One of the major trends within tank storage in 2013 has been a greater focus on both safety and staff training with increasing amounts of money and resource directed into this area. And its no surprise considering the International Labor Organization estimates that every 15 seconds worldwide, a worker loses his or her life due to a work-related injury or illness. Whilst in the US alone more than 650 workers died in the United States last year as a result of falls, slips or other missteps in the workplace, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the leaders in educating customers and policy makers on the importance of workplace safety and prevention of serious accidents is Honeywell, who earlier in the year opened a first-of-its-kind Life Safety Training and Customer Experience Center (CEC) in Houston, USA.
The $3 million facility will serve as the preeminent location in the U.S. for customer workforce training and features a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated to interactive training and repair services. The center will provide an immersive experience for customers to interact in real-world work environments using Honeywell’s personal protective equipment, including fall protection harnesses, hardhats, self-contained breathing apparatus, portable gas detection equipment, and products for gas, fire and smoke detection.
“Honeywell recognizes the urgent need for heightened safety equipment and training to ensure worker safety improves in the U.S. and throughout the world,” said Mark Levy, president, Honeywell Life Safety. “We chose Houston for this facility because of the concentration of top global oil and gas, energy and industrial companies in the area, as well as it being a major hub for our customers across Latin America. Honeywell will leverage the CEC and training facility to educate workers on how to be safe in the workplace, even when the environment is not.”
The CEC showcases the Honeywell equipment necessary to keep potentially hazardous workplaces safe. It also enables customers to receive hands-on education and features nine simulators that replicate industry applications and potentially hazardous environments, including a simulated catwalk and pipe track, climbing pole, confined tank, drilling tower, training tower, ladder rescue simulator confined space simulator and wind simulator.
Specific scenarios include:
• Similar to oil rigs and cell towers, the 25-foot tower simulator allows trainers to reproduce high angle tower and rescue operations using various control descent procedures, equipment and devices.
• Applicable to the wind energy industry, the wind nacelle helps trainers simulate extrication and rotor rescue from inside the generator as well as rescues over the side of the rotor and ahead of the blades.
• Seen in petro-chemical and mining environments, as well as complex industrial sites, the confined space simulator allows trainers to perform vertical and horizontal confined space entry operations. It can also replicate confined space rescue operations simulating hazardous conditions and emergencies in a controlled environment with non-toxic smoke, flashing lights and chaotic noise.
For example, customers can learn how firefighters, welders, and oil rig and construction workers can be protected from fire, arc flash events, volatile gas exposure and potential falls. “While regulation is important, workplace safety truly starts with education,” said Gary Rosenblum, senior director of the Campbell Institute, a Center of Excellence at the National Safety Council. “Whether it’s on an oil rig or in a warehouse, workers who have a thorough understanding of the techniques and gear necessary to do their job safely prevent themselves from becoming another statistic. A training center that brings the newest technology, techniques and expertise together in one facility is an excellent step towards improved worker and customer safety.”
“With safety emerging as a top priority for our customers in industries like oil and gas, the opening of Honeywell’s Life Safety Training and Customer Experience Center points to our concerted dedication to protecting the lives of workers in virtually every industry and to helping companies develop an enduring culture of safety” said Levy. “We are excited to welcome workers from across the world to this state-of-the-art facility to explore and learn new ways to be safe and productive.”