By Capt. Mayuresh Jayade, Senior Superintendent / DPA, Thome Group Marine & Safety
Safety is one of Thome Group’s core values within “ExCITES.”
Core values depict our commitment towards safety, environment and integrity and propel our operations in absolute compliance to achieve excellence and customer satisfaction. In Thome, crew safety is our top priority and we embrace the safety culture. Safety performance is measured and analysed against annual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) and Total Recordable Case Frequency (TRCF). Our crew, are our safety ambassadors. The Senior officers continuously mentor regarding safe working practices.
Thome’s Safety Management system (TMS) comprises of stringent safety guidelines over and above industrial recommendations for each task carried out onboard, covering key safety aspects such as:
- Risk assessment
- Permit to work system
- Office concurrence for critical jobs
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) matrix
All crew are empowered to exercise the company’s intervention policy by issuing a STOPER card when a prevailing hazardous situation is observed during the task compromising risk assessment and control measures.
When the unforeseen happens
Injuries to crew or visitors when working onboard Thome’s vessels are taken extremely seriously and thoroughly investigated to identify the root cause. Investigation of injuries allows us to understand any gaps in the implementation of TMS which may require further review of our procedures. Subject matter experts from the maritime industry have always emphasized that, based on bitter experience, injuries do not just “happen” but are “caused”, normally due to the human element.
A Crew member’s behaviour is an essential factor which can influence the safe outcome of the task. It is for this reason that Thome has also adopted enhanced measures to ensure the safety culture is deeply embedded by focusing on the human element.
Safety drives and campaigns in 2019
With the human element as the focus, Thome remains committed in 2019 for the continual implementation of “Partners in Safety” campaigns together with oil major Shell. The program is promulgated to all fleet vessels through HSSEQ circulars and gazettes, aimed to cultivate the highest safety standards through the following:
Visible and Committed Leadership:
Commitment from the top management of Thome, where the executive team conducts frequent vessel visits and participates in sea staff seminars and safety workshops to bridge the gap between policy makers and those responsible to implement it in the office and onboard vessels.
Series of modules that outline the main causes of incidents to gain a deeper behavioural understanding on learning using a structured reflective learning concept.
Learning Engagement Tool:
This tool helps to discuss real life case studies and key issues relating to critical tasks onboard involving significant incidents or high potential near misses and how to prevent recurrence.
The resilience modules aim to enhance our ability to manage everyday problems, both at home and on board.
All vessels are provided with required training material to complete the tasks and provide evidence of completion to a dedicated department for measurement and analysis.
Standardization of PPE
At the end of 2018, Thome’s management successfully concluded the standardization of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the group, including those shore staff who visit vessels. A similar standardization exercise was also rolled out for special tools that require escalated attention in terms of safety, such as high-pressure hoses and portable gas detection meters.
It is expected that such standardization across the fleet will help in monitoring PPE compliance, quality of procurement, ease of crew training and familiarization, as crew is transferred within different fleet groups and owner pools.
A newly adopted safety program which covers specific non-routine critical operations onboard and prescribes a task with the aim of raising awareness amongst crew on the hazards associated with such tasks. One such critical task covered recently, included working with high pressure jet cleaning devices.
In addition to the above initiatives, management has also retained and further improved conventional company specific programs as below
- Periodic HSSEQ safety gazette: This publication contains a foreword from senior management demonstrating their commitment to safety and internal case studies, analysis of near miss reports etc to share the lessons learnt
- Seagull CBT programs on personal safety and the mandatory social responsibility for each rank.
- Safety work-shops during sea staff seminars, a dedicated session where highly interactive discussions and tasks are planned to assist senior officers in raising awareness and strengthen leadership qualities.
- Collaboration with global training partners and manning agencies to address specific safety issues and enhancement of crew knowledge. In 2019, we have scheduled Advanced Bridge Team Management (ABTM) to further improve navigational safety standards.
- Annual Safety Day 2019: The Safety Day shall be conducted in Q3 of 2019 across the global offices of Thome and all its fleet vessels. In 2018, the Safety Day theme was “Safe and Reliable Operation”.
The proposed theme for this year is “Use of Innovative Technology and Digital Revolution in Safety”. More details on this shall be shared in the near future.