V.Group at Shell Safety Conference

CEO Graham Westgarth and Mikkjal Poulsen, Managing Director, Dania Ship Management, joined more than 100 CEOs and industry leaders at this year’s Shell Partners in Maritime Safety (PiMS) conference.

The two-day conference, which was held in Rotterdam, focused on four key themes as part of a discussion around improving safety within the maritime industry: leadership, simplification, learning and communication.

“Leadership is a key part of PiMS’ focus on safety, in particularly increased engagement with front line staff . Attendees agreed that leaders should conduct regular vessel visits and make use of today’s technology, such as video conference, to ensure there is consistent contact between vessel and shore.

“Our industry can be complex at times, so there is also a need to simplify the way we work so we can reduce the administrative burden on officers and shore staff. This is a significant issue and one that most people can agree on this, however this does need to be balanced with the requirement to comply with regulation from various legislative bodies, countries and our customers, said Graham.

As part of the learning theme, Mikkjal explained that Shell has developed several training courses which are free to use and are included as part of our VMS. Later this year, Shell will be launching another four eLearning modules, titled ‘Let’s Talk’ aimed at seafarers.

“Communication is obviously a key area when talking about safety and improving safety performance. One particular focus area is what we as leaders do or say. It is important that all leaders in the industry ensure that communications to seafarers are clear and supportive.

“The conference was a great opportunity to join with other leaders in the European maritime shipping industry to focus on the safety and care of all our colleagues both at sea and ashore”, said Graham.

At the end of the conference, attendees were asked to go away and consider five ‘Principles of the Human Performance’ with a view to using them as part of improving the safety culture in their organisation. The principles were:

1. Error is normal. Even the best makes mistakes
2. Blame fixes nothing
3. Learning and improving is vital. Learning is deliberate
4. Context influences behaviour. Systems drive outcomes
5. How you respond to failure matters. How leaders act and respond counts

PiMS was launched in 2012 by Shell with members having a shared aim of creating a ‘zero incident industry’ by building on PiMS key pillars of leadership visits, reflective learning and learning engagement.

Back in 2012 when PiMS started, Shell and its maritime partners experienced one major incident or accident in 7 days. As part of the ongoing drive to improve safety across the maritime industry, PiMS now stand at one major accident or incident in 43 days.