Turnkey ship repair solutions provider DCD Marine Cape Town adopted the total recordable incidence rate (TRIR) in January to identify minor health and safety issues, which pre-empts them becoming serious incidents, as the company strives for a zero incident rate.
Marine vessel repairs and refurbishments hold several possible risks, including environmental hazards. The company notes that it characterises risks as any form of harm to people or the environment. “When noting a recordable incident (RI), we use the exposure, severity and frequency method, and we can classify hazards, by giving each of them specific risk ratings using these criteria. We use these ratings to establish focus areas of concern to reduce the risk to an acceptable level,” says DCD Marine Cape Town MD Gerry Klos.
“Our current lost-time-incident frequency rate is 0.10 and our TRIR is 0.42,” says DCD Marine Caoe Town safety health environment and quality (SHEQ) manager Abdullah Elmie.
“In line with our goal of striving for a zero incident rate, we have reviewed our existing lost-time-injury (LTI) rate, which does not take into account those incidents that have not been recorded, owing to the absence of medical treatment,”says Klos.
The company explains that a RI pertains to cases where an employee’s injuries indicate limited use of a specific limb, owing to an injury that requires medical treatment; to LTI cases, when an employee is booked off work for one shift or more; and to fatalities.
A RI is, therefore, any injury which requires more than first aid treatment and includes incidents where the injured person is placed on restricted duty for more than a full shift; excluding, however, medical treatment cases where no surgical operation is required.
“The TRIR enables us to use all recordable incidents, irrespective of whether a person is booked off work. Therefore, we can work not only towards preventing any LTI case, but also, more importantly, towards preventing any injuries,” notes Elmie.
The TRIR is more complicated than the LTI rate, as it requires a comprehensive understanding of the indicators for employees and contractors. “It is critical that all stakeholders in the process continue to embrace the TRIR practice to guarantee its successful implementation,” he says, adding that this has necessitated the training of all parties and the updating of all policies and procedures. Subsequently, DCD Marine Cape Town can act promptly to mitigate trends that could develop into LTI cases.
The company notes that it has ensured that all its employees, subcontractors and medical service providers understand RIs, as they are defined by the oil and gas industry, and the reasons why the company had to start measuring them.
“We have established the necessary processes and procedures that will support the system to ensure that all incidents are correctly recorded and that the right protocols are followed to manage such incidents,” says Elmie.
DCD Marine Cape Town notes that little money was spent on training, as the company arranged the TRIR to be implemented seamlessly as part of its continual system review, in response to changes occurring in the oil and gas industry.
“Some research and training at all levels had to be done, but DCD Marine Cape Town has always been committed to continuous learning and we structured the implementation of the TRIR as part of our ongoing initiatives to ensure we go beyond customers’ expectations,” adds Elmie.
Constantly researching best practice and technology means that DCD Marine Cape Town can ensure a safer work environment and a clearly improved safety rating and record. “By interacting closely with our clients and potential clients, we can define clear policies and procedures pertaining to SHEQ [safety, health, environment and quality]. This is underpinned by the employment of competent staff members, whom we empower and train to provide exemplary customer service,” says Elmie.
DCD Marine Cape Town notes that each department of the company is continuosly measured on an ongoing basis in terms of its SHEQ compliance. “We conduct a yearly internal audit which provides us with performance indicators that are used to improve future DCD Marine Cape Town compliance,” he notes.
Adopting the TRIR as its standard has enabled DCD Marine Cape Town to align itself with the global best practice, to which its clients adhere.
“This more detailed and thorough way of measuring our SHEQ performance enables us to be proactive in our safety initiatives and reassures clients and employees that we have their best interests at heart,” adds Klos.