In this section:

Summary Incident Reports Safe log-lashing course for Uniterm

We continuously work towards our goal of Zero Harm to our stakeholders and environments, safeguarding the health and safety of all our employees and stakeholders by driving sustained safety excellence.

By having a strong safety focus together with robust reporting and learning culture we make safety everyone’s priority.

The 21% increase in fleet size and 37% increase in sea staff over a short period has led to an unwelcome trend in our safety statistics as new employees take time to become familiar with our ethos, standards and operations, resulting in five avoidable lost time injuries (LTIs) being recorded for the fleet of 35 owned and operated ships.

While our commitment to Zero Harm continues to be driven hard by the company and our leaders, it is recognised that a rapid influx of new staff joining our ships (in 2015 64% of our sea staff have been on one to three voyages with CNCo) has presented a challenge in inculcating CNCo’s safety culture deeply and quickly enough across the fleet.

Every effort was, and is being made to ensure that the quality of our crew is maintained to CNCo’s high standards and a number of initiatives were introduced during 2015 to ensure that safety and quality standards were maintained and even raised to mitigate the risks for our expanding fleet. Two key initiatives were:

  • the employment of three CNCo Quality Assurance (QA) Auditor Trainers who will carry out audits and provide on board training throughout the fleet, and
  • the active involvement of the QA department in the selection of senior officers.

CNCo’s permit to work (Toolbox Risk Identification Permit or “TRIP”) is now embedded as an integral part of CNCo’s safety culture. TRIPs are recorded for all work activities.

The number of TRIPs increased by 20% across the fleet in 2015, up to 187 TRIPs per month/ per ship. It is envisaged that this average number may level out even with the addition of more ships.

Near miss recording has not yet achieved the same level of reporting stability although it is encouraging to note that all ships are recording near misses as and when they occur. As before, the policy not to prescribe a number of near misses per ship is in line with driving reporting accountability among our sea staff.

The number of near misses has increased by 11% year-on-year since 2014 with four being the average number of near misses recorded per ship/ per month. This is in line with increased TRIP recording which is designed to reduce the likelihood of near misses from developing into full blown incidents. Near miss reporting is an important leading indicator of CNCo’s safety culture. Additional efforts will be targeted in 2016 to ensure that the process remains robust especially during the final phase of the newbuilding programme.

CNCo’s 4-Box alerting tool is being used by more stakeholders and continues to be very effective in alerting the Fleet to serious safety issues expeditiously and in a concise format. All CNCo ships carry out a review of 4-Boxes on a weekly basis. The meeting is led by a different member of the crew to reinforce accountability.

CNCo’s key performance indicators (KPIs) for Port State Control inspections were mixed. While the fleet has worked extremely hard to achieve a 35% reduction in our deficiencies per Inspection (DpI) to 0.89 DpI, down from 1.38 in 2014, four detentions were recorded in 2015 – three for our Hong Kong registered ships and one for a Singapore registered ship. Investigations into the detentions revealed complacency and a lack of familiarity with the ships’ systems and standards as the root causes.

A tough line has been taken by CNCo management on serious breaches of quality (and safety) control and sanctions. This includes dismissal, where warranted, after conducting thorough and open investigations.

CNCo has also been looking very closely at our procedures for inspections including follow-up and closure of reports. More work is planned to ensure this process remains effective and that our current resources and systems are suitable to meet this requirement.

Incident Reports
  • There was one case of harassment reported in 2015 which involved a newly employed Master. The Master was taken off the ship to be interviewed. An investigation was also conducted on board the vessel. Following the investigations, the Master was dismissed.
  • The first known case of suicide on board one of CNCo’s owned and managed vessel was recorded in 2015. The officer on board the ship took his own life while the ship was at anchor off Lae Port, Papua New Guinea.
  • Extensive investigations were carried out and expert pathologists were employed to establish the actual cause of death. Support services within CNCo and Swire Shipping were quickly activated to ensure that the family of the officer and the ship’s crew were cared for during this period.
  • One action resulting from the investigation is the implementation of a CNCo Well-being policy to ensure that the necessary level of emotional support for our employees is available. Relevant managers were trained to understand the issues and recognise the warning signs of depression and suicide. Access to a free, instantly and continually available Care line (Help Line), manned by well experienced and professionally trained external responders will be introduced across the company and fleet in 2016.

The full CNCo Safety Statistics for sea staff can be found in the data section.


CNCo has developed a safe log lashing course for Uniteam, one of our manning companies. The course was conducted in Myanmar in May 2015.

12 seafarers from different ranks took part in the course that was conducted on a large log-lashing station. The candidates received hands on safety training from an experienced Captain and performed all typical log lashing tasks on real equipment.

Although the practical course was intensive, it was safely conducted and all the theoretical material was well understood. It received high accolades from the participants.