NINA blog: Helping hand

Each month, a colleague reports on his/her NINA activities. This time it’s the turn of Jan van der Kwast, Captain of the Taurus II.

We had to offload bunker oil on our way to the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. The crew of the local bunker barge was walking around in flip-flops, bare-chested and smoking, while at the same time warming up a pan of nasi (fried rice) on a little gas stove on deck. In a situation like that, you can only do what’s absolutely necessary to keep things as safe as possible, so we convinced the crew to warm up the nasi later and to stop smoking. We also had some PPE left over, which we gave them. That way, everyone was happy.

Once we got to the shipyard, we saw what effect our daily safety meetings were having on the local safety foremen. At first, they only listened to what we had to say, but in time they began to suggest possible improvements. Senior management also showed their appreciation of our approach by inviting our project manager to the central safety meeting for Keppel Shipyards, which has a total workforce of 6,000.

For me, it’s one of the most important parts of NINA when we give everyone we work with a helping hand so they end up working more safely and spread the word to other people as well.

Jan van der Kwast is curious about marine supervisor Jos Koks’ experience. You can read what Jos had to say in the next edition of NINA At Work. You can also submit your own input by sending an e-mail to

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