Having properly trained operators is a key part of ensuring safety on jobsites, and for those in the field, obtaining heavy equipment certification is becoming easier due in part to technology’s role.
Chris Hines, head of Mammoet’s people development and recruitment, and Wilfred de Boer, senior SPMT supervisor at Mammoet, say the biggest trends in heavy equipment training today are safety and scalability.
Mammoet is a global provider of solutions for lifting, transporting, installing and decommissioning projects; from large and heavy to small and delicate structures. We asked Hines and de Boer for their input on heavy equipment operator training – here’s what they had to say.
Easybook Training: Heavy Equipment operator training – what are the biggest changes and trends?
Hines: The emphasis for us is on safety. In terms of changes and trends, it’s scale. It’s how we reach and communicate messages of common standards of safety across what is now a vast organization.
Easybook Training: What are the biggest skills shortages you need to address with training?
Hines: I think it very much depends on who you talk to. Heavy equipment operators make up 60 to 70 percent of our organization. Our emphasis is on making sure people are competent to operate our equipment safely.
Easybook Training: How are you encouraging young people to join the industry and how are you making the courses you offer more accessible to the younger generation?
Hines: I think training is actually a secondary issue to the broader question of how we attract people, full stop, and the industry has a challenge. What attracted people to the oil and gas sector and supporting sectors 30 years ago is completely different to what interests people now. So, it’s really about us modifying our thinking about what our offer is to candidates, what our values are as a business, and making sure that they’re aware of them.
If you find the right people, it’s very difficult not to be excited about what we do. Once we’ve got them, it’s about recognizing there are different ways that people learn now. There are different ways that people communicate and consume information, and a lot of that is digital.
Easybook Training: How do you try to ensure operator retention post training, so they don’t get trained and then leave for a competitor?
Hines: How do we make people stay? People value the investment in them. It’s part of our offering to our people as well as in terms of safety. But training doesn’t make people stay. Cultures are what make people stay. You stay because you love what you do.
Heavy equipment certification is key.
“While training is vital to ensuring employees are knowledgeable and prepared to perform the work you expect of them, it isn’t the final step,” says Thom Sicklesteel of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). “Certification verifies that training has been effective and closes the link in a process established to educate people in the correct way to perform their job duties.”
“Well-trained employees, with independently verified knowledge and skills, make fewer mistakes – and therefore have fewer accidents or other mishaps – than those with less experience,” he says.
To find heavy equipment operator training near you, click over to Easybook Training, where a variety of heavy equipment training courses are available to book. Easybook Training’s staff is available around the clock to answer questions or field requests. If a course you’re interested in isn’t listed, they will be happy to help.
To read the full story on today’s heavy equipment training trends, click here.