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New leadership best practices and safety rules for shipping

What are aimed to be a new set of best practises for leadership in safety have been developed by working group from the Global Maritime Forum, as it aims cut out shipboard accidents that are repeated time and again.

The plenary session of the forum in Singapore was presented with progress of non-regulatory industry collaborative forum and gave a clear illustration as to why safety should remain its number one priority.

Grahaeme Henderson, vice president shipping and maritime for Shell, presented a simple, hard-hitting view of the scale of the issue. He asked the audience of over 200 to look around at each other. “This is the number of people killed in the shipping industry every eight weeks.  Multiply that up by six and you get the number of people killed every year in the shipping industry,” he stated.

Henderson also recounted from personal experience the very real impact accidents in the industry has on the lives of the families involved with it lasting a lifetime.

V.Group, ceo Graham Westgarth, explained on a practical level the three areas the group had been working on over the last year to improve safety.

One of these was leadership and how leaders act and the impact this has. “Based on this came with five key behaviours we believe are fundamental for leaders to embrace to promote a safety culture within their organisation,” Westgarth said.

The five areas are -

-              Setting a clear vision and painting a picture of success for others to follow

-              Accepting personal ownership and ensuring others do the same

-              Addressing unsafe conditions with action

-              Responding positively and decisively to safety

-              Inspiring others with communication

“Our goal is to have them as industry best practices,” he said.

The group also looked at collaboration focusing on best practice and a new set of safety rules and data sharing on incidents.

On the safety rules Westgarth said most were not new and covered areas such as confined space entry, fall prevention, hot work and navigation. “These areas we have seen the same incident again and again,” he said.

On data sharing he said there was currently no standardisation across the industry when it comes to classification of incidents that this creates barriers to analysing incidents on a global scale. “We are moving towards an anonymous independent database,” he said.

The third area was learning from other industries, specifically aviation where they have been exploring areas of common interest with IATA.

Read more: New element in TMSA programme to address human element in tanker spills

Some of measures appear similar in nature to a new element that addresses the human element to the Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) programme presented by ExxonMobil at a conference in Singapore last week. However, it is understood the two are entirely separate initiatives.