This case article is based on interviews conducted in January 2023 in Manila.

It all started with wanting to try something different

Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS, together with Green-Jakobsen, has been running various courses and programmes on safety leadership for years, which contribute to the Company’s strong profile on safety culture. Such safety leadership courses have been facilitated for the shipboard officers and office staff from the beginning of this adventure (2017).

After gaining some experience and listening to the feedback from our Officers, in 2019, Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS decided to try a new approach, which is to ensure no one is left behind and everyone understands their safety culture and contributes to strengthening it. And this is done by having their Ratings undergo the Safety Mindset Course, which is also focused on safety leadership but with a more “hands-on” approach.

We had an idea to try something different. We also want to see safety culture development from a different angle. Having the officers as safety culture drivers is one thing; enabling the ratings to support and embody the safety culture we have is another.
Richard Chavez - Vessel Manager HSEQA at Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS

Instilling the safety mindset among the Ratings earlier is a logical and practical approach

Since the very beginning, the intention of Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS has been that the safety leadership courses help in ensuring all employees operate according to the Company safety standards. They recognise that the Ratings are in a perfect position to be well-versed in such safety standards since they play an equally important part in the safety performance of the work teams.

The Ratings are on the front line of the job. With their understanding of the Company safety standards, they will be guided on how they work safely and integrate safety. As part of the work team on board, they can be capable of contributing to how the work can be done more safely. Also, since they know every detail of the on-board operations, they can incorporate safety into them accordingly
Richard Chavez - Vessel Manager HSEQA at Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS

Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS is set apart from other companies

Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS has been recognised by its employees as a Company with a “truly” strong safety culture.

Second Officer Mark Anthony Bata-anon: “I have worked in different companies where safety is claimed as a priority, but it is not really the case. Safety is discussed for the purpose of taking pictures. Here at Navigator Gas, I like the safety culture we have here. Safety is indeed a priority here. We take safety seriously. We do safety for real.”

Motorman Harmonne Duane Morenes: “I have been with Navigator Gas for eight years. The culture we have here makes me stay. They take care of us. They value our safety more than anything else. I experienced that our vessel manager checked on us personally on board when we had safety and security-related challenges when our vessel was navigating in a high-risk area. With his presence on board, I already felt relieved and secured that the Company was there for us.” 

The Safety Leadership and Safety Mindset Courses keep the safety culture alive

The courses focus on enhancing the safety capacities of the on-board and shore-based personnel. They put emphasis on the safety leadership mindset as well as the necessary behaviours and skills the participants need in order to be active safety culture drivers.

In these courses, Safety I’s, a set of best practice behaviours, are introduced and tackled. Safety I’s serve as a common and practical language among everyone in Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS. Safety I’s support the Company in reflecting its culture and reinforcing its values, thus making employees feel more connected to the Company and more empowered as well as confident to perform their roles.

Safety I’s keep the on-board staff on the same page about how to do safety better together. They use the Safety I’s in dealing with different safety-related situations on board which are practised during the course.

We use Safety I’s in different situations on board. When we observe an unsafe act, we do Intervention. We correct the unsafe act. When there are new crew members on board, they should do Insight. They should ask the captain or anyone. We should also share knowledge with these new colleagues. There’s really a Safety I for every situation.
Mark Anthony Bata-anon - Second Officer at Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS

The courses are a privilege

Second Officer Bata-anon has participated in both courses on safety leadership and safety mindset. He expresses his appreciation for his being able to attend such courses: “Not all companies give an opportunity to their employees to be part of training like these. It is a privilege for me to learn more about safety and leadership tools which I can use not only in my daily work on board but also in my personal life. Not to mention that it is given free to us.”

Motorman Morenes also finds the courses an opportunity to gain tools he can use in dealing with challenges he faces on board and improve himself: “I have gained a lot of knowledge and tools from the course. I can apply them in what I do on board and how to do my job better. I can use them in solving problems on board.”

Upgrading the courses to meet new demands

Green-Jakobsen and Navigator Gas Ship Management (Denmark) ApS are currently working on the new versions of both courses on safety leadership and safety mindset. The modules included in the courses are to be adjusted to cater to the new demands and present situations in the Company.

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