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"To address culture and safety, the first step is to understand culture."

Darius MacLiver has been involved in the MIA project as SHE-Q Manager since February 2021. "I see a lot of similarities in isolated tough conditions with the Gorgon, Australia project I worked on. Here in Manila, we have also had to gather a workforce of local workers, in a remote area, with limited accommodation, where we look after the workforce in all circumstances."

Darius Macliver

Cross culture training sessions
Working with people from different cultural backgrounds is all about treating people with respect, caring for them and showing empathy, Darius says. "To address culture and safety, the first step is to understand culture." Therefore, cross-cultural training sessions were organized during the project; for the expats to understand Filipino culture and for the Filipinos to understand the more ‘to the point’ Dutch and Western culture. "What we have learned is that we as expats, and then I mean the westernized side, look at the Values: how to give people confidence to speak up and show support? But the Rules on the other side of NINA are just as important. The Filipino culture is really a discipline and rules-driven culture." What impresses Darius most about Filipino culture is the strong sense of family values. "That's what is very evident and very noticeable here in the Philippines. It’s all about family. That's the reason why they do what they do."

Full-time NINA trainer
Many of the local employees had no experience with the work that needed to be done. "We have invested quite a lot in teaching them the necessary skills and increasing hazard awareness. What is unique about this is that we used a full-time NINA trainer for this project. Employees have received and continue to receive extensive training. The core part in the trainings is to give local people the confidence to speak up. This has taken a considerable amount of effort and continues to do so because they are not used to it." According to Darius, you can see the project improve, not only from a safety and health perspective, but also from an operational perspective.

Local Supervisors as key safety leaders
"We want everyone in the workforce to feel heard. This comes down to more than 1,200 people. Local Supervisors and Foremen are an important link with the local employees. We have identified these leaders based on their demonstrated natural leadership within the group." Darius indicates that this project’s focus is on training, coaching, and mentoring. The local leaders play a vital role in this. "The employees learn to trust the people they're working with, the Supervisors and expats, and understand that we are here to look after them. We are still working on giving them the confidence to be able to raise issues without consequences." To achieve this, proactive discussions are organized in small groups of 10 people, led by Supervisors, Foremans and/or HSE Managers. This allows the team to create open discussions where everyone can learn from and understand each other. "Providing positive recognition for good behavior and good work is also an important way to show trust and appreciation. You can see a person grow as a result and this ultimately has a positive effect on the entire group."

Connecting through activities
Throughout the project, many activities are organized that contribute to making connections between the different employees and cultural backgrounds. "Local comedians and bands provide entertainment, we organize karaoke competitions and play a lot of basketball. Some 20 mixed teams of expats and locals participated in the basketball competition. That was exciting to see because it did not only concern participating teams, but the matches were also well attended, and the various teams were properly supported." These initiatives are organized with a social perspective in mind as trust is gained by laughing together and encouraging interaction. "Our management team has done a lot of work to make this a safe, fun and social working environment."


TSHD Oranje

Safety at sea: Safety Observer initiative aboard the Oranje

To elevate safety aboard the Oranje, Captain Marco de Bruin has implemented a new initiative by introducing the role of Safety Observer. The goal is to embed a deep sense of safety consciousness within the crew's daily operations. Each month, a different crew member steps into the role and actively contributes to the vessel's safety culture. To encourage continuous learning and sharing knowledge, Marco explains the purpose and aims of his initiative, while crew members Joel Yuzon, Rocell Cadampog and Gilbert Rojas share their first-hand experiences.

Safety Leadership Expedition Summit Dredging Vessel Teams

"A good captain or a good safety leader, or can I be both at the same time?"

“Let me introduce myself. I am Bouke Putter, working for Boskalis since 1997, of which the last 15 years in the role of Captain on the hoppers. In 2023, I started as participant in the NINA Safety Leadership Expedition which I completed on 14 December by doing my end presentation at the Summit session. Sharing my personal experiences and reflections was valuable for myself and the guests, and I therefore share my experiences in NINA at Work.“

Darius Macliver

"To address culture and safety, the first step is to understand culture."

