We have come a long way and a lot has changed in our way of working since the introduction of NINA. Everybody within the company knows what NINA stands for, but I often encounter a difference in interpretation of the program.
For instance: when working with clients (especially during charters) and/or subcontractors that have a lower safety standard than we have, NINA is sometimes presented to them as a safety standard or norm. Like a thermometer measuring their working methods: ‘This is not NINA proof. Stop!’. This way NINA becomes a paper standard to hide behind, and I don’t think this does the program justice.
I must admit I sometimes thought as well that this was the easiest approach to try and reach a higher level of safety awareness among third parties. But I have learned that plainly rejecting an action or working method without further explanation does not encourage people to think about how to do their job more safely. Instead, we should use NINA with all her tools to educate others and make them think and talk about how to execute the works in a safe manner.
It is my experience that when you put effort (and sometimes you need a lot!) into discussing safety issues with people and helping them with the subject, things do improve. And even though it might feel as if nothing changes, in the end you will see results. Remember how much energy it took us to reach the safety standard we are now used to? (project or your ship!)."