An exclusive joint research conducted by Control magazine and ABB, across Control’s global database of process automation professionals, in 2012 says that “operators have an outsized potential to impact quality and economic performance metrics”.
This research also indicates that nearly 80% of unscheduled production downtime is preventable and half of this is due to operator error. The monetary costs of this failure, in the petrochemical industry alone are estimated to be $20 billion per year.
One of the biggest challenges of organizations, is to make operators aware of the operational parameters and maintenance needs of equipment, reducing the accidents or harm to other operators. To accomplish this goal, organizations must certify that their operators have required knowledge, skills and the ability, required to carry out their duties and responsibilities safely.
Operator training is a way to operation excellence, enabling to learn how to operate a machine effectively. Operator training includes training novices, on how to operate machines before startup of new units, offer skilled operators a chance to refine and refresh their skill and increase production levels in the organization.
Need of Operator Training
- Retirement of highly specialized and experienced workforce:
Organizations are striving to address the widening operator knowledge gap. A growing shortage of skilled and experience work force, has become a point of competitive differentiation for automation industries.
- Lack of experience of new operators and high rate of rotation in the workforce:
The younger generation who are getting ready to take up the operating tasks, have little or no previous equipment experience. So the organizations need to train operators from scratch, on what each type of equipment is, what it does on the jobsite and how to operate the equipment safely.
- Comply with safety and environmental regulations:
Organizations need to ensure that each and every operator has sufficient industrial experience, knowledge of the working environment and equipment, to comply with safety and environmental regulations (OSHA regulations).
- Evaluation and certification needed to operate equipment
Each and every operator should be trained on how to work productively and safely, around other operators and equipment. These trainings are to be evaluated, to test their knowledge of procedure, certified to make sure that they are trained and that the firm is as competitive as possible.
Benefits of Operator Training
- Prevents work-related injuries and accidents
Training equipment operators, on how to operate and control the equipment safely, can prevent serious injuries and accidents at the workplace.
- Make quick and safer decisions
Training operators on equipment and the issues related to safety, enables operators to take correct operator related decisions, even in abnormal situations.
- Reduces risk and performance at the workplace
Training and evaluation of operators reduces risk and improves safety in workplace and at the same time, enhances operator performance.
- Improves production reliability, reduces maintenance and equipment cost
If an operator is trained properly on equipment and their handling, he is able to reduce manufacturing costs, which in turn improves quality and productivity.
- Fewer environmental violations and reduced damage to equipment
Lack of operator training can lead to more equipment damages as operators fail to carry out their responsibilities, but if they are trained properly, they cause fewer violations.
- Eliminates errors that lead to product loss and plant shutdown
Operator errors results in accidents, product loss, and costly plant shutdowns. These huge losses can be prevented, through training the operators effectively.
Make sure that your operators, who work with equipment, are trained and equipped to recognize and handle situations through effective decision making, if you want your organization to run safely at its optimum level.
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