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Realistic simulations, real PPE in use at Honeywell’s new training center

High towers, construction project, confined spaces all under one roof

November 6, 2013
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Everything really is bigger in Texas, and Honeywell’s new Life Safety Training and Customer Experience Center (CEC) is no exception.

The 10,000-square-foot facility, which opened recently in Pasadena, Texas, has 40-foot ceilings and cavernous spaces, in order to accommodate a training gym complete with towering and sprawling structures. The CEC portion of the facility also requires lots of space, to showcase Honeywell’s head-to-toe safety products.

The company’s ambitions for the facility are large as well.

The mothership

“This is the megacenter – the mothership, so to speak,” said Mark Levy, president of Honeywell Life Safety. “It puts in one place and one environment all the Honeywell technologies, not just PPE and gas detection.”

The center is designed as an immersive environment that encompasses training, repair and servicing of products. Customers can learn how welders, oil rig and construction workers and firefighters can be protected from arc flash events, volatile gas exposure, fire and falls. Through a combination of onsite programs and online resources, Honeywell’s goal is to help its customers build a culture of safety.

 “We wanted to take a deep dive into the educational, into what we thought would be helpful to our business,” said Levy.

Houston was the natural choice for the location because of the concentration of top global oil and gas, energy and industrial companies in the area. It is also a major hub for Honeywell customers across Latin America.

The $3 million facility was conceived of two and a half years ago, but turning it into a reality took a lot longer than expected, primarily because of the size of the building that was needed.

The training gym, for instance, holds a dozen structures in all, including a 25-foot tower that allows trainers to reproduce high angle tower and rescue operations
using various
control descent procedures, equipment and devices.

It also has a wind nacelle that lets trainees experience extrication and rotor rescue from inside the generation, as well as rescues over the side of the rotor and head of the blades.

The confined space simulator – which approximates those found in petrochemical, mining and industrial environments – allows for vertical and horizontal confined space entry and rescue operations, complete with elements that can cause workers to
feel disoriented, like (non-toxic) smoke, flashing lights and chaotic noise.

The gym also has a multi-level catwalk and pipe track, climbing pole, drilling tower and a residential roof in various stages of completion.

Trainees use a variety of Honeywell personal protective equipment in the almost-like-real-world environments, such as hardhats, self-contained breathing apparatus, portable gas detection equipment and fall protection and prevention devices including:

• The Miller DuraHoist, a hoist/winch system used with confined spaces, to lower and retrieve workers with minimal risk.

• The Miller AirCore Harness, a lightweight full-body harness with breathable, open-core padding designed to keep a worker drier and cooler – useful in hot, humid areas like the Gulf.

• Miller TurboLite personal fall limiters, which reduce fall clearance requirements.

A modern interactive museum

The CEC has the feel of a modern interactive museum.  Visitors are greeted by enormous images of real workers and audio of those workers discussing the importance of working safely and what it means to the families who depend on them.  Displays have QR codes that, when scanned, provide access to more in-depth information. Visitors are invited to touch (and even don) products and open lockers – such as those near an impressive trio of first responder mannequins wearing hand, foot, body and respiratory protection and carrying gas detection devices.

In fact, well-dressed and well-equipped mannequins are found throughout the CEC, posed in welding, construction, wind energy and industrial scenarios.

Visitors can get up-close looks at products like:

• Safety Community, software-as-a-service that brings together asset management, safety management and procurement and is modular and scalable.

• First Vision (Notifier), which gives first responders important – and immediate – information, such as the location in a facility where an alarm was activated.

• VeriPro, a fit testing system that helps standardize hearing conservation programs.

• Uvex TurboShield, face protection with a flexible head-cushioning suspension cradle and enhanced clearance.

•QuietPro, hearing protection that allows communication in high-noise environments such as refineries.

• Sky Orb, a new device that prevents falls from the tops of trucks. A truck parks on its base (there are wheel chocks built into it) or counterweights can be used.  The Sky Orb has a self-retracting lanyard, supports one person and rotates 360 degrees.

Booked for next six months

The training facility, which also includes classrooms, is expected to draw customers from around the world, and is booked for the next six months.

“It’s exciting to see the Honeywell Safety brand get the recognition it deserves, because not everyone knows what we do,” said Carl Johnson, President of Honeywell Analytics Global. “Life Safety is not a hobby for us. It’s the way we live every day.”

The Honeywell Training & Customer Experience Center is at 9401 Bay Area Blvd., #400, Pasadena TX 77507.

To register for training, contact:

Honeywell Safety Products
855-565-6722

Honeywell Analytics
847-955-8243

Honeywell Fire Systems
770-689-0728

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