Dirk-Jan van Leeuwen, Director of Fleet Management Dredging:

Fleet-wide revised NINA DO-IT workshops will take place with Dredging this year, as part of the NINA Momentum Plan. We need such a momentum, Dirk-Jan van Leeuwen explains:“We now see that a stabilisation occurs, after years of a drop in the number of accidents. Based on both the ambition to further lower the number of accidents and because of our concern that the line must not go up, we have taken action and, inter alia, organise this training.”

The workshops are meant for new employees and as a refresher. Dirk-Jan frequently does the opening and closing. “The trainer pictures a dilemma from the field and invites the participants to actively share their experiences. That is exactly the way we want team members to proactively invite each other to share their input. Openness is the basis for a culture in which everyone feels comfortable to share experiences and ideas with their colleagues.”

Taking a different look at your work
“What strikes me during these sessions is that even today the question of the (alleged) costs of safety against productivity comes up. Employees experience it as an impediment to openly discuss safety. Their drive is to ‘get the job done’. That is what we as a company are successful with and we should cherish that attitude, but we want something more. We want our employees to take a different look at our work, i.e. one should never start a job thoughtlessly and trusting on everyone’s experience (‘I’m sure they know that’). Not surprisingly we are seeing relatively many accidents with ‘routine jobs’, which lack sufficient discussion. I also note that working safely increases efficiency. In this context the workshop also addresses the YES scan: check yourself, your equipment, your surroundings.”

Reaching each other
“I find the discussions about this type of dilemmas an important input. However, as a manager I do not have the answer to all questions. It is a process that we are in together. I see that training leads to many valuable dialogues: we reach each other. That is essential to advance on this issue. It makes you aware again of what it is all about; we are doing well in the field of safety, but things can always be done better.”

Kaido Kaja, hopper Dredger Captain:

Kaido participated in the NINA DO-IT workshop in Tallinn in January 2019, with 15 colleagues (Captains, Chief Engineers, First Mates).

“For me the NINA DO-IT workshop was a refresher. I did not learn new things about NINA, but I did learn a lot from colleagues: we talked about safety, shared experiences and dilemmas and exchanged a lot of information. That definitely makes this training valuable for me.”

“What I see is that safety consciousness in general is very high. Working safely has become natural, it is something we do without discussion. However some crew members still find it hard to speak up or stop a job, because in the past it was all about sand and dredging. This does not mean safety was not important, but today we absolutely are on a different level. For safety’s sake it is important that they do speak up, that they come forward when they have better ideas to do a job safely. Even if this means it costs more time or effort. Openness related to safety is the new reality, and this requires we all have to be reminded from time to time.”

“As a Captain it is my role to facilitate this behavior by creating an open culture. What it takes is the ability to switch between roles. I have to be dominant, because I am responsible for ship and crew. But when it comes to safety I have to be approachable and listen to people’s input. This goes for all of us, as we all have the same goal: going home safely with ten fingers and ten toes.”