QSHE Bulletin Vol.26

Quality, Safety, Health & Environment Bulletin 6 Sea Breeze We might be hearing this almost every day, it is probably also displayed all over the place where we work, actually it may have become part of the background and maybe we now take the principle for granted. But sometimes you may have asked yourself, and maybe also others, if safety really comes first. No one can argue with the fact that workplace safety is important, yet it’s often unintentionally overlooked, the underlying purpose of a Safety Management System (SMS) that embraces an effective safety culture is to prevent ‘accidents” Where (to mind? In the decision-making process? in the allocation of resources?). And when (always? every now and then? in the wake of things gone wrong?) And whose safety (yours? your colleagues’? safety of ship? what about environmental?) And what sort of “safety” (personnel? ship? environmental? security? financial?) Reflect on how you give priority to safety when making decisions and on what could happen if you didn’t. Consider potential consequences also in the long run. Think of what risk assessments you do or make use of in your work. The integrated assessment of the risks (qualitative and quantitative) is necessary and essential for an effective implementation of the “safety first” principle. Whether you are the one doing the risk assessments or you rely on the risk assessments performed by others, make sure your actions and approach to task are always risk-informed. We face these types of decisions in many of the tasks we do throughout the day. We follow schedules, meet budget constraints, respond to our boss’s and their boss’s requests and requirements, and at times become distracted on the job with our personal lives. Many of these factors are necessary for our organizations and us to be successful. Finding the right balance is necessary to maintain this success safely. Action to implement the message When on the job maintain focus on what you are doing. Recognize that schedule and other pressures are required for and manage those pressures appropriately. Remain cognizant of your surroundings. Take a time out before starting work to assess your surroundings and to look for hazards. As leaders, ensure that a robust safety culture, process safety management system, and corrective action program exist. Assess each safety violation, near miss, and accident critically and without rationalization. Perform comprehensive task preview and pre-job briefs for activities that could include both active and latent errors. Maintain robust independent review processes. Plan and conduct formal post-job critiques to obtain learning experience. Every one of us can make a contribution to maintaining and improving safety on board a ship and in the shipping industry. Safety is not only the job of the “safety department” – it is everyone’s responsibility. Remember that the quality of your work is important for the safety of the shipping industry. Action to implement the message Take a moment to ask yourself how your work contributes to the safety of the ship and what added value can you bring to it. Understand what is expected from you in your work and what could be the consequences of a failure or error or performance below the standards. Regard shipping technology as special and unique and act responsibly in everything you do Rarely are safety events the result of bad people operating in safe systems. Safety events generally are the result of well-intentioned people operating in error possible systems. The human error aspect can be seen as an unintentional deviation from an approved behaviour, involving weaknesses in the mental processing of a task or related information. For example, in turning a nut with a wrench, one would expect the nut to turn. When the wrench slips and the knuckles of the person’s hand slams into the hard metal, the unexpected or seemingly improbable event just occurred – an injury to hand. The next time the crew performs the task, he has a better understanding of the situation and more of the possible outcomes. Wrench slipping and injury become potential outcomes. Therefore, anticipation and additional planning precludes the injury from happening. Anticipating results regardless of desire helps prevent both active and latent human performance events and accidents. Ask what if questions and explore if the individual to perform the task is prepared for the various outcomes. Perform comprehensive task preview and pre-job briefs for activities that could include both active and latent errors. Assess the critical steps in a task; Critical steps are those steps that once performed cannot be easily or quickly undone. All protocols and procedure for safety would be ineffective unless you embrace safety practices in the true spirit. Everyone in the organisation is encouraged to realise that incident are worth reporting as near-miss and feels comfortable in correcting unsafe practice across, down and up the hierarchy. Holding people at all levels accountable for safety means embracing bad news. Let’s work towards our vision that the work place will be free of incidents/injuries and safety is integrated into every aspect of the work process. Safety is a mind set and commitment that must be present in all that you do every day. Remember safety starts with ME. Think of what “Safety First” means to you and how you apply this principle in your everyday work. Recognize the impact of major influences and distractions on your daily work and assess the risk to safety that they may pose. Understand your role in ensuring ship safety and the importance of your actions. Anticipate the results you may get rather than the results you want SAFETY FIRST – SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A SLOGAN (Contribution from Mr. Anthony Stenrislaus, the Additional C/E of SETAGAWA)