From Rutger van Vliet, SEM Manager
“I am writing this blog because although most of the stories I read about NINA are positive, my recent experience has been different. A lot of things are not going the way they should, and things that do go right take a lot of effort.” For example: in June an employee broke his foot while cutting a big piece of iron, because he wanted to do it quickly.

The iron had to be removed, but it had been there for eight years, so there was no reason to rush. Let me start by saying that people here really do their utmost to do their job as well as possible. But the actions described above are often observed and are typical in our work environment. Our colleagues don’t pay enough attention and don’t look around them thoroughly before starting the job. Too much is still going wrong: in the last one-and-a-half years we have had four (major) incidents and one near miss. The common theme for all of them was carelessness and self-imposed haste.

People find it hard to give feedback to their colleagues. At the NINA eXperience day in March we talked about this, with positive outcomes. However, there is still a group that remains silent. A group that thinks incidents are part of our work; that says ‘we have always done it like this’. It is this group of people that needs more time, and I would like to grant it to them, but time is what we do not have. A high-end client visiting us does not accept oil spills, for instance. We really have to prepare for such a visit, whereas this should not be necessary. SEM is linked to many departments, so when we have a safe working environment the whole company benefits. But how can we achieve this? You can’t put too much pressure on people; some already find it annoying to stop working for a toolbox meeting or a training session. And unfortunately, statistics do not show fewer incidents at SEM since the introduction of NINA. It seems as if more attention on safety leads to an increase in incidents. For me, the key questions are : What is needed to make people more intrinsically careful? Can we all accept that working safely starts by spending more time and effort on preparation before the execution?”

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