‘FIT FOR DUTY 2.0’ IN SOUTH KOREA

Maikel van der Gracht, Pool operations trainee
I notice that the NINA program is broadly supported within the organization. On each project we pay a lot of attention to it. I also notice that other companies are starting to see the added value of NINA. I saw a good example of this in South Korea, during the dredging of an entrance channel for shipping.

Our client, Daewoo, has safety high on the agenda. During one of their safety meetings posters were hanging on the wall that looked quite similar to ours and ballpoint pens were handed out that looked a lot like our NINA ballpoints with the pull-out paper. Off course the text was written in Korean, so I was unable to read it, but there was a striking resemblance to the NINA program as far as design and structure are concerned.

When there are huge differences in language and culture, as is the case in South Korea, safety depends heavily on communication and understanding each other. It is important to have someone in your team who speaks the local language and has some technical knowledge, so he can really explain to the workforce the dangers involved. This way people get the message far better than if I were telling them in English. Apart from that, Koreans go one step further than we do when it comes to ‘fit for duty’. All employees – and we too! – queue every morning for the daily ritual of stretching exercises, a little dance to music, a mutual neck massage and a toolbox for the activities of the day.

Should you be interested in the morning dance, check YouTube: ‘Korean morning exercise’. Look and learn!