Core Values … Now and in the future

July 1, 2005 By    

We have all heard it. Safety pays. Safety first. Safety is number one. For the propane industry, safety is more than a simple slogan; it is a core value.

 Cliff Slisz
Cliff Slisz

What’s the difference? Slogans usually have a shelf life and, quite frankly, are words not always backed up by action. Core values, on the other hand, are on-going, ingrained, and permanent commitments followed up and measured by action.

The industry’s use of the Propane Education & Research Council’s safety and training tools made available through the industry’s financial and volunteer contributions are a strong signal of the industry’s core values in the areas of employee training, consumer safety education, and partnerships with the emergency response community.

The revised Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) has provided the means for more and more employees to understand how to deliver propane as well as install propane appliances and systems in a safe manner.

Revised and updated consumer safety educational materials will help keep propane customers safe and reduce the number of propane-related accidents, as well as reduce the liability exposure to propane marketers and the propane industry.

The industry’s commitment to the nation’s emergency response community is second to none. The Propane Emergencies program has helped train thousands of firefighters and provided the means for positive and professional relationships between the propane marketers and the fire service.

New data on injuries and propane incidents will be used to further guide the expenditure of new programs as well as help establish safety as a strong management tool for keeping their employees and customers safe while at the same time maximizing profits.

I have been a propane industry safety professional for many, many years. I must say that this safety pro is thrilled to be a part of what the industry is doing now and will do in the future to maintain safety as a core value.

We all know that the world is changing, sometimes faster than we may like. And as the world changes, so too does our industry.

In an increasingly high-tech society where computers and the internet play a major role in communicating, the industry must use these information technologies to enhance our ability to train the propane workforce in more innovative and cost effective ways. The CETP E-Learning initiative is designed and being built by the propane industry to meet this vital need. Available to the industry in the first quarter of 2006, the DVD-based CETP E-Learning training tool will include Basic Principles and Practices, Delivery Basics, Delivery by Bobtail, and Delivery by Cylinder Truck. This new program will allow marketers to train employees whenever they want to and at lower costs than conventional classroom training. The program will also include an administrative tool that marketers can use to customize the program and include their own specific company policies and procedures.

As the e-learning program is being built, propane marketers don’t have to wait to take advantage of the many other training tools already available in the PERC toolbox. PERC’s safety and training website – www.propanesafety.com – offers marketers access to regulatory compliance assistance, hazmat training programs, CETP and more, all with the click of a mouse. PERC’s decision to use CD-ROMs and DVDs for most of the industry’s new training programs is already a huge cost savings to the industry compared to traditional print materials and enables the industry to get updated information almost immediately.

That’s especially important in the post-September 11 environment, where “terrorism” and “security” have more meaning than ever and bring unprecedented challenges to our industry. Working hand-in-hand with the National Propane Gas Association, PERC will work to develop tools that assist marketers in facing these challenges head-on. PERC’s recently revised OSHA and DOT Hazmat Training CD includes a new module on government-mandated security awareness training, as well as the basic instruction that every new employee needs to know to work safely.

The future holds new, vital challenges for our industry on how we best train our workforce, protect our customers and secure our facilities. Despite challenges, working together we will get the job done so all of us can take pride in being called “propane professionals.”

Cliff Slisz, Manager of Safety for Ferrellgas and chairman PERC’s Safety & Training Advisory Committee.

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