[SUCCESS CASE] 5 years without accidents: know the structure behind this milestone in our story

  • 14/02/2019
  • 7 minutes

In 2018, the Wilson Sons Agency’s division completed 5 years without accidents resulting in a work leave. It’s a significant milestone, because shipping agencies bring about several inherent hazards. After all, this field of work requires visits to ports and vessels, and not even the office environment is immune to risks.

The relevance of safety in port works is such that, in 2006, the Regulatory Norm 29 was created specifically to deal with safety in port operations. Besides many other points, it establishes the obligatoriness of wearing personal protective equipment in the ports and of using safety signaling.

This is only one of the guidelines to improve safety in a company working on the maritime field. As a professional of this segment, you certainly know how fundamental it is to pay attention to several details in order to guarantee safety in port operations.

In this article, you’ll understand how the Wilson Sons achieved a milestone in safety awareness and learn a few tips to optimize this area in your own company. Check it out!

How the Wilson Sons got to this milestone

The Wilson Sons Group has always been committed to the safety of all its workers and partners. In 2011, the group decided to take a step further in strengthening this care and implemented the WS+ program, which aims to modify the culture of the company and the behavior of the employees to achieve an ever safer environment.

The program was designed in partnership with DuPont, a multinational company that specializes in safety management. The numbers are impressive: from 2010, the year before the implementation of the project, to 2016, the group’s number of accidents resulting in a work leave was reduced by 90%.

With that consultancy, the group started accompanying the metric of hours/people without accidents resulting in a leave. One of the milestones established by DuPont was 2 million hours/people, and the Wilson Sons’s agency division achieved that goal at the beginning of 2018. Counting the agency’s time with no accidents resulting in a work leave, it adds up to 5 years without occurrences.

Actions for safety

This was possible thanks to a change in the behavior of all employees. Many accidents happen due to behavioral deviations, so that is one of the main points that need to be improved if you plan on increasing safety in port operations.

Shipping agents need to recognize how important it is that they wear a life jacket when visiting a vessel or that they respect the distance of the bridles when the ship is being moored, for example. It’s hard to really instill in the workers’ consciousness that seemingly small actions are essential to maintain safety, but that’s indispensable. It’s not about enforcing punishments, but strengthening training.

A successful experience in the company is the organizing of weekly and monthly talks between workers about safety, in which everyone shares stories related to the theme inside and outside the work environment. It’s a way of making the exchange of information simpler and of relating it to the lives of each employee.

Wilson Sons also encourages leadership by example. In this model, the leaders follow the safety recommendations to the letter, of course, but also act as models to the other workers.

There is a manual with clear recommendations about the behavior expected in each risk situation. Although punishment is not the most-used methodology to improve safety, the document sets golden rules that might lead to penalties. Wearing a life jacket when visiting a ship is an example of that kind of resolution.

Another constant action at Wilson Sons is the pre-mapping of the locations that will be visited by employees. This is a way of making sure of the safety conditions of the place, such as the signaling of escape routes and even the presence of handrails on the stairs.

Something very important when it comes to preventing accidents is carefully analyzing the mistakes that have already been made at some point. Because of that, Wilson Sons dives into any case of an unforeseen occurrence to understand which deviations caused it and how to stop them from happening again.

It’s worth reminding you that good management goes beyond work safety and also cares about sustainability. Therefore, the Wilson Sons Agency’s division adheres to the practice of collecting electronic waste such as batteries in the office in order to correctly dispose of them, and also sponsors actions such as the “Clean Beach Project” (Projeto Praia Limpa), which collects waste left in Brazilian beaches with the help of volunteers.

Why is it so important to consider safety in business

Caring for safety is not only about valuing the well-being of the employees, but also a very important business practice. The shipping agency market includes major oil and gas companies, to whom a safety issue can mean immense damage for the environment in case of an accident such as an oil spill.

Wilson Sons takes EHS (environment, health, and safety) management very seriously, both in its own work and in the work of all its suppliers. The care can’t be restricted to the company’s practices: it needs to be required of all the partners with whom it works as well.

So Wilson Sons makes a point of knowing the safety parameters of its suppliers and presents its own in detail for the partners that also care about this matter. In order to close a business deal with another company, the agency and all the other subdivisions of the group closely analyze all the EHS documentation.

It’s fundamental to study the safety criteria in port operations in depth, because it’s by guaranteeing that they’re followed that the whole company becomes safe — the simple fact of the employees always holding on to the handrail when boarding a ship is a relevant aspect.

Now that you know some of our actions for the safety of our employees and of our operations, how about we talk more about how we can help you find a responsible shipping agent? Get in touch with us and let’s chat!