zoom Some 50% of crews working on offshore support vessels (OSVs) are willing to compromise safety rather than say ‘no’ to clients or senior management, while nearly 80% believe commercial pressures could influence the safety of their working practices, according to a report commissioned by operations and maintenance management software specialist Helm Operations.The findings from the report titled ‘The Impact of Crew Engagement and Organizational Culture on Maritime Safety in the Workboats and OSV Sectors’ were released to coincide with this week’s International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee meeting.The report is the first maritime safety study specific to workboats and OSVs and will be finalized in time for World Maritime Day 2015, on September 26.The independent report will summarize six months of research by Dr Kate Pike and Emma Broadhurst of Southampton Solent University. It draws on original analysis of Port State Control detention records, feedback from 50 offshore companies, incident case studies, and input from leaders in best practice.”This is a major contribution to knowledge in the industry, highlighting the link between the human element and safety performance in this distinct sector,” said Ron deBruyne, CEO and Founder of Helm Operations.”It tests often repeated regulatory assumptions, establishes the realities of workboat and OSV safety, and provides key recommendations aimed at improving maritime safety.”Despite the inherently risky nature of their work, many workboats are not bound by SOLAS or the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Both the Paris and the Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) data show that 27% of workboat deficiencies relate to certificates and documentation, the report says.An online survey drawing on 50 key offshore companies saw 34% of respondents saying their company needed to offer additional operational and technical training.”We’re concerned that the research also confirms how under-reporting of near misses can undermine an entire safety culture,” said deBruyne.”This is partly due to the repercussions of reporting. Better safety management procedures, improved safety culture and crew wellbeing mean lower workboat and OSV deficiencies and detentions.”To support this contention, the report identifies a set of eight safety criteria to help companies establish safety management systems that follow the principles set out in the ISM Code. It offers recommendations on communication; empowerment of employees; feedback systems; mutual trust; problem identification; promotion of safety; responsiveness; and safety awareness.
The provincial and federal governments are contributing nearly $8 million for eight water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the province. The announcement was made today, Sept. 23, by Ramona Jennex, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “The province is committed to collaborating with our federal and municipal partners on important infrastructure projects,” said Ms. Jennex. “These water and wastewater projects will not only help build stronger communities, they will help create jobs and keep tradespeople at home.” Funding for the eight water and wastewater projects comes from the $8 million joint federal-provincial commitment made on Sept. 13 for stimulus projects under the water and wastewater funding category. The government of Canada is contributing up to $4 million towards these eight projects, with a matching contribution from the province. Projects include water main replacements in the Municipality of Annapolis County, improvements to Phase 2 of the New Germany sewer system in Lunenburg County, the Coalburn wastewater extension in Pictou County and water and wastewater upgrades on Main Street in Louisbourg, Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The federal $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is a key component of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The fund invests in provincial, territorial and municipal construction-ready infrastructure rehabilitation projects being built during this construction seasons this year and next year. The provincial and federal governments are working together to create jobs and boost the economy, while making significant investments that help communities improve their infrastructure. Both governments have agreed to work together to ensure that these funds are delivered quickly and efficiently to municipalities in Nova Scotia. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund complements existing and long-term federal infrastructure funding by focusing on short-term objectives for economic stimulus. To further this goal of rapid economic stimulus, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund focuses on construction-readiness as important project selection criteria. The full $4 billion is being distributed in fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Projects focus largely on the rehabilitation of existing assets such as water, wastewater, public transit, highways, roads, culture, parks, and trails. Further information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan is available at www.actionplan.gc.ca. SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Funding For Water and Wastewater Projects in Province