GAWDA Members Share Why They Participate in the CGA Subscription Program
July 16, 2021
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Q3 2021 issue of GAWDA’s Welding & Gases Today magazine. We reprint the article here with permission.
CGA Helps Provide an Essential Safety Foundation
First launched in 2011, the partnership between the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) and the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) provides participating GAWDA distributor members with complimentary access to CGA’s electronic safety publication library, enabling one employee per company location to gain free access to CGA’s library of over 350 electronic publications for a total value of more than $19,000 per user.
For Ben Polavin, Safety and Compliance Officer with GAWDA member Purity Cylinder Gases, that’s the most valuable benefit of the program. “I’m on the CGA website just about every week. Without their publications library, it would be difficult to access that kind of knowledge base, from such a trusted source of safety information for our industry.”
Monty Rucker, Director of Manufacturing with Gateway Cylinder Testing of CeeKay Supply – another GAWDA member – agrees. “We offer cylinder filling, as well as cylinder requalification. Having access to CGA’s safety publications provides an important safety foundation for both operations, helping us stay up-to-date on any rules and regulations that have changed that we need to know about. All the hard work’s already been done for us. It gives us vital information at our fingertips.”
eLearning Modules Offer Added Resource for GAWDA Members
“We’ve participated in the CGA publications subscription program for a long time now. We initially joined to get access to all the safety standards,” Monty explained. “But it was a good surprise when we realized all the other resources we’d get access to as a part of this program, like CGA’s eLearning training modules.”
“CGA’s training modules are some of the best in the industry,” Ben added. “They all have really good content. I use them for myself as a refresher. We’ve also made them part of our new employee training. We have an acetylene plant, so CGA TM-2 on the safe handling of acetylene cylinders is especially helpful. And the multimedia format works great for more visual learners.”
Created with financial support from GAWDA, CGA’s training modules are designed to provide a helpful resource for employees who may need more coaching in how to safely handle and work with compressed gases. All participating GAWDA members gain free access to CGA’s eLearning modules for their employees.
Currently, CGA offers eight modules in our eLearning library:
- CGA TM-1, eLearning: Safe Handling and Storage of Compressed Gases
- CGA TM-2, eLearning: Safe Handling of Acetylene Cylinders
- CGA TM-3, eLearning: Safe Handling of Cryogenic Liquids in Portable Containers
- CGA TM-4, eLearning: Filling of Uninsulated Carbon Dioxide Cylinders
- CGA TM-5, eLearning: Filling of High Pressure Medical Oxygen Cylinders
- CGA TM-6, eLearning: Filling of High Pressure Industrial Gas Cylinders
- CGA TM-7, eLearning: Introduction to Compressed Gas Cylinder Valves
- CGA TM-8, eLearning: Oxygen Safety
CGA will continue adding new titles to this library in the coming months.
“We’ve historically had a great safety culture here,” Ben observed. “But with higher staff turnover than in the past, we have to have really strong safety training. It’s not as easy as it once was to find a 40 year industry veteran who can explain how things should be done, and why, from a safety perspective. CGA’s Training Modules help us meet that challenge.”
CGA’s Safety Posters Offer an Additional Free Resource
Monty also sees a lot of value in the growing number of free safety posters that CGA provides. “They’re great information to have on hand, they’re updated, easy to understand, and not too complicated. These posters help to get important safety information out to people who would rather look at a picture than read a dense document.”
Each poster is provided as a scalable PDF file, so you can print the size you need. The posters are also designed for easy co-branding: GAWDA members can add your company information to the “supplied by” box at the bottom of each poster, before sharing this safety resource with customers.
“We’ve printed several of CGA’s free safety posters and handed them out to customers,” Ben said. “It gives us one more value-added thing we can share with our customers. Dry ice is a good example. Before recently, some of our customers had never had to handle dry ice. Now, our dry ice specialist prints out copies of CGA’s dry ice poster and hands them out, or shares the poster electronically as a PDF.”
CGA continues to expand our series of safety posters and related product information, all available for free from our public website. To date, we’ve published new end user safety posters and related online safety information on the topics of home oxygen safety; safe use of liquid nitrogen in food and beverage service environments; safe handling of dry ice; and medical oxygen safety and supply. New posters related to the safe use of compressed gases in the cannabis industry, and precautions for liquid nitrogen use in cryogenic therapies are also in development.
In addition, CGA offers an expanding set of industrial safety posters aimed at explaining basic safety concepts to anyone new to handling compressed gases and related equipment.
For more information and to download CGA’s free safety posters, see: https://www.cganet.com/resources/safety-posters/
How to Get Access to CGA’s Resources for Your Team
Is your company a GAWDA member and would you like to give your employees access to these invaluable resources at no charge? Sign up to participate in the cooperative program between GAWDA and CGA.
To be eligible for this unique member benefit, your company:
- Must be a GAWDA distributor member in good standing, and
- Must participate in the CGA & GAWDA Distributor Reporting and Safety Awards Program (requires annual submission of OSHA 300A safety data to CGA – for all companies with 11 or more employees; companies with 10 or fewer employees can participate without providing safety performance data)
“For us, it’s absolutely worth the effort to participate in this program and report the required safety data,” Ben said. “For one thing, more of our clients and prospects are asking for the same safety data, so it helps that we’re already collecting the information. And the most important part of Purity are our people. We want them to be safe. Participating in this program helps us to do that.”
“The reporting requirements for this program can sometimes be a pretty big undertaking for us, in terms of time and recordkeeping,” Monty admitted. “But we get a lot of benefits in return. Most importantly, we get to see where we stand in terms of safety – are we getting better? Are we progressing in the direction we need to go? Because we couldn’t run our business without having safety as the backbone for everything we do.”
To learn more about applying to have your company participate in this valuable program, see these links:
CGA Website: https://portal.cganet.com/GAWDA.aspx
GAWDA Website: https://www.gawda.org/resources/cga-subscription-program/
We welcome your participation!