SAFETY – IT’S OUR CULTURE

At Northern Marine Group, ‘safety’ is a word you hear a lot. It is a Company value; it is written in the Company ship management mission statement; it is ingrained in the fabric of both the business and its employees.

Indeed, through 36 of years of ship and offshore asset management, Company safety programmes and processes are mature, yet there is an ongoing drive to enhance training, information and the safety culture.

Over the past year, Northern Marine Management (Northern Marine Group’s tanker management subsidiary) has successfully implemented a new initiative across its fleet of vessels.

The ‘Maritime Partners in Safety’ initiative is not just training; it is an effort to further improve the mindset and knowledge of a maritime workforce already well-versed in the respective topic of safety. 

Douglas Cowden, Director of Ship Management, NMM explains: “The initiative complements our existing approach to safety and provides enhancement. 

“There are four pillars to Partners in Safety that aim for a zero incident industry.

1. Visible Felt Leadership
2. Learning Engagement Tool (LET)
3. Reflective Learning
4. Resilience – Care for People

VISIBLE FELT LEADERSHIP

The first is ‘Visible Felt Leadership’, which is the physical onboard presence of senior management visiting company vessels and engaging with all crew members.  

“It is imperative that safety objectives and principles are promoted in person from all leaders.

“Ship visits from our onshore managers have risen steadily in recent years and the initiative has given this fresh impetus.”

‘Reflective Learning’ and ‘Learning Engagement Tools’ are two of the initiative’s training exercises which facilitate interaction between participants. 

Sessions are conducted in small groups onboard, as well as at onshore safety seminars, and involve participants discussing their personal experiences of safety incidents or issues onboard current or previous vessels. 

The interaction and engagement generated through the small group setting is then transferable to all everyday shipboard activities. 

The final strand to the initiative is ‘Resilience’ which again through interactive training supports the seafarers’ mental well-being.

This aspect is made up of five core training modules that look to strengthen the seafarer’s ability to deal with life’s challenges with each module focusing on a different area that makes up their natural capacity or ability to carry on in the face of adversity.

CONFIDENCE BOOST

The feedback on the initiative from the crews has been very positive.

Ishdeep Singh Lubana, 3/O, Stena Sunrise said: “This actually is a very interesting and helpful tool to train crew members onboard. We learn from each other’s ex-periences while we sit at the same table.

“It boosts our confidence in dealing with an emergency by knowing what others did right or what others did wrong. We know which we should or should not repeat to keep our ship, our atmosphere and ourselves safe.”

COLLABORATION IS KEY

The initiative is being implemented industry-wide with information sharing amongst participating companies ensuring a collective approach to improving safety standards.

In May, Douglas Cowden attended a Maritime Partners in Safety workshop in Athens, speaking to attendees about Northern Marine’s implementation of the initiative thus far.

His presentation also included the Company’s efforts to improve onshore employees’ knowledge of the programme through various methods including lunch time learning sessions. 

Douglas added: “The opportunity to collaborate on this initiative with other companies within the industry is something we support and embrace. 

“If seafarers across the entire industry are more safety-conscious then it benefits our own business as overall risk is reduced.

“Our commitment to safety has never started and ended at the gangway – it is an ethos shared by us all, no matter the location or role.”

Crew of the Stena Sunrise

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