|Marine contractor management – a partnership for success
Following an incident involving a contractor in early 2014, CEMEX reviewed the management of its contractors. A number of changes were introduced to encourage the development of strong safety partnerships and to enable employees and contractors to continuously improve safety management.
To initiate the changes the Director Marine wrote to all contractors stressing that CEMEX and the contractors were in a “Safety Partnership”. They had the full support of the business to cease any work if they believed all the hazards had not been effectively controlled. The goal is to have work on all sites carried out safely by competent contractors / specialists ensuring that all involved STOP and THINK prior to carrying out any task and to STEP IN where necessary. This was followed up with a Contractors Workshop which focused on how we can learn from each other and help each other to achieve Zero Injuries.
The key steps in the procedures for the management of contractors that were implemented following the review are summarized below;
Contractor pre-selection and approval: Prior to assessment by the full PICS contractor management process, contractors are vetted in house to assess capability, technical resources and methods of working. This involves site inspections and auditing by managers and health & safety specialists. Once approved by PICS procedures, a contract is compiled to include issues such as the company’s Health, Safety and Environmental Policy, Standards and requirement for effective contractor communications.
Pre-task preparation: Relevant tasks are planned in advance by the company’s engineering department in partnership with approved contractors, Masters and Chief Engineers. A detailed induction is undertaken during the permitting process whereby ship’s staff and contractors jointly assess the task and ensure that all hazards have been identified and are controlled. All contractors are required to complete a comprehensive, Risk Assessment based, Permit to Work (PTW), no matter how trivial the task.
Management of work: Supervision and monitoring of contractors is undertaken by senior officers and crew until completion of work. Visible Felt Leadership (VFL) discussions by Masters and management staff are undertaken regularly with contractors to foster safe behaviour and working practices and to encourage ideas in further developing our risk assessments and safe systems of work. These are reported and discussed at all safety meetings, contractor meetings and forums. A Near Miss Hazard Alert (NMHA) system is being used to help drive unsafe acts and conditions out of operations. A no blame culture is promoted, with all Safety Alerts and associated learning points being communicated openly with all our contractors.
Post Work procedures: In addition to permits being signed off after the completion of work, a review is undertaken of how the task went. All involved in the task are encouraged to complete a feedback form and any issues raised are documented and closed out through the feedback process. Partnerships are encouraged that jointly assist our operations and our contractors in continuously improving our respective Safety Management Systems (SMS) and safety culture. This has a direct impact on reducing contractor and employee injuries in the workplace.
5. Other Initiatives: All our contractors are included in our ongoing health & safety initiatives such as “Step in” and always stopping unsafe acts and conditions. The engineering department also holds workshops with attendance by The Director Marine, members of the senior management team and our contractors. Contractor performance is closely monitored and reported on a regular basis.
• Change in contractors perceptions of priorities
• Pro-active involvement and feedback from contractors
• Recognition of partnership approach for health and safety
• A safer and healthier working environment for all.