NINA Blog: NINA connects cultures

“We work with 45 people, our own personnel and local people, off the Brazilian coast. They are all acquainted with NINA. When you are used to talking about safety in terms of procedures, NINA requires a bit of a switch.

I noticed that from the responses during the training. It suddenly switches to “take care of other people’s safety”. I myself already have that mindset more because, within Boskalis, I deal more often with people who already think and act that way. When a food supplier did not wear a helmet while hoisting crates on board, I saw how our SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment & Quality) employee gave him one. That is facilitating safety and that is how I – in project-wide issues – also see my role.

A ship is a closed community where that influence from outside is less. The project team on board the Smit Kamara must apply NINA itself, with up to eight different cultures on board, each with their own standards and values and sometimes simply not understanding each other. In daily practice, that can cause communication problems: everything that you want to communicate has to be adapted to the person and his background. And on top of that: what one person finds nice and direct, another person finds so blunt that he shuts down. I expect the manner in which NINA teaches us to talk about safety to have a positive influence on all the communication. When you speak to someone about unsafe behavior, you do that out of concern and a feeling of responsibility. The other person knows that as well. In that way, NINA can
bridge the gap between different cultures.”

By: Jules Verlinden, project manager RSV Smit Kamara