Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2016

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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Page 43 of 70

41 Spring 2016 Proceedings addressing and predicting nonconformities, recognizing risks, and changing/updating processes before subsequent nonconformities occur. While nonconformities invariably stem from an audit, they should be raised by anyone who notices one, proactively driving corrective action. For example, some shipping com- panies have employed near-miss reporting/STOP card systems. The STOP (Safety Training Observation Program) program is a behavior-based safety program developed by E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. designed to prevent injuries and occupational illnesses in the workplace through train- ing. For example, STOP ® For Each Other is a member of the award-winning DuPont family of workplace safety training offerings. Management Buy-In Even if an organization embraces nonconformities as a call to improved action, the systems that result will be poorly implemented if leaders lack commitment to them. It has been shown, time and time again, that lack of buy-in by management is the number one variable responsible for establishing a fearful audit environment, ultimately lead- ing to failure of a quality system, irrespective of well-trained auditors. Each individual aboard a vessel as well as those involved in the vessel operations ashore are responsible for vessel quality, safety, and security. That said, ultimate responsi- bility can never be passed off down the chain to the ves- sels and crews who operate them. Top management must take responsibility for system performance, with continual improvement as the underlining goal. They can delegate their authority only if properly bundled with the right resources to get the job done. The International Safety Management Code, International Ship and Port Security Code, and other relevant standards (ISO 9001, 14001, and 28000) allow marine operators to remain viable and prevent losses. How do we gauge the effectiveness of such systems? Audits — which most mariners aren't fond of, and are gen- erally seen by those aboard as an unwanted intrusion into a vessel's working routine. This "interruption" can also make masters nervous that auditors will fnd nonconformities, especially given the nature of short-term contractual employment at sea. Internal process monitoring should result in improvement, building a culture that helps employees to determine and meet the process requirements. Where organizations lack the culture of the system approach, individuals are typically blamed for any and all failures. Eventually, these individu- als fall back and rely solely upon the occasional visit by their auditor. Is it any surprise, then, that this visit is feared? Audits don't have to be so stressful, given a slight shift of perspective. Instead of asking "Who?" every time something goes wrong, asking "How?" and "Why?" would strengthen the system approach and remove the fear culture of being blamed. Nonconformities Instigating this fear culture is "The Scarlet N" — noncon- formities. Some organizations don't want to know about their nonconformities, and that's a pity, because, in reality, the only "bad" nonconformity is the one an organization doesn't know about. In my opinion, some audit processes fail, in part, because maritime audit experts have failed to teach others to appreciate how the bottom line is positively enhanced by Nothing to Fear Objective auditors drive quality throughout organizations. by Captain inderjit arora President and CEO Quality Management International, Inc. Training

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