Case Study: Nalco

Developing and implementing a Practical Safety Training Program for company employees in Asia, Europe, North America and South America incorporating on-site, hands-on field exercises


In 2007, Nalco, the world’s largest sustainability services company retained Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM) to develop and implement a Practical Safety Training Program for company employees in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

The innovative global safety-training program developed by ERM in partnership with Nalco incorporates a unique element—on-site, hands-on field exercises—designed to reinforce classroom instruction. The safety-training program, provided as part of orientation for newly-hired employees, as well as to meet ongoing training requirements for existing employees, includes the following core elements:

  • Lock Out/Tag Out (LO/TO)
  • Confined Space
  • Working at Heights/Fall Protection
  • Risk Assessment

Our Approach

ERM Health and Safety specialists developed a two-part safety training program consisting of classroom instruction followed by field practical exercises designed to provide “hands-on” experience. ERM conducts the training program on-site at several of Nalco’s facilities around the world and is typically completed in one day.

Classroom Instruction – ERM Lead Trainers provide instruction in LO/TO, Confined Space, Fall Protection, and Risk Assessment in an open atmosphere where lively “student” participation is encouraged. Nalco representatives also participate in the classroom program and provide the relevant aspects of the company’s H&S policy and expectations for employees. ERM Assistant Trainers enhance the classroom program by providing visual aids, discussing “real life” examples, and coordinating with Nalco representatives to prepare for field practical exercises.

Field Practical Exercises –ERM Trainers create and spot control “hands on” exercises where employees practice safety techniques discussed in the classroom. Field exercises for each topic are set up in stations within the Nalco facility. Trainees enter confined spaces, use fall protection and lock out energized equipment.

The field practical exercises are conducted with a strong emphasis on risk assessment. ERM instructors conduct a debriefing discussion at the conclusion of each exercise to review successes and opportunities for improvement.

Benefits and Value

Since 2007, ERM has trained, both in the classroom and in the field, more than 4,500 Nalco employees in over 250 scheduled training sessions in 15 locations worldwide.

  • The practical safety-training program provides especially effective safety training by reinforcing classroom activities with instructor-supervised, hands on field exercises.
  • Contributes to reducing total recordable injury rates (TRIR)
  • The program has helped Nalco to promote the core value of employee safety.

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