Shell VP sets zero-incident industry in his sights

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Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, vice-president (VP) of shipping & maritime at Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd, has said that his vision for a zero-incident industry is 100% achievable.

Speaking at a safety-focused seminar hosted by Inmarsat during London International Shipping Week, the Shell VP stated that although he does not believe that vision will be realised overnight, he is certain that it is nonetheless achievable in the future.

“Along with many of my fellow shipping leaders, I have the vision of a zero-incident industry and we are making good progress,” he told industry ears, stating that improving the industry’s safety performance is not just fundamental to its operations, but that is also means “good business”.

To back up his claims that the vision is achievable, Henderson detailed work being conducted by Shell to make a zero-incident future at the company a reality. In the past year, Shell has carried out extensive research into the link between seafarer wellbeing and human error. As part of that research they have reviewed nearly 700 academic papers and more than 60 industry publications and conducted more than 30 hours of interviews and analysed 340 pages of feedback from industry experts.

Their HiLO programme was launched two years ago to provide a mathematical risk analysis model that uses near miss data to highlight the pattern of events that if unchecked could lead to major incidents. Results from that programme include cutting the risk of lifeboat accidents by 72% and the risk of engine room fires by 65%.

He also revealed that they are currently combining HiLo with Shell’s research on seafarers’ wellbeing to develop a first ever human error model.

‘’This new model will allow shipping companies to better understand the wellbeing of their crew and the ships and highlight the human errors that cause more than 75% of the accidents at sea. ‘’ he said, also revealing also that Shell is developing eight worldwide training programs for seafarers, to be conducted onboard ships in an effort to address key areas that influence mental wellbeing.

Those training programs will be made available to the entire industry based on Shell’s Resilience programme, which helps people remain resilient under pressure and cope effectively with stressful situations, which is vital for crew members onboard. It focuses on helping the crew to talk about themselves and talk to the people around them, as well as having conversations and learn useful strategies from each other.

Henderson, in closing, told seminar spectators, “We can become a leading industry in the challenging area of mental health. We can be the flag bearers.”