Safety is more than wearing a helmet

11. January 2024

Dominique Kreuzkam

50th Anniversary of 1974 SOLAS Convention

Safety is more than wearing a helmet

We are marking the 50th anniversary since the publication of latest SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) – an international convention that establishes safety standards for ships, laying the foundation for the protection of the maritime environment.

Safety does not end when leaving a vessel after a contract. We at NSB understand safety as a holistic concept. Safety is well-being, is health insurance, is proper personal protection equipment. Safety is knowledge and training. Safety is resilience. Safety is the ability to act responsibly for yourself and others. Safety is trust.

Feeling safe in your working environment means that you can rely on the barriers. These barriers can be technical, or they can be human. Once settled the technical barriers need to be checked on a regular basis. Human barriers are interaction-based, they rely on open communication.

To support our staff, we have established a simple tool: the NSB Safety Card. They hold a simple guideline for smooth and safe co-operation between colleagues. These are rules like:

I am an active part of our safety process and culture.
I recreate and refresh my resilience by taking breaks regularly.
I speak up and I appreciate people doing the same.

On the flipside the cards show an option for the last barrier in case human interaction is about to fail: Stop! Let‘s make a better choice! We will find a safer and smarter way of working together.
“We do not view safety merely as an obligation but as a continuous opportunity to improve our standards and strengthen awareness. Safety concerns all of us, and it wants to be our constant companion.” With this sentence, Guido Kraemer, Head of QHSE of NSB GROUP, opened the speech of the NSB Kick-Off 2024.

When we opened the first Ship Handling Simulator of NSBacademy in Buxtehude in the year 2007, we already knew the importance of establishing self confidence via excellent training. 2024 is the year where we further increase the work of our NSBacademy to develop sophisticated training, open-minded exchange of thoughts, and transparent feedback culture. The new Ship Handling Simulator is an integral part of our holistic idea of safety which connects well to the IMO theme for 2024 Navigating the future: Safety first.

“The NSBacademy as a place of growth and connection with its ship handling simulators is a ‘safe space’ to test limits repeatably and expand boundaries. Therefore, even in our digitalized world, it makes sense to visit Buxtehude, connect with Fleet Managers and Superintendents, share pain points and enrich skill sets and personal traits”, added Caroline Baumgärtner, VP People & Talent Development. Besides Guido Kraemer, Caroline Baumgärtner, and our CEO Tim Ponath, five further speakers opened the new year by highlighting their prospects and goals for 2024.

The times, they are a changing

The joint message of all speakers was: More than ever, the times are dominated by tremendous global and industrial changes. The only way to respond to this and to feel confident and safe in decisions is to promote and live the motto: “Better together”.

“We should remind ourselves every day, that safety is nothing we can delegate to anyone else. It is our all and personal obligation to interact continuously with our colleagues ashore and on board that they always act in safe manners and that they observe and identify unsafe acts of themselves and others. According to the saying “Engine and Deck always arrive alongside at the same time”, we need to understand ourselves even more as a unit, working hand in hand towards our common goals. Thus, my keyword of this year is ownership. Owning a task, owning a responsibility for individual and joint results is the key to successful cooperation”, emphasized Tim Ponath, CEO of NSB.

Press Contact

NSB Communication Team

Dominique Kreuzkam (he/him) & Lina Wörner (she/her)