In this section:

Summary Safe log lashing and handling course Overview of Safety Management Ensuring the safety of our stakeholders Strategic/systemic H&S improvement initiatives Fleet safety New safety training courses

Safety is our top priority in CNCo. We continuously strive to provide a safe and healthy working environment and to cultivate a safe mindset for both our employees and contractors alike. By having a strong safety focus together with a robust reporting and learning culture, we make safety everyone’s priority. Our goal is to build an industry leading safety culture.

Regrettably, 2016 was a tragic year for CNCo as we recorded three fatalities and 14 LTIs. In the second half of 2016, the company embarked on a strong push to strengthen the safety culture with the roll out of several initiatives, led by our top management.

As a result, in the second half of the year, the level of safety awareness across the fleet and ashore increased significantly. Safety leadership has to come from the top and CNCo’s senior management deliver safety briefings and do safety walks both at sea and ashore on a regular basis. Communication on safety issues is now the first item of the Managing Director’s weekly message to all employees. Further, any meeting on any subject must now start with a safety moment.

Every issue of our monthly newsletter, NiuSwire, has articles on safety. This safety leadership across the whole organisation will continue and will be reinvented regularly to maintain impact. Additional resources have been put into the key areas of recruitment, training, auditing and mentoring.

The action plan developed from the comprehensive safety review continues to be implemented and improved upon. All officers and crew must now attend a CNCo designed safety awareness course prior to joining a CNCo ship. Management will ensure that the momentum is maintained going forward.

Safe log lashing and handling course

Swire Bulk will be operating 24 Swire B.Delta39 bulk carriers of which 20 are specially designed log carriers. It is important that our crew are trained in the best safety practices to ensure Zero Harm. CNCo personnel visited Uniteam Marine training centre in Yangon in February 2016 to observe the “Safe Log Lashing and Handling” training course for CNCo. The course was designed to equip CNCo’s crew on practical familiarisation of onboard equipment and handling processes. Trainees were also made aware of potential hazards from manual handling and movement on uneven surfaces, and were taught techniques for correct lashing, among other things. The training materials are coupled with and based on the theory and videos provided by CNCo.

The course focused on donning of appropriate PPE for the task, use of various lashing equipment and actual demonstration of lashing/unlashing logs utilising hog wires and chain lashings. After the instructor was satisfied with the trainees' PPE attire and use of lashing equipment, he then proceeded to demonstrate hog wire lashing, as well as chain lashing and unlashing techniques. The participants gave positive feedback on the course as they gained hands-on training, increasing their safety focus during their onboard duty.


Overview of Safety Management

The whole area of Health and Safety (H&S) Management was re-organised in 2016. The breadth and depth of management in this area increased through the hiring of dedicated managers and the re-designation of others to make accountability clearer and simpler. Better processes have been established to ensure that action identified as necessary can be put in place in a more efficient and timely manner.

CNCo now has the following meetings structure in which H&S related issues are discussed:

  • Quarterly private group Safety meetings (with feedback from the public group meetings);
  • CNCo Internal Risk Committee discussions on systemic safety issues;
  • Monthly meeting with CNCo’s third Party Ship Managers on Safety and Technical Performance Review;
  • CNCo monthly Onshore Safety Performance Review meeting (for contracted stevedore issues etc.);
  • CNCo monthly Office H&S meetings in Australia, New Zealand, PNG and Singapore;
  • All vessels have a fortnightly dedicated H&S meeting with structured topics for discussions guided by Ship Management;
  • Weekly H&S Operations meeting attended by all senior and relevant line managers to drive both the establishment and embedding of strategic/systemic H&S improvement initiatives;
  • Weekly meeting in the Crewing Operations, Safety & Training department among other aligning recruitment, training and safety aspects;
  • H&S is the first item for review at the monthly Executive Committee Meeting (“ExCom”).

Ensuring the safety of our stakeholders

CNCo aims to ensure Zero Harm to all our employees and stakeholders alike. We have been working to improve our contractors’ safety performance by encouraging them to adopt good practices and to ensure safety at the work place. Safety Bulletins are issued quarterly and circulated to our contractors.

In addition to the safety bulletins, we engage agents/stevedores actively and encourage them to provide feedback and suggestions to improve operational safety standards.

Contactors feedback/suggestions include:

  • Conduct regular safety briefings.
  • Tool box meeting prior to commencement of cargo operation.
  • Inspection of gear prior to lifting to ensure the equipment is suitable, safe for use and has a valid load certificate.
  • Apply effective means of communication between crane operator, signal man and riggers during the cargo operation.
  • Safety banners displayed in local languages to show and explain the requirements for PPE and other safety aspects.

Strategic/systemic H&S improvement initiatives

This is a rolling programme to ensure that all the medium and long term initiatives established after the thorough H&S Systems and Operations review plus newly identified issues are closed out in a timely manner. The main areas of focus are:

  • 1. Ensure that the top four officers on every managed vessel (both owned and third party) have the necessary experience in rank and in the company.
  • 2. Ensure that all new recruits possess the necessary qualifications and safety awareness through assessments, tests and personal interviews.
  • 3. Review of the Safety Management System to ensure that it meets legal criteria and is also Fit For Purpose to assist all our employees to work more safely.
  • 4. Extract full value from TRIP, Near Miss form returns, Internal Audit reports as well as all other leading indicators.
  • 5. Solve previously identified capacity constraints – in recruitment, in safety training, in crew onboarding, in on-going leadership and competence training.
  • 6. Ensure that key ranks have sufficient English language competencies.

