Paul Dvorak / Editor
At the recent WINDPOWER 2015 Conference in Orlando, a message of urgency came from the safety community in getting wind techs certified for particular tasks. It is no surprise that wind-turbine maintenance involves hundreds of tasks with more coming as wind-turbine OEMs add to their equipment portfolio. What’s more, safety rules are changing as the industry changes – rules are getting more numerous and strict.
Service-lift manufacturer Avanti acknowledges the changing landscape and provides five (so far) online safety courses.
To sample the learning software, Avanti (avanti-training.com) let me take a couple courses. I “enrolled” and sampled the first one, Operation of Avanti service lift model Dolphin of which there are four sections: Components, Daily inspection, Operation, and In the event of a breakdown.
I worked through the Components and Daily inspection sections. Components gives a tour of the all parts of the service lift. Each component is highlighted along a few lines of information regarding its function and where it is located on the lift. This section consisted of 22 frames or presentations so there is a fair amount to remember. It took less than an hour to get through. At completion, there is the test.
Entertaining animations help keep student interest. For instance, from frame 12 to 13, the student’s view flies from the top of the tower (examining the suspension beam) to below the base floor. It’s quite a visual trip. But pay attention. I would have liked to step back and see the animation and other frames again but did not find that function.
The Daily inspection before first operation is more engaging. The first instruction was to open the fence, an action you do not see until clicking on the fence handle. After doing so, the fence slides open and the next instruction presents itself: Check the date of the last inspection. This also requires action of clicking of the inspection record. When the instruction says to check the guide wire for tightness, you must pick on the guide wire, after which a gloved hand reaches out (as if it is yours) and shakes the cable.
Daily inspection also provides a little more interactivity than did the Components section. For instance, after a couple of checks, the software provides multiple choice quizzes. If you err, say by picking on something other than what was instructed, the software presents a large and embarrassing red X and the cold message: You have made a mistake.
This section also present students with knowledge tests in which they must answer questions regarding the information just received. Questions are not evaluated, however, but if you are not yet able to answer them, it might be a good idea to retake the module before taking the final test.
Good news, I passed the Introduction to the program, but the Components section, not so good. A question on wire diameter tripped me up.
The lessons are not easily breezed through. The detail and pace call for reading and sometime rereading the instructions because of the amount of detail. As an editor, I’ll quibble with some of the wording, but the detail and quality are what you might expect from a tradition class. Unfortunately, the courses are not free, but that adds to seriousness of the instruction.
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Filed Under: Featured, O&M, Towers, Training