SWIR Expands Safety Training

Southwest Industrial Rigging, Phoenix, Ariz., announces the creation of a new Safety & Training Division. The company, which provides crane rental, heavy-hauling, machinery and warehousing services, now also provides full-service training.

In addition to being a test facility for the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, Southwest Industrial Rigging (SWIR) has expanded its training courses to include mobile and overhead crane operator orientation, mobile and overhead crane inspection, rigger training, signal person training, and forklift and aerial work platform operator orientation.

Many of these courses are scheduled to be held throughout the year in SWIR's new 4,800-square-foot training center, which consists of a classroom and hands-on lab. However, SWIR's new team of trainers will also perform customized training at customer facilities upon request.

The Safety & Training Division is managed by Howard Kaplan, director of safety. Joining him are four new trainers. Don Harlson joins SWIR as safety manager. He has more than 20 years experience in the crane and rigging field from construction to instruction. Mike Patten, assistant safety manager, comes from the strip mining industry where he has worked on safety committees and in training. Patten's responsibilities include administering the continued education program for SWIR employees. Sam Perry joins SWIR as its federally accredited crane inspector, and Chris Kozlow, a rigger with SWIR since 1981, has been promoted to an instructor position.

“There are many training companies already out there,” said Kaplan, “but many of them have lost touch with the industry and are teaching the same topics in the same way as they did five years ago.” Kaplan believes hands-on instruction is essential to a student's success.

“We set ourselves apart from the others by applying what we teach, and having the ability to apply real-world applications with hands-on training. SWIR operates cranes, forklifts, aerial lifts, and we rig every day. Who better to learn from?” said Kaplan. “We are not looking to teach everything from material handling to blood born pathogens. We are going to teach our strengths • cranes and rigging.”

Among the industries SWIR is targeting for training are general contractors, other rental companies, mining, and municipalities. For a course schedule, go to http://southwestrigging.googlepages.com/home.