Rapid decisions under extreme conditions, handling chemicals and work environment-friendly ships. This year’s SAN conference had a mix of entertainment and deadly serious issues around the theme of Risk Management in theory and practice.
The day’s first talker was Tina Thörner: rally map reader, fighter pilot and many times world champion, who gave an explosive start to the SAN conference in Gothenburg. She explained how she learned to make key decisions at 200 kph in one tenth of a second through mental training.
“You have to start with your breathing,” she said. “If you control that, your heart has a good rhythm and you can think clearly and rationally.”
One of the lessons she learned in her long and successful career in rally sport was that safety drills can save lives. During a rally in Portugal the car lost control, went over a precipice and straight down into a lake. When the car sank, the bodywork was deformed and the only way to survive was to act quickly.
“You might think that safety drills are boring and a waste of time. But when we sat jammed in the car six metres down, it was the drills that helped us to get out – they saved our lives, in fact,” said Tina Thörner.
Professor Carl Hult from Linnaeus University also spoke at the SAN conference, which was held on 25 October at Scandic Crown. He presented a comprehensive study on work environment for service personnel that he took part in and published earlier this year. Among other things, the investigation discovered four health factors that have been proved to make personnel feel better: adequate staffing, time for recovery, managers that solve problems and good relations between departments.
“We looked at many different factors, but these four showed significant results,” said Carl Hult.
Charlotte Billgren from the Swedish Transport Agency talked about the incident and accident reports that the Agency is carrying out at the moment. The aim is to find out where the biggest safety problems are on ships in order to carry out the best measures and actions in preventive work.
“But we also need to receive more reports from ships,” she said, “Particularly regarding incidents, where we know that many are unrecorded.”
Christina Östberg, also from the Swedish Transport Agency, went through the work environment regulations that are about to be introduced in the shipping sector. Among other things, the provision on organisational and social work environment will be launched next year.
Annelie Rusth Jensen from Viking Supply Ships spoke about the safe handling of chemicals. She has previously carried out a large project within the company to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals, but pointed out that the management of chemical risks is an area of work that is never finished. Sarka Langer from the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute presented a current research project on the internal environment on ships and how it affects those who work on board. The Chief Technical Officer of BRP Shipping, Bertil Peterson, also spoke at the conference. He de-
scribed how the shipping company chose to prioritise the work environment and the natural environment when they built the bunker ships Fox Luna and Fox Sunrise. His main message was: Look before you leap.
Linda Sundgren, text and photo