In early November, managers and assistant managers from throughout the company gathered in Ashland, Virginia for our 3rd quarter meeting and training sessions. As we meet each quarter, our team receives training on operational and administrative topics including time management, incident management and relevant safety topics to ensure we remain on the cutting edge of the industry. This was to be the time for some of that training to be put to the test.

The teams were assembled and given a list of tasks to complete in a timed competition. Teams were to be judged not only on their speed, but also their accuracy and safety in completing the challenge.

For station one, each team was given an unknown liquid with the goal of providing a rough classification for their material. Using basic tools, the team was to safely analyze the material and report their findings in writing. All teams completed this challenge quickly, safely and confidently and provided the proper information.

Next they moved onto station two where they were assigned a chemical safety data sheet and were to determine the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to safely respond to mitigate a release of this material. Teams then dressed one of their members in that protection and were evaluated on their choice. All teams selected the proper PPE, however, several teams faced challenges in implementing the PPE in the times challenge.

For the final station, teams were given air monitoring devices so they could safely approach a simulated leaking container of their assigned material. The team was to positively identify if the information they were provided matched the container on approach. Some teams were assigned corrosive materials that would not be compatible with a metal drum however their readings and the container indicated that they were provided the incorrect information. All teams were able to properly verify if they had the correct material and safely overpack their leaking container.

Once all teams had finished, their scores were complied based upon their overall safety. Their total times were adjusted based upon any unsafe acts and one team became the clear winner. We would like to congratulate the winning team of Jeffery Weer, Baltimore Area Manager, Dylan Whittenburg, Fayetteville Area Manager and Steven Arthur, Columbia Area Manager.

Hazmat team winners Jeff Weer, Steven Arthur and Dylan Whittenburg

Hazmat team winners Jeff Weer, Steven Arthur and Dylan Whittenburg

This challenge presented several opportunities for our managers. The teams were assembled so that managers would be working with other regions that they normally do not interact with. Additionally, there were several curve balls built in to the challenge to keep everyone on their toes. Our managers once again demonstrated their ability to overcome and succeed under pressure.