If we are to prevent and learn from occupational accidents, it is essential to realise open communications and the exchange of information between field supervisors and occupational health and safety representatives. When we are better able to identify and understand the factors that cause accidents, it is easier for us to take measures to eliminate them.
During 2019, we introduced a new life vest model for broader use within Finnpilot and facilitated the use of a helmet that meets navigational safety standards. We initiated the filming of new safety and training videos, which present, in an easy-to-understand format, the most common situations involving risks that our personnel should be aware of in their everyday work and under exceptional conditions.
At the start of the year, we surveyed our personnel to clarify how many of them have completed the rescue course developed by the Meriturva Maritime Safety Training Centre. We require our personnel to have completed the rescue course and refresher courses in accordance with a set timetable. Altogether, more than 90 employees at Finnpilot participated in the course days during the year.
Throughout the entire year, we discussed ladder safety with our personnel and endeavoured to enhance awareness of the requirement level for pilot ladders. In our Intranet and weekly newsletters, we published examples of both good and poor ladder arrangements. We informed our personnel about the existence of easily accessible instructions intended to help pilots and pilot boat operators to check their ladders. We were in contact with shipping companies and authorities and endeavoured, through co-operation, to improve overall employee safety.
During 2019, Finnpilot employees experienced a total of 23 occupational accidents at work and 7 during the work commute or elsewhere. The clear increase in accidents is worrisome, since the company has, for several years, been working on ways to reduce the number of accidents. Due to the temperate winter months, the year was extremely windy on the Baltic Sea and this had an impact on the increase in accidents. The growth in the number of anomaly reports was viewed as a very positive development by the company and may also have resulted in a higher degree of reporting, particularly of more minor accidents, in comparison to earlier years.
Accidents experienced by Finnpilot’s personnel are generally minor, bruising caused by falls and impacts, sprains occurring while embarking or disembarking pilot ladders or while lifting heavy objects. Moving about on a boat or ship deck, or on quays and outdoor fields in slippery and dark conditions presents a heightened risk of occupational accidents.
During 2019, Finnpilot paid special attention to the prevention of slipping accidents. We discussed safe ways to move about, and our occupational accident insurer provided assistance in terms of understanding slipping accidents and developing ways to prevent them. Key aspects of prevention are attentive observation of one’s surroundings, unhurried movements and close monitoring of weather conditions.
Occupational accidents were also selected as one theme for the training day for supervisors held in the autumn. We reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the entire organisation as they relate to occupational safety. Joint exercises and discussions provided a clearer picture of how the prevention of occupational accidents is everyone’s collective responsibility and each person is individually responsible for addressing dangerous conditions and risks.