A nice morning in which attendees were challenged to think
you were made to think with a smile. Below is a short report from the speakers.
Erwin Tijssen, chairman of Platform Zero Incidents (PZI), started the morning by giving an overview of the activities of 2018. A number of graphs passed, showing the results of the incident reporting system. The incidents, for example, appear to spread fairly evenly over a year, but we see a peak in January and July in the “hit bottom” category.
Incidentally, most incidents (a quarter) fall within the category of “personal accidents”, with more than half being not more serious than first aid cases. At 22% a doctor is involved, after which the victim can go back on board. The patient is sent home in 24% of the cases. Unfortunately, since the existence of PZI, a number of fatal incidents have also occurred. All the more reason to further develop PZI.
Most Near Miss reports have to do with loading/discharging activities and navigation. PZI is currently working on a Best Practice for both categories. The BP Loading/Discharging is expected to be released in the summer of 2019 and the BP Nautical Audit in the fall. We will also look into improving incident investigation and reporting.
New members have also been added, both direct and stakeholder members, so PZI is also growing in that area. In addition, we have had a meeting with the “majors” to jointly look for ways to increase safety.
Robert van der Bor gave an impressive presentation about an incident that took place in October 2018. The incident of the Stolt Neckar had a fatal outcome for the captain, an incident that may never be repeated.
Robert took the audience through his side of the story, how one day you joke with the captain and a few hours later you get a call with disturbing news.
The journey started well for the captain. There were no particularities and the crew was familiar with the area. The captain was a calm man, competent, and there was an excellent voyage preparation. A bridge came, however, due to unknown cause, the captain did not lower the wheelhouse in time. The wheelhouse was completely destroyed by the bridge. Unfortunately, the captain was still in the wheelhouse at that time and he passed away.
The incident has been reconstructed and there have been discussions with crew members, but there are still questions unanswered;
Why did the captain not lower the wheelhouse earlier or with the emergency button? Why did he not slow down? Why didn’t the captain leave the wheelhouse on time?
Questions we cannot get an answer to. The least we can do, is inform our crews about this and make them alert.
Jop Groeneweg, professor at the University of Delft and Leiden, focused on managers for this presentation and focuses on the following three topics:
– Risk perception
– Changing behavior
– Selling safety
There is a difference between actual risk and risk perception. For example, there have been 3 aircraft incidents where a lifejacket could actually have meant “something,” but no one wore it. Why? Because the life jackets are not in good condition and the chance of life-saving capacity is 10^-11, and so negligible. Why do we still have it on board? Legislation, perception of safety, idea of covering risks.
We often think that we can convince people of a risk by coming up with facts, by saying that “as much as %” of a certain event takes place. But not everyone picks it up. If you want to convey a risk, you must also address the emotions. Consider, for example who is telling the message.
We have 2 methods for risk assessment: 1 is fast (the hare) the other is slow (the turtle). We use the hare the most, works well on visuals. At first, we may think that a certain image is very dangerous (for example, a child licking the batter of a mixer), but if we think longer, we can make a better estimate (for example, when the plug is unplugged, is it still dangerous?).
The hare often ‘awakens’ the turtle, but often we think different when we have the time to think longer.
We also don’t find everything interesting. Nobody outside the industry finds inland shipping interesting. There is almost nothing in the media, there is no outside pressure. That is why it is so good that PZI is there, then you create pressure from within.
If you want to change behavior, formulate your message in a positive way. As PZI, show what the desired behavior is and focus on 2-3 initiatives per year. This is because the brain cannot process all the different subjects, nothing will stick. Use visual means, videos work best.
You actually need 6 principles to convince people:
- Reciprocity: I do something for you, you do something for me. Do you want to convey a safety message, go to the people, use positive words, give them something.
- Consistency: people do not like internal inconsistency, so if people literally say “yes” or commit to do something, they are inclined to act accordingly.
- Social contagion / Consensus: Some things you should tell in a group, especially when you have a few champions that support you.
- Authority: you are the authority, people follow people with authority, so set a good example.
- Sympathy / Liking: you say “yes” easier to someone you like. Try to involve people in the group and look for similarities.
- Scarcity: something becomes more attractive when there appears to be scarcity. As a leader, pay attention to safety.
How can you convince someone to behave safely?
First step: making risks visible
Next: define what “good” looks like and the corresponding behavior
And: Create consensus in the industry and act accordingly
Finally: sell it (but don’t overdo it)
The following elements are important for the future: Quality | Commitment | Trust | Care for People
Together with PZI we focus on this and we take this into account in the further development of programs.
It is important that we continue to talk honestly about the challenges we face on our way to “zero”.