Always Updating…

One of the many benefits of developing 3D animated training is that there’s always the opportunity to update and improve our models. As computing power increases and our development processes evolve, we get to take advantage of creating more complex and realistic 3D environments, machines, and people.

Here’s an example from our Trenching and Excavation Safety course, currently under development. The first image is what we’ve used in the past. At the time, it did the trick. But then, of course, this is a dynamic and ever-changing industry. And animators and 3D modelers characteristically like to push the envelope.

The second image is our latest model under development. It’ll be a focal point of our new Trenching and Excavating Safety course and it represents a much more sophisticated, detailed, and realistic piece of equipment. It’s the result of our increasingly refined skills, tools, and processes. Ultimately, that’s what defines an animation studio, constantly pushing the limits of what’s possible to create effective, engaging illusions that tell a story.

Read More

Convergence at ASSE Safety 2011

June 12 -15 we’ll be exhibiting at ASSE’s Safety 2011 Expo in Chicago, IL. Last year’s show in Baltimore had an estimated attendance of 4,000. And with this year being the ASSE’s 100th anniversary, we expect even more attendees.

If you plan on coming to the show, or if you’re in the area, come by Booth #182 to experience our innovative 3D OSHA-based videos and learning management software. At the end of the show last year we gave away an iPad, flat screen TV, and massage chairs. Who knows what cool prizes we’ll give away this year. So stop by and talk with Bjorn Ansbro and Scott Rise. You’ll see some awesome training and you could just win big!

Visit the link below for more info:

www.asse.org/education/pdc11/

Read More

Benefits of 3D Graphics in Training

For those of you curious about the power of our 3D animation, take a look at this recent comment from a customer who purchased our Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety DVD:

“Graphics were great! The information in the DVD was excellent, but what really stood out to me were the graphics. When I showed it in our safety meeting it definitely kept everyone’s attention and in turn everybody listened to the information better. It was definitely worth the price.”

In safety training, holding the attention of your employees is sometimes half the battle! An exciting visual format focuses the viewer’s attention and prevents their mind from wandering. We create 3D scenes, equipment, and environments that produce cinematic, visually exciting scenarios that keep people’s interest. But pretty pictures are only half the battle.

Some of our most effective use of 3D animation is to visually demonstrate critically important concepts that can be next to impossible with live-action video. For example, in our Compressed Gas safety video, we blow stuff up! But we also create scenes for visual impact based on actual incident reports, not just for fun. OK, it is fun… but we take our work very seriously! Another cool use of 3D is when we show gas molecules being condensed into a cylinder. Imagine trying to do that with a video camera!

So check out our Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety video and take a moment to see some of our other work… You won’t look at safety training the same way again.

Read More

Safety is Part of Everything We Do…

Providing a secure and enjoyable experience for our customers is extremely important to us. So we make sure our ecommerce site is tested by one of the most respected names in software security, McAfee. And getting a big, green check-mark from them means a lot.

So shop with us worry-free. And if you ever have questions about our site or our products, just give us a call at 800.619.2280.

Read More

Convergence Training Viewer gets “Clean Award” from Download3k.com

Convergence Training Viewer (CTV) was tested recently by Download3k.com and found to be free of viruses or spyware. Using 4 of the best antivirus engines available today (Avira, Kaspersky, NOD32, Bitdefender), the Download3k tests provided confirmation that our Training Viewer software is completely clean of any form of badware (viruses, spyware, adware, etc.) and totally safe for anybody to download and use to view any SCORM-compliant training materials.

You can download Convergence Training Viewer from Download3k and use it to view Convergence courses, other SCORM courses, or even to import any courses you’ve created with popular authoring tools.

Read More

OSHA 10-Hour Training Videos In Production

Our new OSHA 10-Hour General Industry training videos are now in production and will be available later this year.

The new curriculum meets the training requirements of 29 CFR 1910 and provides the dynamic training experience you’ve come to expect from Convergence Training. Our set of video courses are SCORM-compliant, meaning you can input them into your current or future LMS. As always, our courses will be jam-packed with engaging visuals, clear instruction, and concise audio, with some of our best 3D animations and virtual sets ever.

This set of courses will cover:

• OSHA Act, General Duty Clause, Employer and Employee Rights and Responsibilities
• Walking and Working Surfaces, Including Fall Protection
• Exit Routes
• Electrical
• Personal Protective Equipment
• Hazard Communication
• And more

Check back for updates as video production continues, and we’ll be sure to announce when the new OSHA 10-Hour General Industry training curriculum is available for sale.

Who should take these training courses? People working in the following industries:

• Construction
• Distribution
• Health Care
• Pulp & Paper
• Manufacturing
• Retail
• Warehousing

And as always, feel free to call or email us with any questions or suggestions regarding our training courses and software. We’re always happy to hear from you.

Read More

Forklift Safety DVD – Now Available!

We’re super happy to announce that our Forklift Safety course is now available on DVD. And if we do say so ourselves, the 3D animation and graphics are some of our best yet. We feel there’s simply no better video out there on the common hazards and safe operation of forklifts.

Click Here for a sample video focusing on the principles of forklift stability. It’s a great preview of how our 3D animation can show dynamic physical concepts that simply aren’t possible via standard video or print materials.

