By Capt. Anurag Dawar, HSSEQ Superintendent, Group HSSEQ
“There’s an old saying that if you think safety is expensive, try an accident” – Dr Trevor Kletz
With traditional focus on safe, reliable operations and regulatory compliance, we have taken bold steps in our journey towards safety in operations; drawing meaningful insights from our past performance to identify the path towards ‘kaizen’ roughly translated as ‘continuous improvement’.
The underlying idea is to benchmark and improve our safety performance with the ultimate goal of fulfilling our responsibility of providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees; at the same time achieving excellence in the service delivery to our clients. The possibility of injury is an inherent risk of working onboard vessels. Sea going personnel are exposed to some risks which are uniquely marine – heavy equipment, dangerous machinery, explosive cargoes, exposure to toxic materials, vagaries of the sea etc. Personal Injury claims traditionally account for one third of the P&I claims year on year.
Overall the global tanker fleet accounts for 67% of these P&I claims in value terms while the bulk fleet accounts for 24 % which is more or less in line with the composition of Thome’s fleet. The trend indicates that junior ranks on and the people physically involved in carrying out the tasks (fitters, able seaman, bosun etc) are more susceptible to onboard injuries. This statistic highlights the importance of mentorship and the role of safety observers.
The risks in day to day activities on board, both routine and non-routine, are effectively covered by the robust permit to work systems in place on board Thome Group’s vessels. At the same time, we encourage both our office and sailing staff to continuously bring up issues of concern through various avenues and forums, so that these issues are suitably addressed at the appropriate levels in management to ensure a safe workplace for all our employees.
Another initiative by the Group is the ‘Safety Moment’. Trend analyses of fleet injuries are carried out and the most pressing issues are shared with the entire fleet to improve the safety performance and to boost the safety culture on board. Most of the time, the ways to mitigate any injury remain very simple: keep your hands and feet in sight at all times and provide proper mentoring and guidance to junior officers.
“Safety starts with Me and is Everybody’s Business”