Plan, Do, Check and Act methodology

S4S: What do you think is unique concerning the Safety policy of your company?

SD: We place great emphasis on the human element, on our people, this is our driving force. And we have our own maritime training center. We believe that we have a responsibility in saving our future, that's why we're heavily involved in all the organizations debating and trying to affect our future. We are having in place a structural methodology system for HSE improvement. It is a basic management tool for achieving the basic company management goals for zero accidents and zero pollution. It minimizes the risk of non-compliance with legal and other industry requirements, enhances business efficiency and effectiveness and meets and satisfies our customer needs and business partners' requirements. We want to retain and attract the right caliber personnel, competent people. Competent people want to work for a company that emphasizes in their health and safety. It also helps in improving the Company's image. Society expects from the companies to have an improved health, safety and environmental performance.

S4S: Could you provide an outline of the way you work?

SD: It is Plan, Do, Check and Act methodology. Firstly you identify your health and safety risks. Regarding environment you have to identify environmental aspects and impacts. After this you have to check your objectives, to minimize health and safety risks and to minimize the environmental impact of your operation. Then you have to set targets in order to achieve these objectives and these targets have to be measurable where practicable and with a clear timeline. Then you have to put in place the machinery in order to meet these targets and the machinery is the programs. Health and Safety programs and environmental programs who clearly outline who is who and who has to do what. Clear responsibilities, clear actions and also the output as regards records in data. Then you have to monitor. So what we are doing is that every three months we review and check progress. Whenever we see any great deviation we take immediate action. If we achieve the targets set we set more ambitious targets so as to reach the continual improvement.

S4S: Where do you focus for improvement ?

SD: There are three main pillars we're trying to improve: the reactive, the active and the proactive. The reactive way of improvement is the most costly. You have suffered an incident and you have to take action. Most costly but most effective. Also, we promote near miss reporting and this is a powerful tool. Active safety improvement has to do with checking from a close up approach the leaves and twigs, check and focus on the safety behavior and safety competence of our people while they're doing their work. The moment our people are doing their work on board a real time auditing is carried out. We're asking questions. Why you are doing that? Where is this referred to? How you are doing that? We try to engage our people in realizing that safety is the responsibility of all on board. We fight unnecessary paperwork as well. Proactive safety improvement is about investing a lot on changing the safety behavior of our people. We are trying to do a safety brainwash, to motivate our crew members that they should take a responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of the team. We promote the reporting of unsafe acts and conditions, the identification of best practices and we take every opportunity to praise our people. Concerning the environment, we have a program for energy efficiency among others.

S4S: What is your guidance regarding HSE Management in shipping?

SD: Nothing could be changed without the human element. You need to establish health and safety programs and monitor. You need commitment and leadership both on board and ashore. Safety compliance has to become a safety habit.

Sokratis Dimakopoulos is HSQE Manager at Maran Tankers Management

Above interview is adapted from Sokratis' presentation during 2nd Safety4Sea Forum.

You can view Sokratis' presentation video during 2nd Safety4Sea Forum