WORKING SAFELY WITH INEXPERIENCED RATINGS
Hans Hilverda, superintendent
“In Newfoundland, Canada, the Taklift 6 was involved in the construction of a concrete oil platform. We had to fit large metal decks together and carry out a lot of lifting jobs. It was the local content arrangements that were the main difficulty: half of the crew was replaced by Canadians, without relevant work experience. The dilemma we faced was how we could teach them to do the different jobs safely.
After the introduction, we therefore started practicing. During toolboxes, we used a whiteboard with the layout of the work site for clarification purposes: here we are, here is where we are going to, here we drop anchor. The master kept a record of everyone’s improvements and points of concern, in order to monitor the overall progress. The men involved appreciated the feedback; they were happy to know how they were doing. In the first month, we had one accident: an employee was standing in the wrong spot during preparation of lifting material, which hit him when the sling slipped. When we discussed this incident, we made a connection with the NINA message: keep an eye on each other, point out the risks. The project was fi wished without further incidents.
Did this approach take a lot of time? It did, somewhat, but it was worth the effort. You could think ‘I never asked for these men’ and let things just go on as they are. But that’s not my attitude. I think taking care of each other is part of our business culture. Still, we must be careful not to make the ship feel they are alone in this task. Luckily, the Taklift 6 could rely on the support of the office, project and crewing department to face this Canadian challenge.”