Safety & Quality at Sea
Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S is, as technical manager of tanker and dry cargo vessels, certified by Det Norske Veritas (The Norwegian classification society) in accordance with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter IX, International Safety Management (ISM) as adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) resolution A.741 (18).
Environmental and safety issues have always been integral to NORDEN’s way of conducting business. The Company is continuously striving to heighten safety for our staff at sea. Protecting the environment is constantly in focus, as well. Our existing procedures, such as computer-based training programmes and electronic document handling, are particularly helpful in our efforts to meet regulatory requirements and remain best in class among our peers in the shipping industry.
NORDEN measures its occupational health and safety performance at sea by two parameters: the number of losttime injuries calculated per one million man hours (LTI frequency rate) and reported near misses. The LTI frequency rate gives an indication of accidents that actually occurred, whereas near misses are a measure of the focus on safety onboard. With campaigns NORDEN has increased focus on reporting near misses in order for the crews to learn from them right away and be more careful to avoid personal injury, illnesses, accidents or equipment damage. This is supplemented by frequent briefings on board the vessels, and NORDEN’s own inspectors check all safety aspects in connection with their inspections. The campaigns have had the desired effects.
We are seeing a positive, dynamic development in the various industry standards and regulatory initiatives – notably OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum), TMSA (Tanker Management Self Assessment) and EU legislation, which is strengthening our competitiveness.
In addition to complying with existing legislation, we will strengthen our focus on meeting future safety and environmental requirements in terms of vessel design and operating procedures in order to ensure a higher degree of safety for our employees at sea as well as for the surrounding environment. More
In a number of areas, NORDEN goes much further than the legislative requirements concerning safety and environment on board vessels. Everything is controlled through detailed SOPs – Standard Operating Procedures – and an active quality culture.
Efforts concerning quality, safety, and environment on board NORDEN’s managed vessels are managed by the Technical Department. In all these three areas, NORDEN is committed to meeting Best Industry Practice.
Quality on board the vessels concerns safety, environment, service as well as efficient operation. In practice, this means that we will not alone comply with the legislation and the common standards agreed but in a number of areas we will go even further. It must be safe to be on board our vessels. They must navigate with a minimum of environmental impact and, at the same time, our crew must provide optimum service in interaction with customers and authorities.
For instance, the requirements concerning ventilation, protection against vapour, and hot work (e.g. welding) on board tankers have been tightened. We have introduced those requirements on all our vessels, also the dry cargo vessels. There are stringent rules and documentation requirements concerning oil, chemicals, sewage outflow, emissions, and wash water from tank cleaning. Consequently, we have prepared particularly detailed instructions in those areas, and we supervise them closely through internal audits.
NORDEN has also established a hotline on which any member of the crew can contact the Company if they think that some of the conditions or actions on board are problematic and not in compliance with the rules or policies of NORDEN. In all areas, detailed SOPs ensure that the authorities’ requirements and the policies of NORDEN are incorporated into the various work procedures and that documentation - showing that NORDEN’s vessels comply with the requirements - is being prepared on a regular basis.
Moreover a whistleblowing system named SafeLine was established in September 2011 to encourage and safeguard the high standards and best practices within the NORDEN Group.
NORDEN performs its own regular internal audits of the vessels. NORDEN’s inspectors review the vessel’s condition, procedures and actions, and base their conclusions on their own observations as well as interviews with the vessel management, junior officers, and other members of the crew.
In addition to NORDEN’s own efforts, quality and safety of the vessels are regularly checked through a number of external inspections regimes that are all fully supported by NORDEN:
Port State Controls are checks performed by the authorities. They are carried out in order to confirm that the vessel fulfils international maritime rules and regulations and is safe for operation in the area of the authority in question.
Vetting Inspections are part of the process by which NORDEN’s customers in tank – the international oil companies – determine whether a tanker is suitable to be chartered. These inspections are thorough and focus on such issues as the vessel’s technical condition, crew competence and various operational procedures.
A third type of inspection is Classification surveys. It is an obligatory and comprehensive inspection of the vessel performed by the Classification Societies. Some of those surveys are done on behalf of the vessel's flag state. This type of inspection is performed annually, of which every 5th annual survey is called renewal survey, referring to renewal of vessel's statutory certificates.
In connection with recruitment, promotions, internal audits, and officers’ seminars, emphasis is put on NORDEN’s expectations and culture concerning safety, environment, and service. Simultaneously, the individual officer’s record is reviewed with regard to requirements compliance, standards, and culture. This is a way to ensure an active quality culture in the organisation.
With the introduction of Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) by OCIMF, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have become an integrated part of tanker management.
NORDEN fully supports the TMSA initiative and applies it not only on tankers but also on dry cargo vessels as well. NORDEN firmly believes that TMSA supports NORDEN’s focus on high quality ship management and continuous improvement. Before the introduction of TMSA, NORDEN already had defined its own KPI scheme, with indicators such as:
Lost time injuries – working days lost due to accidents and incidents
Number and nature of deficiencies in connection with Port State Controls