“TRUST IS IMPORTANT.”

NINA Workbox Lifting & Hoisting sessions.

In September two Workbox Lifting & Hoisting sessions were held at NWDM Ijora Yard in Lagos, Nigeria. Super Akpo Opiti (Project SHE-Q Manager) talks about his role as facilitator.

Super Akpo Opiti has facilitated several Workbox sessions. The key to success is interactivity, he says. “In the Lifting & Hoisting sessions I saw open communication, constructive arguments, the willingness to tell personal stories. Coming together and taking time to talk about safety is very good for our cohesion.”

Group chemistry
What is his contribution as a facilitator to this process? “Every group has its own chemistry and as a facilitator you must respond to this. Your focus should be on the guys directly involved. Give them time to adjust. If you want them to contribute you have to make them feel comfortable and confident. I remember a Workbox Mooring session with a very small group. Everybody stayed quiet and it took me a lot of energy to get them out of their shells. I reassured them there would be no kick-back from stories told. So trust is important. More experienced people know this, and are more willing to speak up. When you preselect the groups it is useful to keep this in mind. It is also important to have diversity in a group: people learn from each other and end up understanding each other better.”

Action points
Besides the session itself, it’s the action list that counts. “We choose the most relevant action points during the session. I make sure they are defined SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based). Next we make an action poster to communicate this to all personnel and we discuss progress during our toolbox meetings. Finally monitoring is important. The SHOC-card is a powerful instrument to help us stay on top of things. So, as far as I am concerned, the momentum we create via Workbox sessions is valuable and should be kept; regular refreshers are needed to keep raising awareness.”

“The key to success is interactivity.”