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Vopak NL_Terminal Rotterdam Europoort

Vopak increases safety with customised Field Supervisor Training

Vopak increases safety with customised Field Supervisor Training

General Industry Custom
September 1, 2020

Working safely is a top priority for many organizations working in the (petrochemical) industry. So too at Vopak. The situations that occur at a terminal are often complex and there is not always an existing solution to make employees aware of the possible dangers. Vopak therefore felt the need to train Field Supervisors even better and to provide them with the necessary knowledge and communication skills to properly manage contractors. In collaboration with DELTA Safety Training, Vopak has developed a tailor-made training course which exactly meets this need and contributes to increasing safety at the terminals. In this article, we interview Irma van IJperen, Divisional Training Coordinator at Vopak, and she tells us all about the development of the customized Field Supervisor Training.

Need for customisation
Vopak's Field Supervisors supervise the contractors at the various terminals. In order to do this properly and safely, a wide range of knowledge is required. For example, they must have knowledge of welding, working safely at heights and working in confined spaces. It is also important that Field Supervisors have good communication skills. If they can manage the contractors in a pleasant way, they can do their jobs with confidence and dangerous situations are minimised. Irma: "In mid-2017, the technical managers at Vopak's Botlek and Europoort locations requested the development of a tailor-made Field Supervisor Training covering both aspects. In other words, both the deepening of substantive knowledge and the improvement of management qualities. We then sat down and first mapped out the purpose of the training and the conditions. We then started discussions with various training centres and ultimately chose DELTA Safety Training."

Vopak harness flange mechanic

Partnership and teamwork
After the goal and the preconditions were determined, the topics were put on paper. The training was structured around the following topics:

  • Working at height
  • Working in confined spaces
  • Flange connections
  • Welding
  • Scaffold construction
  • E&I (Electrical & Instrumentation)
  • Safe handling of loads
  • Tools
  • Industrial cleaning
  • Recognition of asbestos

Note: Photo pre-dates the covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

Irma: "We've asked a Vopak expert to contribute his or her knowledge on each subject. The content of the technical disciplines has been compiled from the joint know-how of Vopak and DELTA Safety Training. We have chosen for DELTA Safety Training because of their expertise and flexibility. DELTA Safety Training has, for example, extensive knowledge of working at heights and in confined spaces, flange connections, scaffolding construction, industrial cleaning and the safe movement of loads. Vopak's technical specialists have enriched the content where necessary and put it in a Vopak jacket. In total, the entire development took a year, from initial idea to the launch of the first training course."

Success factors
When we ask Irma if she has encountered any specific challenges during the development and implementation of the training, she answers that the whole process actually went quite smoothly. For an organisation of this calibre and a training of this format this is quite unique. We are therefore very curious to know what, according to Irma, are the secret factors behind this success. Irma: "The success of the smooth development and the training itself is mainly due to the fact that we stayed close to Vopak and worked with recognisable situations. The training is always kicked off by a Vopak director or a Vopak technical manager. The training then starts with a moving video of an employee who once fell and is now in a wheelchair. This video often leaves a deep impression. Both the kick-off by the management and the video are intended to impress upon those present the importance of the training and of working safely in general. It also helps that the entire training has the Vopak look & feel. The training is always concluded in a fun, informal way. Our Field Supervisors are actually always enthusiastic when they return from the training. The entourage at DELTA Safety Training certainly contributes to this. It is still pleasant to stay there."

Knowledge assurance
The main purpose of the customised Field Supervisor Training and the other initiatives integrated by Vopak is to secure knowledge. A colleague must not only hold a valid certificate, but must also be able to apply the knowledge gained. The tailor-made training courses are ideally suited to keeping employees' knowledge top of mind. The team members are therefore able to perform their tasks in a pleasant and confident manner.

Is there a need for a tailor-made training to secure knowledge within your organisation and would you like to know what the possibilities are? Then leave your details below.

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