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Imperial Logistics extends barge safety programme to suppliers

Imperial Logistics extends barge safety programme to suppliers

Imperial Logistics International has taken the next step in its highly-successful SAFETY TAKES US HOME campaign, with the staging of an event for suppliers to its inland barging operations.

SAFETY TAKES US HOME was launched in 2016 to increase safety awareness among the 600 masters, officers and deck crew working on the company’s fleet of pushboats and barges on the rivers and canals of western Europe – the largest such operation.

The SAFETY TAKES US HOME programme aims to strengthen the personal focus on safe behaviour for each individual employee, both ashore and onboard.  The programme is designed to make safety a personal and emotive issue by stressing the impact of crew accidents on families and friends.

SAFETY TAKES US HOME has already successfully cut personal injury incidents to half the industry average, by providing almost 1000 training places on a rotating series of three separate Safety Seminars, held some 40 times to date. It also includes a variety of safety-related activities such as Safety Moments at the beginning of meetings, and placing “Safety has a face” stickers on mirrors both in shore offices and onboard.

Imperial Logistics has now extended its safety programme to include suppliers – such as shipyards,  electricians and engineers – whose workers’ duties also take them on board the company’s vessels. Some 60 representatives of these suppliers attended the “Imperial Shipping Supplier Safety Day 2019”, held in Cuijk, midway between the company’s bases at Rotterdam and Duisburg.

Among topics covered were the vital importance of safety while working aboard barges, either on the waterways or in dock; the Imperial Logistics code of supplier conduct while onboard; special risks while in the shipyard; near miss reporting; and Platform Zero Incidents – a guide to work while at shipyards. A presentation was also given by safety expert Luc Cassan, of AAA+ Safety Advisory. The event was opened by Imperial Logistics COO – Business Unit Shipping, Steffen Bauer.

Says Bauer: “We believe this is the first time in our industry that a safety awareness initiative has been extended to include suppliers. But their staff and workers face the same potential hazards as our own crews when they are working on our boats, so it’s just as important that they also consider the risks, and how to improve safety.

“I think some were slightly sceptical about this idea when we first suggested it. But, once everyone had attended the event, we received a great deal of positive feedback. This event will now become a regular feature of our overall SAFETY TAKES US HOME programme.”

Among the theoretical and practical training included in the ongoing SAFETY TAKES US HOME seminar programme are simulator sessions for masters and officers at the state-of-the-art SIMWAVE facility near Rotterdam. Deck hands meanwhile are given practical training for Person Overboard incidents by Atlas Schiffahrt in the realistic conditions provided by a unique facility in Duisburg – a huge former gas tank which has now been re-purposed as a diving facility.

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