Generational change = loss of expertise?

Plants within Performance Intermediates demonstrate how training videos help ensure successful knowledge transfer—and keep safe working habits at the forefront going forward.

An investment in the future: when it comes to retaining expertise, Performance Intermediates likes to turn to unconventional methods. At this year’s Occupational Safety Day on March 28, the business line introduced a project in which colleagues at Raffinate 1/2 Processing demonstrated how plants are actively implementing “We make digitalization simple”—the motto embodying the vision of the customer-oriented C4 business.

Spreading and solidifying knowledge were the aims of the program that Raffinate 1/2 Processing launched last year under the motto “80 Years of the Marl Chemical Park - 80 Occupational Safety Initiatives.” The underlying idea was for shift workers to film and photograph recurring tasks. Videos and photos are helpful for training employees and raising safety awareness, particularly when it comes to routine tasks and tasks that need to be performed with special care. Visualization is especially useful for new plant colleagues, as it gives them a memorable tool for revisiting what they have learned: “As young employees, we rely on the extensive knowledge of our experienced colleagues. The videos are perfect for going back and accessing that knowledge right when you need it, which ensures that you work safely every step of the way,” says Alicia Jakubik (photo, center), who was enthusiastic about the idea right away and helped create the videos.

Guido Stochniol, plant manager of the Raffinate 1/2 Processing at Performance Intermediates adds, “We’re proud that we took advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalization to find a way of dealing a little bit better with the challenges of demographic change.” While plans call for videos in addition to those on topics such as sampling hazardous materials and maneuvering tank cars, videos only represent half of the project. Work is also underway on presentations that use photos for visualizing a variety of issues—the team is even planning a “Raffinate Wiki.”

Other plants within Performance Intermediates, such as the Syngas/Hydrogen plant, see knowledge transfer videos as a chance to address generational change and are introducing them as part of an ongoing process. “Complementing classic documentation like work instructions with virtual media has already worked out well for us. Using photos to visualize processes makes the content much easier to understand and significantly improves training quality,” says Swen Fritsch, the Production and Technology plant manager at the Syngas/Hydrogen plant operated by Performance Intermediates.