Behind the scenes of your safety product updates
By Jenson Quon
Walking into Jeff Storey’s office, there’s a stack of paperwork and mail on his desk. To the right of his desk is a small bookshelf with all the regulations for TDG, IATA, WHMIS and any other products that Danatec carries. This isn’t particularly surprising as Jeff is the director of operations for Danatec.
Sitting down with Jeff you get the sense that interviews aren’t really his cup of tea, but he puts on a brave face anyways. He looks like a football player with wide shoulders and a friendly demeanour that tells you he is more comfortable with a beer in hand and talking about last night’s game than being grilled about his work experience for this feature.
Nevertheless, we move ahead and soon enough, Jeff is getting the hang of it and might even be enjoying himself. I doubt it, but his smile doesn’t seem as strained at least. Jeff started with Danatec over nine years ago in the summer of 2008. His first posting at the company was in the shipping and receiving department. “Just a kid who needed a job,” quips Jeff.
Working his way up, he went from the warehouse to sales manager, then to director of sales before occupying his current role as director of operations.
“To be perfectly honest, the only reason I had even heard of WHMIS was because of school. You have to take it in science class and I knew absolutely nothing about TDG. My first day [in shipping and receiving] I picked up a TDG manual and read it and that was my very first interaction with TDG.”
Since then, Jeff has come a long way as we find out.
What has changed in the safety industry since you first started?
The biggest change is going to be the industry’s adoption of online training. When I first started in 2008, online course delivery only represented about half of what we did. Self-teach manuals, instructor-led courses and other more traditional approaches to learning were still a significant part of our business. In the nine years since online training has grown to become almost 75% of our business. As technology grows and it gets better and better, the safety industry is finding ways to make the most of that technology.
Besides online training, is there anything else that you find particularly interesting about the safety industry?
The technology. The additions to online training like learner identification and learner verification of the identity of the person taking the training. It’s going to be something that is going to become part of safety training in the future. It’s something that in the past you couldn’t confidently say who was taking that exam or who was sitting behind that computer. This is going to give a company the confidence the person they assign that training to is the one that actually earned the certificate. It’s an exciting time and very interesting to see that online training is going that way.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis with the safety training materials?
One of the things that I do with the safety training materials is I make sure the materials are fully up-to-date. That means going through them with one of our subject matter experts and reviewing all of our materials to the standard we have to abide by. Getting an understanding of how to put what the subject matter expert is saying into layman terms and seeing what parts of whatever manual, self-teach, regulation, online course and any of those materials need to be updated. That’s something on my plate and something I always try to keep ahead of.
With that being said, are there any changes to the training materials upcoming that you are aware of?
For TDG, we at Danatec are always constantly aware of any changes that are coming because we are signed up with Transport Canada to get all the information that goes into what they call Gazette 1. Gazette 1 could be coming down the pipeline, and Gazette 2 is when it becomes finalized. So, we are part of Transport Canada’s network of information and we stay on top of that and we make sure that anything in Gazette 1 we’re ready for so that if it gets passed to Gazette 2 we are ready to put that into any of our materials.
So, what are some of the ways that customers can stay on top of these regulatory changes?
Often the regulatory body responsible for overseeing these changes, whether it be Transport Canada, Health Canada, ABCGA or others, will distribute bulletins or newsletters with updates. Customers can also sign up for Danatec’s newsletter on our website. We always publish the latest updates to WHMIS, TDG, Ground Disturbance, Fall Protection and so on. We want to ensure our customers have access to the most up-to-date information possible, to ensure they can keep their staff and facilities safe and compliant.
Who decides what information needs to be updated?
For TDG it’s Transport Canada and a lot of the times it’s due to industry. The industry will suggest things that should be updated, but unfortunately, it’s also usually because of an accident. The changes usually come into effect after something major happens. For WHMIS it is coming from Health Canada and Health Canada is the one that dictates what needs to be implemented. With that being said, there aren’t nearly as many changes to WHMIS as there are to TDG.
What products does Danatec have in terms of TDG and WHMIS?
We have a self-teach in both for TDG and WHMIS. Self-teach is really a manual that is given to each student which gives them the training and there is an open book test at the end which tests their knowledge of the content. After that, they can issue themselves a certificate or if the individual is working for a company, then the company would issue their certificate. We have an online program for TDG and WHMIS as well. It’s the same model but delivered digitally. We also have an instructor’s package for both which allows an instructor to deliver a classroom course with all the materials for the class including the PowerPoint presentation, handouts, exams and so on. We also have supplemental materials such as handbooks which can be given to someone after the course as a nice takeaway piece, so students can have a quick reference guide that they can keep with them or in their lockers. Then we have training videos and posters that are great to put up in workspaces.