Jasper Talle

"In order to proceed safely, we repeat the instructions together and reflect on possible risks."

Benedict Arribas

"It takes time and effort to guide people and to implement the NINA culture."

Samuel Hoganas

"Personally, I like to involve others and actively invite people to speak up."

NINA Launch Horizon Geosciences

NINA Launch at Horizon Geosciences

Early February NINA was formally launched at Horizon in the UAE. During a two-day event, management and employees came together to share their views on safety and set common goals It was the next step in NINA's implementation process which started with an inventory regarding the current safety awareness within Horizon and was followed by a Senior Management training based on the analysis of the inventory. This careful approach revealed a lot of similarities between NINA and Horizon’s own values and everyday practices. NINA definitely got a soft landing within Horizon.

NINA In Togo Benin

We do it together! Travailler ensemble!

If Project Manager Frans Thomassen was asked to put one motto on a sign, it would be: ‘We do it together’. At his current project, on the Togo-Benin border, this is called ‘travailler ensemble’. This shows in every detail: from the way the contract was set up to the communication lines with the local community. Report of a project with major challenges.

Chris Bos

“I am constantly looking around me at work. That is what I am trying to get across to the young guys.”

With his 40 years of service, Chris Bos can rightfully be called an old hand. Having started out as an apprentice diver, he has now been working as a Salvage Master for many years.

Robert En Rudy

"We make sure our employees are updated in decisions."

"If you do not share information, they do not feel part of the group/the collective. Their involvement has a positive effect on the whole project. As leaders we should be the initiators in this respect." 

Christian Rathkamp

Safety E-learning boring? You might be pleasantly surprised!

NINA is for everyone on our projects. To support that point of view the NINA E-learning is available for both employees and (sub)-contractors as well. Christian Rathkamp, DOCM at Boskalis Hirdes in Hamburg, recently finished it and shares his experiences. “I found it very good, because you did not have to worry about good or wrong answers. You could focus completely on the message.”

Glenn Raes

What is the real added value of a NINA Workbox?

When CLV Spirit had to wait for the installation of a platform at the Hornsea2 project, Captain Glenn Raes and OCM Arjan Ottink proposed to use this idle time for safety sessions. SHE-Q Advisor Ricardo Guedes came up with the idea to facilitate NINA Workboxes for both marine and project crew.

Greetincs Card Port La Nouvelle

NINA greetings from Port la Nouvelle!

SHE-Q Engineer Caroline Kannwischer came up with a brilliantly simple idea to connect people: she designed an old-fashioned postcard to celebrate 10 years NINA.

Mark Whiteley

In the spotlight: the rotation toolbox

How can we make our toolbox meetings more lively? That’s the question David Cuninghame, Project Manager at Subsea Cables, asked himself when working on the Ndeavor. He remembered an Australian initiative: the rotating toolbox. The idea is simple: you appoint a crew member to reflect on their previous shift. He then nominates a colleague to do the same at next day’s toolbox. The toolbox facilitator should still conduct their section of the toolbox to inform and discuss about the activities that are planned for the upcoming shift. The rotating part is foreseen as an add-in at the beginning to allow the group to reflect on their own previous shift.

Arjan Ottink

Bringing subcontractors into the ‘NINA flow'

Arjan Ottink, OCM, and Nick Troost, DOCM, took the new NINA E-learning course from home before starting work on the Triton Knoll wind turbine project. The project ran from June through November 2020, so right in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. This meant the opportunities for coming together for a NINA session were limited. They found that taking the NINA E-learning course in advance was a good alternative.

Jan Tetteroo

It’s possible to inspire and energize each other online too

In January, Menno van der Ploeg, Director Projects at Boskalis Nederland and Jan Tetteroo, Assistant Foreman, took part in an online NINA Management training course. Its format and degree of interaction came as a positive surprise to both of them.