Engages others through his actions

Bo Lindgren, technical manager onboard Stena Jutlandica, has worked hard at introducing and maintaining systematic work environment activities on the shipping company’s vessels. He was awarded this year’s SAN prize for his efforts.
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Bo Lindgren
Age: 59
Family: Wife and two daughters, one who sails traditional ships such as the East Indiaman and the brig “Tre Kronor” in her spare time.
Home: On Asperö in the southern skerries of Göteborg.
Job: Technical manager onboard the Stena Jutlandica.
Background: Comes from a seafaring family and trained on the Viking bark. Signed onto his first ship, a “paragrafare” (a classification under 500 tons), in 1968. Left Sweden to sail on ocean ships from Antwerp between 1969 and 1975. In the mid-1970s he had his first job at a shipping company with Santos in Brazil as his own home harbour. He has worked at Stena Line since 1980.

Bo Lindgren, technical manager onboard Stena Jutlandica, has worked hard at introducing and maintaining systematic work environment activities on the shipping company’s vessels. He was awarded this year’s SAN prize for his efforts.

A letter arrived at Stena Line from the then Swedish Maritime Administration in February 2006. It explained that the shipping company had already been given enough time to implement systematic work environment activities (SAM) and that the authority intended to intensify its inspection of the system.
– Most of us had never even heard about SAM and nobody knew that the Work Environment Act had come into force at sea, says Bo Lindgren.
When he searched for systematic work environment activities using the Google search engine, to his great surprise he found over 61 000 hits. He started to read up on the subject and contacted the Administration and the corporate healthcare organization, Feelgood. A system was drawn up and documented in the shipping company’s SMS manual. Implementation was started soon afterwards.
– We produced templates for risk analyses and I pushed hard for introducing standard, fixed templates on all the ships. If you come from another ship, you must be able to recognize the system directly, and the same applies for the Administration to quickly understand the templates.
Together with the safety engineer from the corporate healthcare organization he travelled around and explained to his colleagues on the other ships how SAM should be carried out.
The problem with that task, he says, lies in getting people on your side. It is seldom enough to just inform people.
– When you talk about this subject, many people think, “Oh no, not another paper tiger”. You must have patience and show what you can achieve using SAM through your actions. I have lists where I write down things we want to improve, and when we have taken the necessary actions I mark them in green. I usually show these lists to the guys and girls in the engine room so that they can see that things happen when we take up issues at our SAM meetings.

This year’s prize winner
At the autumn SAN conference, Bo Lindgren received this year’s SAN prize for his efforts with systematic work environment activities onboard ships – a full-size SAN flag and 10,000 kronor. The motivation of the jury was as follows: he is presented with this award for his untiring work in developing systematic work environment activities, not only onboard Stena Jutlandica but throughout the shipping company as a whole. Bo Lindgren has been a driving force in developing the documentation for systematic work environment activities which is now used on all 11 ships within the company. The Stena Line documentation system is now in its third version and is updated every year. In addition to his devoted work with improving work environment measures he has also participated in contacts with the authorities in the context of systematic work environment activities. During his many years at sea he has been deeply engaged in work environment issues and with his wide knowledge and burning interest he has contributed to a safer and more enjoyable workplace for his colleagues and himself.

Meetings once a month
The Work Environment Act does not mention how often new risk assessments shall be carried out, only that they shall be a natural part of daily work. In Bo Lindgren’s engine room, a SAM meeting is held once a month about risk assessments that have been carried out.
– We go through the list of work environment regulations which apply at sea and select an area, such as trucks. We read about what requirements must be fulfilled and then we go out and check if our trucks comply with those requirements. For example, if a truck does not have a reversing signal we write that down as an action to be taken and we later follow it up to ensure that it gets done.
Sometimes Bo Lindgren gives employees more general tasks, such as going to the engine room and thinking through what work environment risks there are in daily tasks.
– The guys and girls figured out that lifting would be easier if they had a beam underneath the deck with a block and tackle on it. We checked out the possibility of installing such a device with the Transport Agency. But then we found a mobile crane instead, which means that we do not have a beam that you can hit your head on, and now we have a crane onboard.
To get even more input about work environment activities, marine safety managers collect lists of risk assessments once a year from all 11 ships belonging to the company. In this way they are able to see what other people have noted and changed on the list of risk assessments.
Clear difference can be seen
One question which Bo Lindgren often gets from his colleagues is, “How do you differentiate between what comes under systematic work environment activities and what is covered in a normal safety round?” He says that you should not confuse these two things and sees a clear difference between them.
– If a guard on a slicing machine in the kitchen is broken, that is a safety issue. There is a guard, but it needs to be repaired. On the other hand, if there is no guard on the machine then the issue falls into the category of systematic work environment activities, since there is a risk which has not yet been assessed and rectified. Systematic work environment activities are often about preventive work.
Linda Sundgren

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