Across the malls, routes, airports, we see many sign boards. The reason is very simple. These signs board are there because there is increased concern of riks, for example when driving the car, at the highest speed and we start texting or calling.

Apart from being a cause of concern, I think is a very smart move by the companies putting up these signs and urging for attention. Now imagine a scene situation if this happens on the ship. You are driving a ship; you are a navigating officer and you do the same.

Let me begin with vital statistics of navigation accidents. If you see the navigation accidents, the majority of the contributing factor is lack of attention. That is causing numerous accidents, compared to the most talked above industries, alcohol abuse. Alcohol use ranks 6th on the list.

The main cause here is lack of attention while driving. So that is how you could relate now the automobile industry or our route safety compared to the ship area.

Considering a couple of years back, what we did, there was a research especially coming from UK focused on the drive safety that we implemented on our ships.

In particular, we put in couple of our ships a mobile deposit box outside of the bridge. Thereby not only the duty officers but we started requesting the pilots. Pilots were saying no this is for my job, or whatever reason but later, specifically the ships which are on liner started obeying our system.

And at least the awareness level was increased when the duty officer or master was requesting for him mobile to be deposited outside. That was taken as one of the very best practices in oil majors as well.

This is a very classic example of how safety and loss prevention are completely relying on the behavioral safety of the crew. We firmly believe that the safety and the loss prevention go hand in hand if the behavioral safety is channelized. Safety focuses on Hardware, Equipment, Tools and the like. It helps us achieve Safe Conditions and Safe Systems of Work.

However, the statistics state that even the 95% of the loss onboard is because of unsafe behavior, the human factor. For example, you may have inattention during bunkering, you may have inattention during navigating and you end up to major accidents. The human factor is the most major contributing factor for incidents. For example, there are many procedures onboard but crew members don’t follow.

So, the procedures are there, however the problem is their implementation. We want to analyze this behavior change in human element in a positive way. Key to loss prevention is basically this behavioral change towards the loss prevention that we can contribute instead of becoming a cause of the accident.

So, what do we do in fleet? We have three steps to follow and to promote behavioral safety:

  1. The Tool: SafeR+ Program
  2. The Identifier: USRT Campaign
  3. The Helper: Fleet Care Cell

I want to share with you an example. One person goes to the church morning time he behaves in a curtain manner, the same person going evening, or night time in a bar behaves with totally different manner. The same person. What is changing? Atmosphere.

We are trying to change that atmosphere to make it completely safe working atmosphere and through that there are basically two types of behaviors we had identified:

S.U.N behavior:

Safety first in everything,

Understands procedures & complies with them,

Never walks by when they see a problem


R.A.I.N behavior:

Rushes into jobs,

Attitude of ‘it’ll do’ and

INjures self and others.


We have also started identify unsafe behaviours through reporting of the masters or the superintendents while interacting with the crew when in force or when turning the ships.

Once we had identified all these observations, we started monitoring them. If they do repeat, we do give them the warning in return. If required then the monitor maintaining is taking place and the subsequent contracts.

The Fleet Care cell we had made the last year. We are quite big company, we have now 500 ships, so imagine we have around 20.000-22.000 crewmembers of different parts of the world. To manage them, when complete cell is required, we created this cell just a year back focusing on mental wellness and to:

  • Provide support to the seafarers affected by severe injury/ Incident resulting in medical sign off.
  • Follow up till he is medically fit
  • Run Health Awareness Campaign on board

Last but not least, is T- CUP Way – Total Control Under Pressure. This is another way we will implement within 2020 in different ways which include same tool box meeting, feedback on a daily basis, monitoring on a monthly basis, but in a more restricted manner which can be analyzed.

To conclude, to each and every member of our team at shore or at sea we are saying use the traffic light signal, stop, think and then act, because whatever you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

Above text is an edited version of Capt. Rohit Tandon’s presentation during the 2020 SAFETY4SEA Limassol Forum

View his video presentation herebelow

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.


Capt. Rohit Tandon, Head of Operations/ DPA/CSO, FML Ship Management Ltd Cyprus

Captain Rohit Tandon is a master mariner with 25 years of association with the shipping industry. He stepped into the world of shipping industry in the year 1994, when he took the career of a seafarer. During his years of sailing at sea, he has served on a wide range on cargo vessels including Tankers, Bulk Carriers and Reefers. After serving as the Captain for a variety of ships, in 2007, he came to Cyprus, and took on a shore job with FML Ship Management Ltd. Fleet Management Ltd. (FML) is the one of the largest independent third-party ship management company in the world. The company with its offices spread across the globe currently manages more than 520 ships worldwide. In Cyprus, Capt. Rohit Tandon has been handling the Quality, Safety and Operations Department of the company. In addition to being the Head of Operations for the Cyprus fleet of FML, he is also the DPA (Designated Person Ashore) & CSO (Chief Security Officer) of the company. He has been instrumental in implementing ISO standards in his company, and achieving certifications well ahead in time. For example, MLC certification in office & ship on voluntarily basis in year 2009, ISO 50001 Energy Efficiency in year 2013, TMSA 3 in year 2017, ISO 27001 information Security Management System in year 2018 & ISO 45001 in year 2019 Capt. Rohit Tandon is also a member of MICS (Institute of Chartered Ship Brokers), UK. and is currently pursuing a diploma in Shipping Insurance from North of England P&I. He also holds a Masters degree in Financial Management & International Trade and a Masters degree in Operational Management, from premier universities in India. He is a supporter and promoter of shipping industry in Cyprus and the Cyprus Registry Flag for the vessels. Capt. Rohit Tandon is also an active member of Toastmasters International, a worldwide non-profit organisation, that helps people in developing their Communication and leadership skills. He is known and active member of the shipping community in Cyprus, and believes that shipping industry plays a vital role in the economic growth and development of the island.