"We have no guarantee of success, but daring to take chances is the Trainor way", remarks CEO, Terje Gravdal on the company's Ex-training venture in Vietnam.The company believes they have found the right man for the job in Swedish-Vietnamese Thaison Vu, and aims to open a local training centre at the beginning of 2017.
WISH TO IMPROVE EXPLOSION SAFETY IN HAZARDOUS AREAS
In Norway, strict requirements apply to safe working procedures in potentially explosive atmospheres (so-called hazardous areas). We are very focused on HSE and give high priority to safety at the workplace. However this is not always the case in other parts of the world. Greater movement of the workforce and outsourcing of production poses a challenge when competence in the field of safety varies so much internationally. In recent years Trainor, who has worked with safety training in Ex-areas for more than 30 years, has focused on IECEx standardisation of competence. IECEx is the division of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) responsible for certification of equipment and personnel in explosive atmospheres. Trainor has developed a training programme for certification to this standard for use in Norway and Korea. This is what Gravdal and Trainor are now planning to launch in Vietnam, with courses and training in both English and the local language. "Training IECEx-certified professionals for the Vietnamese market will increase safety standards both at Vietnamese workplaces and in installations constructed in Vietnam for use in the international market."
THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB
Thaison Vu (36) will be Trainor's representative in Vietnam. Originally from Vietnam, Thaison grew up in Sweden and has worked in Sweden, Norway and Korea. Despite being relatively young, he has considerable experience with Ex-work, from Nemko, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Karsten Moholt and Eni Norge, as well as having worked on national and international technical committees. "I have always worked with Ex, travelled worldwide, created systems and trained engineers," he says. After two years in Korea he sees both the challenges and possibilities he will face. According to Thaison, there are many developments in Vietnam and the rest of Asia right now. People are keen to learn. New projects are coming to this part of the world, and many are setting their sights on Vietnam. "Safety culture is viewed somewhat differently in Asia than it is here, and standards for maintaining safety are not necessarily the same. As the Asian shipyards are also building for Norwegian and international owners, we are dependent of good collaboration, understanding and good communication. IEC is the best tool we know of in the field of electrical safety and Ex for standardisation across national boundaries. We are familiar with this in Norway, but it is new in many other countries," he tells us. Thaison is passionate about spreading IEC standards to countries that are not full members. Since Vietnam is not currently an IECEx member, it is an excellent place to start working for international collaboration. "I speak the language, know the culture and have the technical know-how," he says. Focusing on Vietnam is more than merely a job for Thaison, it is a matter close to his heart: "On the one hand, it's about the work itself, but I am equally interested in the effect it will have," he says, and points out that establishing the IECEx standard in Vietnam and the rest of Asia will be a positive development, a step towards safer working across the borders.
AIM TO BECOME LEADERS IN IECEX
Trainor, whose headquarters are in Tønsberg, Norway aim to become the best international company in training and IECEx certification. Two years ago they ventured into South Korea, and their training centre in Busan is already delivering well over budget. "Through our Korea focus, we have seen the enormous need and demand for building up competence in this field in Asia as a whole. The training centre in Korea has had visitors from both China and Vietnam," says Einar Thorén, Managing Director for Trainor Elsikkerhet AS, the Norwegian training company within the Trainor group. The Asian market was not unknown to Trainor at that time. "We have been in business in Asia for more than 20 years," explains Gravdal, "providing both training and manpower from offices in China, Myanmar and Vietnam." The fact that the company is already established in Vietnam makes everything simpler. "Our manpower company in Vietnam will be of great help to Thaison during the initial phase," explains Gravdal. "Contact has already been established with both the authorities, and the oil/gas and shipbuilding industry."
After two weeks at the Tønsberg office, Thaison Vu will head back to Vietnam, the country he and his parents fled from when he was seven years old. Full of drive and expectation, he is prepared for hard work: "It will be a big challenge, but an important step. Fortunately Trainor is one step ahead," he says.
Trainor is an international specialist company offering training, consultancy services and hire of qualified personnel within the areas of electrical safety, automation and processes within the oil and gas sector.