The Gravitec Difference: Training
By Kevin Denis, Director of Special Projects
It’s always a little awkward to talk about yourself without coming across as boastful or arrogant. So I will do our best to explain our training philosophy and how we stack up against our competition without tooting our own horn, too much.
Gravitec Systems started in 1986, running rescue courses throughout western Canada and is now the longest-running fall protection and rescue training company in North America. Fall protection and rescue equipment manufacturers would always pressure the president to only show their equipment during training. An early lesson we learned was that training often turns into a sales platform. Buying equipment is necessary and using a variety of equipment during a training event is the best way to find out what you prefer or want, but selling equipment should not be the focus of training. Gravitec Systems is not owned or directed by any equipment manufacturer. We do our best to maintain and run training courses without promotion or sales of equipment. We use equipment from a number of different manufacturers focusing on the application rather than the sale. Gravitec distributes fall protection and rescue equipment from 36 different manufacturers for you. Remaining unbiased during training is tough to do because some equipment is dangerous and should be called out; non-locking hooks, web SRD-LE’s, waist belts, etc. Some equipment is fantastic and should be promoted; any auto locking descent control device, 3600 lbs. gated hardware, energy absorbers, etc. So we have our likes and dislikes, but you won’t find a higher concentration of fall protection and rescue equipment from a greater variety of sources than you will at our training center.
Gravitec Systems believes that fall protection and rescue includes topics and skills that must be learned by doing. Training that excludes physical exercises and observation of performance (hands-on), does not provide students with the experience they deserve and in some situations exposes the employer to legal issues of inadequate training. Gravitec has an indoor training center to replicate at-height locations in a controlled environment, conducive to learning. The difficulty with conducting a variety of hands-on exercises with students is time. It takes time for all students to put on harnesses, climb, descend with equipment, use an SRD, set an anchor, perform a rescue or two, etc. We know the cost of training. Time away from work, wages, travel, and course tuition add up. Time dedicated to training must be efficiently managed, accurate, and without any waste. Gravitec offers training from a couple of hours to week-long programs according to your needs, custom courses too. There are dozens of training options out there. If all you want is a document with the student name and fall protection on it, then click-through a $50 online course that regurgitates regulations and autogenerates a training certificate. If you want your staff to use the equipment, experience working at height, conduct rescues, change attitudes, and develop a depth of understanding, come here. Most of our competition offers shorter courses by cutting content and exercises from the curriculum to save time.
It takes more than a facility and equipment for training to be successful. The instructor and student materials are also key ingredients to having a positive student experience that has a lasting effect or changes a students behavior. All Gravitec instructors have “at-height” experience, and we put a significant amount of effort into our student materials. Gravitec’s graphics and training departments provide high-impact presentations, and video’s during training and student manuals for all students. After every course, we sincerely hope that the time and money spent on training changes your workplace. Change and learning something new is very difficult for most adults. Gravitec strives to provide more opportunities for students to learn new things and change behaviors with every course and service we provide. Hands-on exercises, books, presentations, instructor, equipment, videos, classroom, and even our break room is completely focused on educating the student to prevent them, or someone else, from falling off something. We try to change attitudes and behavior through education, not just produce certification cards.
There are more items that you can only find at Gravitec. Accredited courses through IACET to provide continuing education units (CEU’s), representation on ANSI committee’s, ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory and engineering and testing services to name a few. In summary, you will be hard pressed to find an organization that offers the same level of service and depth of knowledge with dedicated fall protection professionals than you will find here.
In summary, why should you choose Gravitec?
- We are the longest running fall protection and rescue training company in North America
- Gravitec Systems is not owned or directed by any equipment manufacturer
- Gravitec distributes fall protection and rescue equipment from 36 different manufacturers for you
- Gravitec has an indoor training center to replicate at-height locations in a controlled environment, conducive to learning
- Gravitec offers training from a couple of hours to week-long programs according to your needs, custom courses too
- Most of our competition offers shorter courses by cutting content and exercises from the curriculum to save time
- Gravitec’s graphics and training department provide high-impact presentations, and video’s during training and student manuals for all students
- We try to change attitudes and behavior through education, not just produce certification cards
- Accredited courses through IACET to provide continuing education units (CEU’s)
- Representation on the ANSI committee
- ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory and engineering and testing services
Call one of our training advisors at 800.755.8455 to learn more!
About the Author
Kevin Denis has been in the fall protection industry for over 20 years and has had significant involvement in the continuing education of workers at height. As the training manager and project coordinator for Gravitec Systems, Inc., Mr. Denis is a member of the Z359 Accredited Standards Committee and various Z359 subcommittees that develop the Z359 Fall Protection Code. Mr. Denis has authored nationally recognized training standards for the telecommunication industry and developed training programs for government agencies as well as privately and publicly held companies. Mr. Denis manages a team of professional instructors that log over 50,000 student fall protection and rescue training hours per year.