British Columbia Ferry Services Inc and BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union win DuPont’s 2017 Safety and Sustainability Award and celebrate 10-year’s anniversary for the SailSafe program. FORCE Technology has assisted BC Ferries in starting up and implementing the SailSafe program leading to the award.

16 October 2017

The SailSafe program was created to take BC Ferries’ safety management system to a new level. A high-profile and tragic incident in 2006 led to several recommendations included in an operational assessment conducted by an independent company.

FORCE Technology and Wrightway Training were selected to assist in developing and implementing the new SailSafe program that was established as a response to these recommendations. Both companies have vast international experience in maritime safety, human factors and safety culture.

The SailSafe program included a significant change in core aspects affecting safety such as training issues, leadership styles and operational practices. The initiative is based on the premise that all levels of the organization can participate by identifying areas for improvement. As a result, more than 4,500 recommendations, gathered from approximately 3,500 employees, have been incorporated into a series of 90 action plans organised under the four pillars of People, Assets, Procedures and Communication.

“We are very pleased that our hard work and commitment to improve safety in our business has led us to be recognized internationally as the winner of the DuPont Global Safety Award,” says Mark Collins, President and CEO of BC Ferries and continues, “Our employees have been at the heart of this initiative. Implementation of SailSafe plans has led to a 90% improvement in the employee safety index and a close to 60% reduction in passenger injuries”.

“Through our journey in SailSafe we have seen a dramatic decline in the workplace injuries, and the successes have been tangible and directly attributable to the members and employees on the ground who drive the program,” says Graeme Johnston, President of the BC Ferry and Marine Worker’s Union.

“The overriding element that has produced the outcome of SailSafe is the human involvement because people are recognized to be real contributors to effective and safe solutions. SailSafe has been driven by managers and employees who know and understand BC Ferries, and who are the eyes and ears of the operation every day. The thorough change in the company’s safety culture was not only a perception; it is also clearly confirmed by safety metrics and key performance indicators. The number of Lost Time Injuries (LTI’s) and serious incidents were significantly reduced. In addition to this, e.g. the Fleet On-Time-Performance has improved showing that safety initiatives go hand in hand with efficiency. SailSafe has been a remarkably successful initiative that has changed the company culture with a new view on safety, improved performance and professional culture and embarked the company on the process of continuous improvement. We are very proud to be involved in this important journey,” says Peter K. Sorensen, Vice President, Division for Maritime Industry, FORCE Technology. Peter K. Sorensen will be attending the 10-year’s anniversary event in Victoria on 16th November 2017.

SailSafe, BC Ferries, Dupont Safety Award 2017
Mieke Jacobs (left), President of the Jury for the DuPont Safety and Sustainability Awards, presents the DuPont Global Safety Award to Mark Collins (right), BC Ferries’ President & CEO.