Control Systems / Environmental Health & Safety

COP Benchmarking Shows Wide Variance In Operator Training

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jan 22, 2019

The Center for Operator Performance (COP) completes benchmarking on current operator training practices to better understand opportunities for improvement. Representatives from eight companies over multiple sites shared details on initial operator training, unit qualification training, advanced unit training and training system structure. While almost everyone was generally satisfied with the product of their training programs (i.e., trained operators), wide variance reportedly exists in how it is achieved.

The next step will be to define opportunities to train the next generation of operators, according to COP. Ensuring that operators have the basic skill and knowledge for job performance is a fundamental aspect of safe plant operation. The pool of potential operators is significantly different than 25 years ago. Today’s applicants are digital natives and less mechanically inclined as a result of fewer opportunities to learn these skills while growing up, says COP. Additionally, the requirements for safe and successful process operation have increased over the past few decades. Addressing these challenges may benefit from new and different approaches to training.

The Center for Operator Performance is a collaboration of operating companies and distributed control system (DCS) suppliers that conduct research focused on ways to improve operator performance. Operating companies include: BP Exploration Operating Company Limited, Chevron (ChevronPhillips), Koch Industries (Flint Hills Resources, INVISTA Chemical, Georgia Pacific), HollyFrontier, CITGO, and NOVA Chemicals (Borealis). The DCS suppliers are Emerson and Yokogawa (KBC). Beville Engineering is the founding member company.

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