Here’s a sample of how our new Forklift Safety DVD is being received by industry professionals:

  • “This is by far the best visualization and explanation of forklift load shift that I have ever seen. Because the people you are training are visual and verbal learners this should go a long way.”
  • Bart Gragg, Workforce Consultant and President of Blue Collar University

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for sample videos, more details, and to purchase our New Forklift Safety DVD.

Read More

Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety Video Produced for Air Liquide

Last month Convergence Training was hired by Air Liquide to produce a safety training video about working with pressurized gas.

Air Liquide is a multinational producer of specialty industrial gases and also the containers that hold these gases. Air Liquide finds it valuable to give their customers the best information on how to work safely with their products. The Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety DVD is now available free of charge and can be ordered on the Air Liquide website.

The course emphasizes the most important concerns industrial workers need to know about working with pressurized gas cylinders. The info in this DVD includes:

  • General cylinder facts and information
  • Handling and transporting cylinders
  • Cylinder and specialty gas hazards
  • Indoor and outdoor cylinder storage
  • Installation and use of cylinders and equipment
  • Point-of-use cylinder safety

The course also features specific Air Liquide components, such as the SMARTOP™ and ALTOP™ canister cylinder caps. The ability of our 3D model artists to create realistic depictions of Air Liquide cylinders and components is one of the reasons Convergence Training was chosen for this project.

Also, 3D animation has certain strengths for industrial process videos like this, because we are able to depict what NOT to do much more easily than a standard live-action video can. In our Air Liquide video, we show the actual dangers (sometimes explosive) of what can occur when gas cylinders are not stored correctly, and this gives our safety training that much more impact. Air Liquide calls the DVD a “must see for anyone who uses gases under pressure.”

Read More

New 2010 MSHA Rules on Miner Exposure to Coal Dust

Coal mine dust that is able to be breathed causes a range of diseases that are known collectively as black lung. Black lung can lead to lung impairment, permanent disability, and even death. While considerable progress has been made in reducing miners exposure to respirable coal mine dust, miners continue to develop these diseases. There has even been a rise in serious cases of these diseases occurring in younger and younger miners.

MSHA has a new rule, published in October of this year, called “Lowering Miner’s Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors”. Some major parts of the rule include:

  • lowering the existing concentration limits of breathable coal dust
  • requiring the use of a personal dust monitor
  • addressing extended work shifts
  • and expanding medical surveillance of workers
  • lowering the existing concentration limits of breathable coal dust

A very good synopsis of the rule can be seen here.

There will be six public hearings on the new rules over the next couple months. Members of the public will be able to make oral presentations and weigh in with their thoughts on the rules. Click here for the public hearing schedule.

Convergence Training will be updating our MSHA safety training videos after the respirable coal dust public hearings are finished. That way we’ll be sure to understand all of the implications of the new rules for our mining customers. If you’re currently a Convergence Training customer (or if you might be one day), follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on our MSHA- and OSHA-aligned product releases and news.

Read More

Bad Training Sucks Merchandise Now Available from Convergence

To help spread the word about the new “training revolution”, we’ve been attending safety and training-related tradeshows across the country sporting bold new gear with the “Bad Training Sucks” slogan. The gear was such a hit at the tradeshows and so many people wanted a shirt or sticker, we figured “why not make this stuff available to everybody?” So…

We’ve added a new Merchandise section to our BuyBetterTraining online storefront where you can order T-shirts, mugs, stickers, and other soon-to-be-released goods from Convergence – producer of the most un-sucky training materials on the planet.

Check it out, pick up a shirt, and let everybody know how you feel about bad training – it sucks!

Read More

Reducing Trade Show Costs While Giving Back to the Community

If you’ve been to a trade show then you’re probably aware of the high mark-up that is charged for equipment and furniture rental. What if you could save some of that business cost and contribute to the community at the same time? Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Earlier this year we attended the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Expo in Baltimore, Maryland. While preparing to rent such common items as chairs, tables, and televisions through the trade show catalog Scott Rise, one of our sales representatives, got a bright idea. Why not purchase the items we needed for our booth and give the stuff away to a local charity when we were done with the show?

Doing a little math showed that it was indeed cheaper to buy the furniture at a Wal-Mart-type store than it would be to rent similar items at the Expo. Best of all, we’d be able to donate everything to a deserving charity afterwards.

We put this idea in action again when we attended the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in San Diego in October 2010. We contacted a charity called Alpha Project — a national nonprofit that serves the homeless and low-income population. After the Expo we donated all the booth furniture to the organization.

In turn, the Alpha Project “gave it to clients who were in the process of getting on their feet, getting an apartment, trying to get a job,” said Karen Pucci, Program Manager for the San Diego chapter of the organization. “We are truly grateful for these types of donations. The people we serve who are transitioning from homelessness can really use furniture and household goods.”

About our donations, Corey Black of the NSC had this to say: “The National Safety Council appreciates Convergence Training donating furniture they use during the NSC Congress & Expo to charities. This is one demonstration of how thinking creatively can impact others in a meaningful way.”

Seldom is there the chance to save some business costs while doing something that feels good. Thanks to Scott Rise and his outside-the-box thinking, Convergence helped (and will continue to help) deserving organizations and individuals.

Read More