Training - Simply Not An Option

By BVAA Director, Rob Bartlett

Welcome to Issue 2 of BVAA’s Valve User magazine. As I write, BVAA have just completed one of our most successful ‘training weeks’ yet, with out highest through-put of students since records began. I was particularly pleased that we once again welcomed a number of overseas students to our courses, a sign that our ?ne reputation for training is spreading around the world. With an eye to the future, the next BVAA Executive Committee meeting will also have a ‘training focus’, with the intent of addressing our industry’s future requirements. With such positive developments, one might be forgiven for thinking that all’s well with the world of valve education and training - sadly this is not full story.

Training Courses have become essential for today’s personnel. Yet from my conversations as I tour the industry, it is clear that many key players -with a few notable exceptions - although concerned, are not taking positive steps to address the problem. We have, it appears, lost the breeding ground of good engineers - the traditional ‘apprenticeship’. Their foreshortened ‘modern’ replacements are criticised by many, and the practice of learning under the watchful tuition of a seasoned, experienced mentor has gone by-the-by as companies have down-sized.

From time to time, we see the evidence here of the accidents and injuries caused by poor or inadequate training. Sometimes the evidence is very graphic - such as the horri?c injury sustained by one maintenance operative when servicing a valve. The cause in this "an unexpected release of stored energy". The operative appears to have assumed that merely because the valve he was working upon had been removed from the process line it was "safe". In removing a plug from a still-pressurized section, he sustained massive injuries, so extensive as to make a return to work extremely unlikely. The plug was left embedded in a nearby wall. Any company involved in a case like this will no doubt incur huge legal bills and have to pay a very large sum in damages. Victims will experience tremendous pain and suffer

life-long disabilities. All completely avoidable providing staff receive proper education and training and follow the correct safety procedures. Then, there are of course, the well publicised plant failures, for which the repair costs can be immense.

It is now incumbent upon employers to ensure that their workforces are competent and properly trained - in these litigious times, training simply isn’t an option, it is a must.

BVAA offers a range of courses on valves, actuators, control valves and safety valves, European Directives, plus bespoke courses on request. They are prepared and delivered by the industry’s leading experts, and accompanied by BVAA’s renowned course manuals, where applicable. One ?nal thought - a BVAA course costs about one tenth the daily rate of a good barrister!

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 2

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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