Crane Hot Line Magazine awarded Larry Petkovsek, Lifting Specialist at Mazzella Lifting Technologies, the Corporate Top Trainer Honorable Mention for 2016. This is Larry’s second Top Trainer award.
When training new students, Larry doesn’t travel lightly. Bringing with him four heavy-duty crates of rigging samples from the field, Larry will set up several tables with these examples to provide stories and insight into how a hook, shackle or sling was damaged. To demonstrate the dynamics of a crane or lifting beam, he develops props that show the effects of different angles on the load and how the sling reacts to those effects.
Larry’s experience in the industry goes back 40 years, when he worked at a steel warehouse. “None of the employees were trained or understood the loads we were moving or the influence the angles had on sling capacity,” he says. “I always have felt the need to make sure the students get a real understanding of the forces involved … and think about these forces when they plan their lift.”
Out of 40 student assessments submitted for the Top Trainer award, more than half commented on Larry’s hands-on and visual demonstrations. “Larry didn’t just show pictures and talk about the products. He had several samples of equipment that were damaged due to improper use,” one student says. “I could actually see the effects of improper use.”
Ben Dressman, Sales Manager for Mazzella Lifting Technologies, nominated Larry for the award for his unique presentations and ability to drive home the importance of safety. “Larry’s enthusiasm for rigging is infectious,” he says. “He eats, sleeps and breathes rigging, and has a knack for helping others understand the risks associated with lifting.”
His impact on his students is evidenced in the activity after training. For example, before training a group of millwrights, an outside company performing quarterly inspections pulled a large number of items out each quarter at the mill. “After the training, there was a significant drop in damaged product being found during quarterly inspections,” Larry says. “The employees themselves were taking bad product out and not allowing it to remain on the rigging racks.”