
As veterans of complex technical LMS installations, we’ve known for years that a company’s fundamental training needs don’t change as they grow. They just get bigger. They just need more people trained more times in more places with reports sent to more people.

And while just about any organization could benefit from the features provided by many LMSs, the costs of these systems fall astronomically beyond the budgets of most small to medium sized enterprises. So in the past, you had to be big enough to justify the hardware and software investment.

We’re changing all that.

New School Web Tools – Convergence WebExpress
For less than 10% of the cost of the average emergency room visit, any company will be able to access our entire library of courses to train an employee for a full year. That’s all 28 Environmental, Health and Safety courses and our complete set of 27 Surface Miner Training topics.

You’ll get a scalable solution and cost structure that fits your budget with a versatile set of courses and centralized training management tools.

24/7 Training
Administer required training anytime, anywhere via the Internet. Since it’s online, we can update or add training content at any time. No more 80’s VHS tapes or scratched DVDs to deal with. No in-house IT resource costs. Just relevant, affordable, accessible, and effective training.

Call Us For A Demo
Give us a call or send us an email to get a free demo account set up. Kick the tires and make sure it’s right for your business. No strings attached.

1.888.634.7346 – Toll Free

View a WebExpress Training Plan


See the Administrative Interface


Check out a Compliance Report

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