A Russian Training Course

Yesterday I sat from 8am until 4pm in a decrepit old Soviet classroom attending what was described as a training course in industrial safety.  In actual fact, this training course was no more than a Russian bloke very slowly reading out Russian Federation Law No. 116 line by line, in Russian, and then pausing whilst it was badly translated into English.  The training course cost $375 per person, and did not include lunch, nor even coffee.  To be fair, they had laid on two bottles of mineral water costing 70 cents each, but that was it by way of refreshments.

So why did I attend?  Under Russian Federation Law No. 116, there is a requirement that all persons in a position of responsibility working in connection with hazardous facilities, which includes oil and gas plants, must attend a training course to familiarise themselves with the law and its requirements.  In other words, it was compulsory.

Having found myself slipping into deep coma and my major organs shutting down in an attempt to keep my brain functioning throughout the day, I was reminded of my fluid mechanics lectures in university.  Words alone cannot do justice in describing boredom of this kind.

Anyway, I will shortly have an exam on the subject in which I will be expected to answer questions from a badly translated document, examples of which follow:

In what term the organisation which has commissioned industrial facility, represents the documents necessary for registration in the state register?

To that the technical devices used on hazardous facility while in service are subject?

Who does determine the order of carrying out of extraordinary examination?

I’m sure this is all very worthwhile.


5 thoughts on “A Russian Training Course

  1. I can sympathise. In my first year working on construction procurement in Ukraine, I was asked by the Deputy Minister to attend his six-monthly seminar, as he put it, “to understand how badly we do it”. After his officials read word by word through the new administrative orders, he finalised the show by going over it all again and explaining what they were about, why and and what came next.

    The meaning of safety culture in Russia is one all of its own. I know from attending meetings about nuclear safety culture.

  2. You’re upsetting me – I’m expecting to be heading your way soon – I guess this is something to brace myself for.

  3. I suppose that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandated annual 8-hour refresher course required to maintain my 40-hour HAZWOPER training is a treat in comparison.

    They also read to us from the latest OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 revisions, including changes of interpretation or areas of emphasis. They also quiz us and give a short examination with strangely worded or obscure questions at the end of the 8 hours.

    However, we don’t have to listen to it in a foreign language with bad translations.

    And we usually get coffee, donuts, and bagels.

    I’m always impressed with the Bizarro-world reproductions of Western life within Mother Russia.

  4. All this and more from the land that gave us Chernobyl. You’ve told us how they handle training, now give us an example of how the Russian workforce implements a safety program.

  5. Tim: suggest you do the exam in Russian – get them back for their meaningless translation!

Comments are closed.