Compromise on safety in the maritime and shipping industry, and the consequences can be disastrous. It can mean lost time, lost recourses, lost business – it can even mean lost lives. This is why safety is at the forefront of all of Wilhelmsen’s operations.
When it comes to safety, the maritime industry is one of the most regulated in the world, and for good reason. Just about every facet of the WW group’s operations are exposed to potential hazards.
Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM)
As managers of WWASA’s fleet and providers of third-party ship management services, WSM is aware of the need to comply with all applicable safety laws and regulations.
“The shipping industry is highly regulated, covering everything from how a vessel is built and maintained, to every part of its operation,” says Christina Cheh, vice president, global HSEQ and systems. “Full compliance is simply part of the service we offer. It’s a basic prerequisite in order to operate in this industry.”
WSM has set itself the ambitious aim of zero accidents on any vessel under its management. All on-board accidents are recorded and investigated, and regular campaigns are rolled out, each focusing on specific hazards.
Wilhelmsen Ships Services (WSS)
As a leading provider of safety products and services to the maritime industry, WSS needs to keep up to date with all laws and regulations concerning safety in the maritime industry. This entails not only closely monitoring all the various international, national and regional maritime laws, but also ensuring that this information is distributed across the whole organisation, to every vessel and employee.
“We service systems that we hope will never need to be used, such as life rafts and fire-fighting systems, but in the event of an accident it is of utmost importance that they work,” says Dag Rune Rensmoen, global service operations director, technical services.
“Continuously training our technicians according to the latest rules and regulations is critical to delivering a professional and reliable service.”
WSS has invested heavily in creating a global safety service training network that is industry-leading and recognised as best in class. This ensures that all WSS technicians are always up-to-date with the very latest safety standards and regulations, and can provide customers with the best possible service when it comes to safety.
Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions (WTS)
WTS offers a wide range of safety systems and products for fire prevention and suppression as well as systems for the safe transportation of flammable cargo.
“We work closely with WSS in servicing our systems to ensure full safety compliance,” according to the global operations team at WTS.
“WMS also collect safety statistics on our behalf, so that we have a good overview of our operations.”
For WTS, quality excellence is fundamental, which means meeting or exceeding quality requirements and standards.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL)
Every day vessels operated by WWL safely and securely transport heavy equipment and specialised cargo across the globe. The sheer size and weight of its cargo makes transportation inherently dangerous if not handled properly. A loose item during the voyage can potentially be life threating, and at the very least will cause untold damage. For this reason, WWL has invested in state-of-the-art equipment such as specially designed cargo carriers, to ensure goods can be moved with little or no lifting, and lashing arrangements ensure minimal movement during the voyage.
“We have a very broad fleet, built specially for us,” says Henrik Meyer, general manager, Cargo Solutions Quality, WWL.
WWL also prides itself on going above and beyond the legal requirements. For example, currently the company is investigating safety requirements for transporting alternative fuel vehicles, despite the fact that legislation does not differentiate them from standard vehicles. “Our ro-ro carriers are already approved to handle alternative fuel cars, however we want to undertake a deeper study, so that we can be sure we are fully equipped for any potential emergency.”
Improving safety on-board is an on-going challenge that requires multiple solutions. captain Mohd Iqbal, HSEQ manager for WSM Malaysia, shares five initiatives for ensuring continuous improvement.
62 vessels are managed by WSM Malaysia. The vessels can be located just about anywhere in the world at any one time. It’s up to captain Mohd Iqbal and his team to ensure full implementation and compliance with all applicable safety requirements and laws on each and every one of these vessels.
“Our crew members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and nationalities,” says Iqbal. “Our biggest challenge is making sure everyone on our vessels not only understands the safety requirements so that we are fully compliant, but also works to actively improve safety standards and prevent accidents.”
As part of the HSEQ Safety Programme, five key initiatives are currently in operation. “None of these initiatives will solve our safety issues alone, however taken in their totality, they offer an excellent platform to ensure we are up to date and compliant, and focusing our efforts where they are needed most.”
An on-going initiative, where employees are encouraged to report any potential and actual hazards they observe in the workplace. Every six months, the Hazard Hunt campaign will target specific focus areas, which have been identified through employee reports.
“Hazard Hunt is about creating a culture on-board where everyone feels responsible for safety and is willing to identify and act on potential hazards, regardless of their position,” says captain Iqbal.
Each vessel is reviewed every six months, on a rolling 12-month basis, under a points system that covers a number of safety parameters. The vessel is then categorised as ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ focus based on points accumulated.
“Rather than treat every vessel the same, profiling helps us identify which vessels need the most attention so we can focus our efforts there and make improvements where it matters most.”
Port State Control (PSC) inspections Monthly inspections are carried out by the master and chief engineer, using a standard checklist. “It’s good to look at vessels with fresh eyes, and create a culture on-board where everyone knows the standards expected.”
Monthly rewards are given to shipboard staff in recognition of strong performance in the field of safety. The criteria include the results from PSC inspections, compliance to planned maintenance routines, prevention of LTI (lost time injuries), avoidance of unplanned unavailability and pro-active near accident reporting.
Safety Stand Down Hour
In the wake of a major incident, a Safety Stand Down Hour is initiated across the full fleet. All officers and crew (except watchkeepers) must meet, for at least one uninterrupted hour, to discuss and analyse the incident in question. “This is a very effective way of getting everyone’s feedback and input, so that we can learn from the experience, make sure it doesn’t happen again, and move forward.”