• Laura Lyth

A hierarchical approach embedded with Just Culture

Working offshore is a highly disciplined environment with a formal and structured chain of command. A vessel is a finely tuned system, built-up of several sub-systems (departments). Each department is responsible for a specialist function, and everyone within that function has a role to do. No one role is less significant because, without each ‘cog in the system’, the vessel will not and cannot operate safely and achieve a successful passage.

Translate that to onshore maritime sectors, the principle is the same. Each sector in its own right has a role to play to ensure that a vessel is ready for sea service, to ensure that the crew work in safe operational environments and that cargo is transited and transferred from ship to shore appropriately.

As administrators within the maritime domain, it is paramount that we understand this and know where and how we fit into the bigger picture of the maritime domain. We are here to support the financial, legal, medical, and technical experts of the maritime domain; who ensure to a meticulous standard that crew members are fit to serve, vessels are seaworthy and commercial operations thrive. Therefore, our own skill sets, procedures, and capabilities need to be provided to the same high standard. An administrative error as simple as a typo that is overlooked could have serious repercussions further down the line. Poor communications could result in a deadline being missed and a Port State Control inspection being delayed, causing a foreign Flagged vessel to be detained.

Therefore, we operate with a disciplined, hierarchical culture as our offshore counterparts do when onboard. Our VA’s take on clients and assignments that are within their own capability and specialism, and we take pride in matching our clients with VA’s that meet their own business needs.

In the same way as in the aviation industry and healthcare (which our director worked in prior to commercial maritime), being part of the maritime domain, it is essential that Océanie's ethos embraces Just Culture. We maybe administrators and business managers ‘hidden’ away from the potential risk of "grave and imminent danger" associated with frontline operations, but we are part of a safety-focused industry. Therefore, building up from our hierarchical foundations, we understand how to respond both in routine and emergency situations. We embrace the need for emergency readiness as we may need to support a client involved in a maritime emergency. This could be a lawyer or insurance broker involved in an accident investigation, an on-call surveyor attending a vessel involved in a major incident. Or maybe a counter pollution specialist investigating an environmental disaster that needs our steadfast support. We provide the front-line investigators and technical/ scientific specialists the reassurance that their business operations won’t be neglected when they are called out for an immediate response assignment.

Likewise, acknowledging the human element of our operations, should things go wrong at our end, we don’t blame others for our mistakes. We take accountability and ownership of our actions. To do this, we aim to identify what was to blame (the cause of the problem) and why it happened (the circumstances that resulted in our performance being compromised). By identifying the root cause and understanding the scenario that influenced the actions, omissions, and decisions of our team members involved, we can aim to overcome the issues to mitigate risk, failure, and mistakes in the future. This also enables us to manage both the immediate damage limitation and future capability accordingly, to achieve the agreed and desired outcome, both in the present and in the future. Continuous improvement is at the centre of our service provision.

To work in a sector that is driven by safety, everyone including us as Océanie needs to be focused to do the right thing at the right time in response to routine and emergency situations. That is at the heart of maritime professionalism.

To advocate this approach, our culture is supported by our five core values. o find out more go to our page 'Why we succeed'.

Naval Officer

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Océanie Ltd

07726 228984

Woodend, The Crescent, Scarborough YO11 2PW

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