Stena Stories

Safety is the order of the day

One thing is vital for Stena Drilling as well as for Northern Marine Group: Demonstrating care not only for employees, but also for their customers.

Training is crucial for maintaining a high level of safety – and it is thereby imperative for Stena’s competitiveness.

When Mr Stuart Greer says that safety no longer is a priority, people tend to frown at him. But then he explains:

“Safety has gone beyond that. It’s fundamental. Safety is beyond being prioritized.”

For Stena Drilling, safety is first and foremost. Mr Stuart Greer is Operational Manager at Stena Drilling and he says that they will never compromise safety in pursuit of operations. Safety is a question of competitiveness.

“Not only is it absolutely vital that we demonstrate care for our people, but also that we demonstrate care for our clients”, says Mr Greer.

Safety is one of the first things any potential client would look at. Stena Drillings line of business is a high profile business and it’s quite public. The industry publishes statistics on safety performance and it’s the kind of information that surely will be requested by potential clients.

Safety brings business

“If you have a poor safety record, particularly in the challenged market we live in today, you will not get a job”, says Mr Greer.

Last year Stena Drilling engaged with Exxon oil again. Stena Carron was without a contract, sitting in Las Palmas, and Stena Drilling managed to obtain the only new contract to be offered a drillship last year.

For an operation to be successful from a safety perspective, it has to be well organized.

“You have to have strong discipline, policies and procedures. You have to have a management that walks the talk. Management has to be visible in the workplace and reinforce what the company is about”, says Mr Greer.

Stena Drilling benchmarks against their competitors and has close contact with Northern Marine Group.

Focused on reducing incidents caused by the human factor.

Enhancing skills and abilities

The Northern Marine Group is a subsidiary of Stena AB, committed to providing outstanding ship management services. As a shipping company, Northern Marine is subject to a wide range of unique risks. These risks range from man-made problems such as piracy, to operating in environmentally sensitive areas whilst transporting cargoes that can be volatile.

“The purpose of a risk assessment process is to identify hazards, assess their risk level and reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practical”, says Philip Fullerton, Deputy Managing Director at Northern Marine.

 “One specific training area we are presently focused on is reducing accidents and incidents caused by the human factor. This includes identifying and dealing with stress, fatigue, situation awareness, decision making, communication, teamwork and safe working practices.  We have developed a programme aiming at enhancing our officers’ navigational skills and decision making abilities, which helps to address the human factor in preventing incidents”, says Philip Fullerton.

A strong safety record is integral to attracting and maintaining business as Northern Marine’s customers will only associate themselves with companies who have a proven safety and environmental profile.

Zero, zero, zero

“Our safety culture and safety commitment starts with our Health, Safety, Environmental, Energy and Quality Policy where our target is zero injuries, zero damage to property and zero damage to the environment”, says Mr Fullerton.

Process safety has been incorporated into the management system whereby Northern Marine identifies the major hazards faced throughout the fleet to ensure that proper control measures are in place to prevent major accident or incident.

“The effectiveness of these control measures is monitored by using leading and lagging indicators and is reviewed on a quarterly basis. Operating more efficiently and effectively whilst managing risk through anticipation and mitigation is the order of the day”, concludes Mr Fullerton.


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