FlowServe Corp. attributes its stellar performance to a comprehensive approach that includes customized online safety training courses in multiple languages.

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FlowServe Corp., is one of the world’s leading providers of fluid motion and control products and services. The company has worked closely with UL EHS Sustainability since 2005 to develop and deliver customized courses to satisfy the diverse training needs of more than 15,000 employees in 55 countries.

Challenge

FlowServe establishes an annual training calendar. Employees are required to successfully complete six to nine courses during the year within a specific time window for each course. Courses are chosen based on company-wide and specific hazards and/or accident/injury prevention focal points. Topics need to be rotated to ensure employees access timely new, updated and refresher material.

FlowServe has learned through experience that its employees are thirsty for knowledge about best practices in workplace safety and health. The challenge is providing training in a format that is:

  • Simultaneously compelling and educational
  • Relevant to specific work activities, local settings and culture
  • Technically accurate
  • Compliant with applicable regulations
  • In the leaner’s first language

Solution

Over the past eight years, UL has translated a suite of 32 interactive online courses for FlowServe employees from English to Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch. In addition, a special FlowServe Safety Orientation Online Course for new employees has been developed along with a video on Returned Goods for Seals.

The online courses are supplemented with activities such as frequent toolbox talks, PowerPoint presentations and worksite walk-through training. An in-depth live course for site supervisors and managers features a two-to-three-day combination of lectures and hands-on demonstrations.

Results

Since entering into a course licensing agreement with UL, FlowServe has reduced both its lost work time and total recordable injury incident rates by about 60 percent, said Steve Wilson, the company’s longtime director of safety, health and environmental affairs. Based on historical data, Wilson estimates UL’s EHS Sustainability’s quality training content has helped prevent 7,600 incidents and nearly 28,000 lost work days – the equivalent of approximately 14 “man years” of production.

On initial roll-out of UL’s courses, the company successfully achieved a 90 percent on-time completion goal. In 2011, it hit another bull’s eye with a target course completion rate of 92 percent.

“I would say we are definitely getting more than our money’s worth,” Wilson said. “Our partnership with UL has enabled us to take a global-leading safety program to a whole new level.”

While FlowServe is a big company providing specialized products and services to a specific type of client, its comprehensive approach is broadly applicable. The best practices in safety are the same regardless of the nature of the industry, its size or where it is located, Wilson said.

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