“IN MANY STORIES I HEAR AS TRAINER TRUST IS THE CENTRAL THEME”

Last year all officers and about 70% of the ratings on board the former Dockwise vessels had NINA training. This year the rest will follow. Senior SHE-Q engineer and trainer Svetlana Pritula talks about her experiences.

YOU ATTENDED OVER 15 TRAINING SESSIONS. WHAT ARE PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS AT THE START?
“Some crew members say ‘just give me a checklist’. I can understand that: when I first heard about NINA it became blurry in my head too. It takes time to understand that NINA is a way to deal with everything we already have regarding safety. The training is only the first step.”

IS THERE A CENTRAL THEME PEOPLE BRING UP IN TRAINING SESSIONS?
“In many personal stories ‘trust’ is the central theme. Trust is a key element of successful teamwork. When you say ‘this is not safe’ to your superior can you trust he will back you up? When you resist a client’s pressure, can you trust the office will back you up? Trust has to be built through good experiences and good leadership. On a vessel, it all starts with the master. When I come on board a ship I instantly feel the atmosphere: ‘this is a vessel with a crew’ or ‘this is a team’.”

WHAT IS THE MAIN DILEMMA IN YOUR VIEW?
“I learned that ratings hardly have a problem with stopping the job if that’s necessary. However, giving feedback is something different. Some people say ‘thanks’ or use strong language to show their feelings, but never give proper feedback. That is the main dilemma. Most people avoid conflicts. That is why it is important to see feedback in a different perspective: not as criticism, but as an expression of concern. It is all about care for your colleague’s, care for third parties. We are struggling to bring this into the culture we’re striving for.”