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A Letter to Fellow Seafarers from the “Old Man” - Captain LC Chan

(Published on Hong Kong Shipping Circles Association 2015 Year-end Book)

Ex Master Mariner and Management Team in Shipping Company, now working as Risk Management & Loss Prevention Consultant in CM Houlder Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Safety Is More Important than Convenience.  Please Stay Safe for Yourself, Your Family and Your Company.

Many statistics suggest that Human Error is the main cause of crew injury. The root causes of human error include lacking of experience, no safety awareness, communication breakdown and so on.

Of course, everyone knows that collision, flooding, grounding, weather damage, fire, explosion and serious machinery or equipment failure are common accidents at sea that lead to crew injury or fatality.

 

 

 

Now let me tell you a story here. Two bulls had a fight inside the plane. They hit on the exit door, fell off the plane and eventually landed onboard a vessel. Three crew members were seriously injured and possibly became fatal.

 

 

 

Is it an accident?  If the bulls had been properly secured on the plane, they probably would not have chance to get close to each other. And such case would have never happened.  For the vessel, it might be just a bad luck. To me, an accident means something still goes wrong if you have taken all the precautionary measures. Otherwise, you are just putting yourself at risk by choosing to believing in luck and convenience.  

Safety Concerns for Crew

What Are The Problems?

1.       Crew’s failure in identifying risks associated before performing their task is the number one problem when it comes to safety.

2.       In some cases, individuals choose to ignore the safety procedures.

3.       In many cases, either complacency or the lack of experience (such as poor ship handling, unskillful machine work etc.) or no safety awareness is the direct cause of injury or fatality.

What the Crew Can Do to Avoid Accidents?

1.    Keep learning.  Accumulate experiences in ship handling, machine work, deck work and so on.

2.    Take time to think about the possible risk associated with the task you are going to perform and know how to manage them.

3.    Ensure you put on personal safety gears at all times.

4.    Follow the safety procedures for any task that has risks.

5.    Make sure you know how to do the task properly. Ask your supervisor for clarification if needed.

6.    Don’t be shy. If you notice something goes wrong, then speak out.

7.    Remember that safe working procedures are “good” rules to follow. Instead of luck, you should rely on them to keep you and the workplace safe.

8.    Stay alert. Don’t let your overconfidence in routine & repetitive tasks blind you.

9.    Cross check each other during work so as to break the error chain before it is too late.

10. Keep in mind that safety is always the top priority.

What the Company Can Do to Minimize the Number of Accidents?

1.    The established safety procedures must be continuously evaluated and updated.

2.    Help crew further cultivate safety knowledge and related work experience through on the job training, simulator training, computer based trainings and seminars, etc.

3.    Conduct campaigns to promote safety awareness and culture, for example, all crew should take part in the daily risk assessment before starting the day work and maintain the mentoring program.

4.    Motivate the crew to think safe and work safe.

5.    Maintain good crew discipline.

6.    Sense of belonging to be created - that is why the company must respect and invest and recognize the efforts and achievements of their crew.

7.    Implement the ‘Just Culture’ in the Safety Management System.

Quote from

 

Shipping & Marine – The Magazine for Maritime Management Issue 8 2013 – Safety Culture = The Just Culture

A Just Culture achieves this by creating an atmosphere of responsible behaviour and trust whereby people are encouraged to provide essential safety-related information without fear of retribution.  However, we distinguish between what we perceive is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour; if we discover an officer is behaving unacceptably, a just culture does not guarantee that the officer will not face consequences. By implementing a just culture, we promote a trusting environment and value the key attributes that we believe a seafarer must have:-

             The correct behaviours,

             Values

             The right attitudes and

             A responsible mindset

 

Unquote

 

Remember that safety is always your first and top priority as you are responsible to your family, your friends, your colleagues and your company.

 

發布時間:2016-4-14
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