The latest in a long line of honors naming Essar Shipping for its safety and health practices as well as its handling of the environment impact of its operations, is the Gateway ‘Bulk Operator of the Year’ award for 2013, announced in April following a rigorous evaluation process by consulting firm KPMG. In 2012, Essar Shipping was named ‘Bulk Operator of the Year’ at the annual Seatrade Middle East & Indian Subcontinent Awards at the Dubai Maritime Week. Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the maritime world, the entries were judged by a 12-member panel of international judges, led by Mr Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General, International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Essar Shipping strictly follows the International Safety Management (ISM) Code for shipping, which aims to ensure safety at sea, prevent injury and loss of life, and avoid damage to the environment and to the ship. The ISM Code has been adopted by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The Code also stipulates standards for ship design, equipment on board and personal protection equipment (PPE) as well as measures to safeguard the health of employees.
Beyond the mandated ISM Code, Essar Shipping tankers strictly observe the standards stipulated under the Tanker Management and Self-Assessment (TMSA) and the British Occupational Health and safety (OHSAS) management norms in order to enhance safety and health safeguard measures. These serve as benchmarking tools with checklists of key safety indicators.
Training for safety
Beyond the mandatory training for certification, Essar Shipping organizes additional training sessions that are conducted by visiting experts. Safety seminars are also held periodically and regular drills are held on board as per contingency procedures.
Messages about safety measures are prominently displayed on board and in locations on shore. Briefing and de-briefing sessions on safety are undertaken regularly.
All personnel working on board are mandatorily required to have undergone training in fire safety measures, basic as well as advanced.
Safeguards in the detail
Beyond the mandated and normal awareness creation, technical rigor is maintained in many ways — from the design of management systems on board to the design of lifeboats as well as the launch and recovery systems that improve safety during lifeboat drills.
Attention to detail is also crucial in the analysis of risk and in change management in systems — for example, during approach to port or out at sea. Equally, this is applicable in assessing equipment and the need for replacement or upgrade of such equipment.
Above all, detail is imperative in assessing and addressing imperatives arising from an incident — from any incident that is outside the norm. It is only such attention to detail that has provided the safeguards to Essar Shipping to becoming one of the most recognized bulk operators in safe deliveries across the world.