Safety first: Aerial Platform Safety conference

15 April 2008

The third annual Aerial Platform Safety conference was held in Houston, Texas last October. Patrick Hill, a contributing editor at ALH, reports from the event.

Genie Industries is about to launch online train–the–trainer and operator training materials for aerial platforms and telehandlers.

The program, which will be available through Genie dealers in North America, as well as major Genie rental accounts, will comprise a series of voiceover training materials and videos, and questionnaires to be completed online by trainees.

Students who successfully complete the online portion of the training – a process that could typically take between three and six hours – then contact their local Genie dealer with a certificate and completion code in order to receive practical on–the–machine training to complete the course.

Luke Webber, Genie's telehandler product manager who has managed the online training project, tells ALH, “the intention is to reach more trainees than ever before. We' re seeing such growth in demand, plus there is big turnover in the industry, with lots of new operators every year.”

Webber says the online training will also help trainees in more remote areas access training easily. He says costs have not been finalized, although Genie will not determine what dealers charge for the training.

“We' re not intending to make money on it,” says Webber. “It's there to get as much quality information to the user as possible.” Genie will continue to offer and promote conventional classroom training.

Webber acknowledges that the initiative has raised some eyebrows in the industry, but he argues that “government and universities already offer online training – I' m not sure that everyone understands the power of the Internet.” He says e–learning has benefits in being able to be done at any time and place with a computer, “and it empowers the student to learn for themselves.” It also means that trainees receive consistent training.

“It's not about taking a certificate off a computer and then jumping on a machine,” he says.

Although the training materials have been geared around ANSI–designed equipment, Webber says it would not take too much effort to modify the course for other markets around the world.

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