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Prevention cuts accident rate

A project between HB Grandi, Ice-Sar’s maritime safety and insurance company Sjóvá has been in progress all this year with the aim of reducing the number of accidents on board the company’s vessels. This was started on board fresher trawler Ottó N Thorláksson RE and so far it has worked out well. Accidents on board are fewer and the crew are increasingly conscious that systematic safety measures show results.

Accident prevention is not something that concerns those on board as it is in everyone’s interest to reduce accidents – hence the involvement of Ice-Sar and Sjóvá and their emphasis on involving both crews and owners in the process.

According to HB Grandi’s fleet manager Rúnar Thór Stefánsson, safety at sea is of paramount importance to the company and he said that it is clear that this project will be taken further. There has been a clear difference on board Ottó N Thorláksson and at the beginning of November a similar was initiated on board Ásbjörn RE, with the other HB Grandi vessels due to go through the same process. The safety project has been run by the company’s trawl fleet manager Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson

To cut a long story short, the project began with a meeting between crews that was attended by Hilmar Snorrason, head of Ice-Sar’s maritime training and Ice-Sar project leader Ingimundur Valgeirsson, to discuss risk assessment on board, and how to record accidents, damage or near misses. It was made clear that it is vital that the crew are aware and takes matters into their own hands, analysing risk assessments and going through accident book records to identify ways to avoid future accidents. In most cases, this comes down to minor repairs or changes, or adjustments to work routines.


Co-operation between company and crew

‘It is critical that companies such as HB Grandi pay such attention to accident prevention. Accident prevention is a state of mind and this influences how we approach a situation, from a workplace issue to driving a car,’ said Fjóla Gudjónsdóttir, director of accident prevention at Sjóvá.

‘Fishermen’s workplaces have changed out of all recognition for the better in the last few years and accidents have been reduced correspondingly. Recording ‘near miss’ incidents is an important step towards preventing future incidents that could be real accidents, and this demonstrates the positive attitude that HB Grandi’s managers have towards safety issues on board.’