ERGT Australia is one of Australia’s premier safety training specialists, and they like to do things a little differently. Building a more than 25-year reputation on immersive simulated learning environments that emphasise both personal and process safety, the Perth-headquartered company services a diverse set of industries, from defence and aviation to mining, maritime, and oil and gas.
ERGT Managing Director Shane Addis has been involved with the company from its inception in 1994. He explains that ERGT’s emphasis on experiential training grew from this early phase with a focus on the booming Western Australian mining industry of the 1990s, but quickly found the highest demand came from the oil and gas industry.
“It was around the year 2000 when we realised that the offshore sector was where the combination of our ability to run training centres and desire to offer high-quality services met the exacting needs of the oil and gas industry,” Shane says.
ERGT offers several internationally recognised safety training courses for offshore workers, such as Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) and Tropical BOSIET (TBOSIET), which are suited for trainees working in cold- or warm-water environments, respectively.
Trainees can’t be afraid to get their feet – or the rest of their bodies – wet, being equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) similar to what would be worn offshore to heighten the realism even further.
“You have to undertake these kinds of learning activities at a purpose-built training centre. You can’t do it on the job, and you can’t do it at home,” Shane adds. “It’s a visceral, physical experience that requires highly qualified trainers and facilitators and it can be quite a capital-intensive for smaller suppliers like us.”
ERGT also makes use of its purpose-built facilities for its extensive fire and emergency response training courses, which provide trainees with the means to combat emergencies in a host of scenarios. These courses can potentially introduce trainees to situations involving smoke, darkness, and intense heats, but the environment itself is controlled in a way that ensures the training is delivered safely. Other services include first aid training, safety skills, safety leadership, and emergency management.
“We’re driven by compliance requirements – the intent is to ensure that people are safe, workplaces are safe, and assets and operations are safe,” Shane explains. “We’re not just training an individual, we’re training a team, and they’re in an environment they certainly can’t get anywhere else.”
Much like the Australian oil and gas industry itself, ERGT has grown considerably over the past two decades. From its inaugural training centre in Perth, the company expanded to Victoria in 2011, where it now operates two training centres. It then added another centre in Darwin in 2016. ERGT has now developed around 70 distinct training courses for a host of industries.
ERGT will be appearing at the 2021 APPEA Conference and Exhibition in Perth this June. Attendees who visit the ERGT stand will be able to board a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter and take part in an underwater escape training VR experience exemplifying the best of the company’s experiential philosophy.