For this Centre Spotlight, we hear from Max Koen, owner and managing member of Hazardous Location Consultants and Training (HAZLOC), a leading provider of certification, training, and inspection services to hazardous onshore/offshore industries. In operation since 2009 in Sasolburg, South Africa, HAZLOC remains the only Accredited CompEx training facility in the Southern Hemisphere, working with a wide variety of industries and sectors within Africa.
What are your most common types of customer / business?
The type of industries we work with is incredibly broad and diverse. We essentially provide training and consultancy services to any business or sector that works with hazardous locations or processes, where flammable gasses, vapours, liquids or combustible dusts or fibres are handled, stored, and processed.
What are your most popular courses?
The four most popular CompEx courses that HAZLOC offers are: the Ex Foundation Course (ExF), the Ex01-04 Gas & Vapours Course, the ExR01-04 Gas & Vapours Refresher Course, and the Partial Assessment Course (SoPA).
The Ex Foundation course, the Gas and Vapours course and the refresher training are all offered to delegates from various national and international organisations. Our clients approach us to expand their knowledge of the theoretical and practical skills needed to acquire workforce competency within hazardous locations and industries.
Within these organisations, we train a variety of delegates, from electrical and control systems technicians, engineering managers and company directors to non-technical personnel, typically technicians who work at rope access or at heights. Upon successful completion, candidates are awarded a CompEx Certificate for the modules in which they achieved the required standard, which essentially indicates the delegates’ competence in working within potentially hazardous areas.
Are there any other types of CompEx modules / courses which you think would be a good fit and would like to see introduced?
We would like the opportunity to offer the CompEx Ex05 & Ex06 (Dust & Fibre) modules at HAZLOC. Interest in these modules is currently increasing and the modules themselves certainly comply with our aims as a company to provide consultancy and training to industries that work with potentially explosive atmospheres.
Are there any particular challenges in your region?
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are various travel restrictions in place which prevent many of our national and international delegates from accessing our centre. CompEx took the initiative early on by allowing delegates to request an extension on their certificates that may have expired during the pandemic, and which were unable to be renewed due to their inability to attend many of our training courses. We are fortunate at HAZLOC to be one of the selected CompEx centres that can facilitate the Partial Assessment Examinations (SoPA), which enables certified practitioners who are unable to attend training due to Covid-19 to request re-certification.
HAZLOC has various challenges regarding CompEx awareness in Southern Africa, which have been conquered over time by ongoing social media advertising. The uptake in course interest and applications for our CompEx training over the last few years stands as testament to the success of those advertising campaigns.
What would you like to succeed in doing the next year?
Our primary aims for this next year is to present more training sessions, expand our horizons as a training centre by hosting more CompEx modules, and for HAZLOC to hopefully receive more exposure as CompEx’s leading, accredited training facility within the Southern Hemisphere.
What do you think sets CompEx apart from other accreditation bodies?
CompEx offers internationally recognised qualifications for persons working in hazardous locations, which is in line with and according to IEC 60079 series of standards. CompEx is also a truly competency validation scheme, with the delegates’ theoretical and practical skills/knowledge being assessed in order to ensure that workforce competency is upheld within industries, which work with potentially explosive atmospheres.