Fleet safety

The results of the analysis of the five key areas identified from the inputs/comments/suggestions concerning safety from the fleet are incorporated in the immediate and longer term action plans. The status of implemented and outstanding actions from these plans are reviewed at the Weekly H&S Operations meeting.

The management’s efforts at driving the “Step Change” in safety management have been relentless and are being driven at every level of management within the organisation. The new Ship Management structure will bring about positive changes to the way our ships are managed with greater focus on micro managing our ships until our safety and CNCo culture is thoroughly embedded and fleet stabilisation is achieved.

PNG Safety Awareness Course

21 ratings took part in the Papua New Guinea Safety Awareness Course (SAC) held in Port Moresby from 17 to 19 October. The SAC training that was conducted by Captain Bernie Santos, helped the PNG crew to understand the importance of safety on board vessels for themselves, their fellow seafarers and the environment as a whole.

An interactive training and presentation session was carried out with everyone’s participation. Recent incidents were discussed and the importance of Risk Assessments and Work Permits were emphasised. The importance of a good safety culture and the concept of Zero Harm were the themes of the SAC.


CNCo’s key strategic actions (offshore) for 2017 are as follows:

  • Provide in-depth focus on our near miss reports where analysis from the near miss reports (leading indicators) is used to drive reductions of lagging indicators - LTIs;
  • Our work process for assessing risk before commencing any work activity has centred on the use of the Tool-Box Risk Identification Permit (TRIP). Whilst the TRIP remains valid, the QA Department has reassessed the risk levels for various items of ship board work and have categorised them according to their risk level. In so doing, a library of risk assessments (RA) has been created. Additionally the number of Permits to Work has increased to cover life-threatening (“Level 3”) work activities. Routine work has also been defined in the SMS where only a “Take-5” process is required;
  • Safety Management System (SMS) Review - a thorough review of the Company’s SMS will take place in 2017. The focus will be on the content and architecture of the SMS which is contained in the Quality Management System;
  • Map out the frequency for QA auditor trainers’ inspections for 2017 utilising an additional QA auditor trainer to ensure priority coverage for the entire fleet is achieved including training.

Swire Bulk fleet H&S performance

  • Swire Bulk started a programme to proactively supply personal protective equipment (PPE) for stevedores’ use in ports where such compliance is below global standards;
  • A local safety Port Captain was appointed in Kandla, India, to monitor logs discharge and to ensure stevedores comply with CNCo’s personal safety rules – both with respect to donning PPE and particularly the handling of electrical grabs’ control cables;
  • Swire Link auto-messaging system to be upgraded by adding the stevedore safety standards reporting by Masters;
  • Port contractors H&S performance monitoring is ongoing;
  • Safety presentation and lectures will be made on board vessels by shore teams’ representatives whenever logistically convenient to board the vessels.

Swire Shipping - onshore H&S performance

  • Primary focus is on contractor compliance with the CNCo Safety Policy;
  • The Swire Shipping Shoreside Safety Sub-Committee worked to ensure that our contractors don PPE and work safely. A simple reporting process was developed to encourage ships Masters to report on contractor compliance with the use of PPE and Safety Attitude. This was implemented to monitor performance by identifying trouble spots and to reduce safety-related incidents. To allow effective reporting and recording of safety data, “ShipRep” was adjusted to include the reporting data. This allows tracking performance levels of ports and also allows the operations team greater visibility on contractor compliance;
  • Tracking and mitigating hazards reported by vessels has resulted in improving ports safety performance levels. Ports such as Dili, Honiara, Lautoka, Noro and Suva, where safety performance was “LOW” now have adopted the safety policy and are observed to be complying with our PPE requirements and SAFETY rules at all times.

Success in the above initiatives is evidenced in the trends shown on the right, in which the number of low performers are declining and there is a corresponding increase in the number of high performers.

Swire Shipping’s key strategic actions (onshore) for 2017 are as follows:

  • We will be introducing a robust reporting tool on contractor safety compliance through the “e-portal” as part of a vendor;
  • Identify, record and highlight near misses and incidents and distribute “safety alerts” to all stakeholders;
  • Introduce target safety drives with our contractors such as a “Safety Week” to be conducted to ensure that safety and health are integrated into the working culture of our vendors;
  • Achieve greater levels of participation of stakeholders in H&S activities, such as encouraging our contractors to appoint safety officers into their teams for focused delivery and effective communication;
  • Update the existing quarterly Safety Bulletin among all stakeholders;
  • To achieve zero “low performers” and move 25% of the “medium performers” into the “high performers” band.
Tracking and mitigating hazards reported by vessels has resulted in improved ports safety performance levels.

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

New safety training courses

CNCo’s new Safety and Training team has been busy identifying the training needs of our crew and ensuring that suitable courses are conducted to meet safety, operational and leadership requirements.

In October, two pilot practical training courses were conducted in Manila. The Practical Ship Safety course for junior officers and ratings aims to update and refresh their knowledge and understanding of seamanship skills and company procedures for various ship board activities. This course will complement the Safety Awareness Course in raising the safety standards of junior officers and ratings. The Bosun’s Role & Responsibility Evaluation & Enhancement Programme (or BOSRREEP) aims to equip Bosuns and Senior Able-Bodied Seamen (ABS) with the necessary planning and leadership skills and the ability to recognise and challenge unsafe orders from superiors.

Both courses will be held regularly.