Safety and quality
The ability to ensure safe fleet operations is one of the key success factors of any shipping company. As one of the industry leaders, Sovcomflot is committed to the principles of sustainable development, giving priority to the safety of navigation, environmental protection and maintaining a high quality service. Recognising its responsibility to the international community, Sovcomflot commits that: ‘Safety Comes First’.
Sovcomflot works with world-class charterers, leading oil companies and traders who care about their reputation and are demanding in the selection of their carriers. To meet customer expectations, the company strives to exceed standard requirements, as evidenced by the results of external inspections. The best proof of Sovcomflot Group’s high level of reliability and qualification as a carrier is the willingness of key customers to sign long-term contracts with it. Today, SCF’s ships work under time charter agreements with most of the major global oil & gas companies.
In 2017 the average number of observations related to navigational safety and quality, made during inspections of SCF vessels by oil majors, was 2.2 per inspection. This, according to OCIMF, is significantly better than the industry average (3.11). Furthermore, this performance indicator of the Sovcomflot Group fleet has been steadily decreasing over the last 10 years.
The fleet is operated in accordance with an integrated safety management system (ISMS) based on the standard methods for ensuring the effective and safe technical operation of vessels and vessel equipment, approved under the International Safety Management Code (ISM Code), the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards, the Ship Safety Management System based on the ISM Code, and meeting the requirements of the Flag Administration, and best industry practices.
During 2017 SMS procedures were updated extensively in connection with the Company's transition to the TMSA3 standard (Tanker Management and Self Assessment) released by OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum). This is a new version of the tanker manager self-assessment programme which has been in effect since 2004 and is based on key performance indicators and best practices of safe fleet operations. The results of TMSA self assessments are published on the OCIMF website where they are reviewed by leading oil companies. Subsequently the stated indicators are confirmed during visits by representatives of oil majors to the offices of the fleet operator company and SIRE ship inspections.
Sovcomflot Group has been steadily retaining mid-positions in INTERTANKO’s rankings in terms of occupational health and safety indicators, which is a good result and confirms quality of management and compliance with high safety standards.
The Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) for the Group's fleet in 2017 was 0.54, which is considerably lower than the average for the global tanker fleet (0.86 according to INTERTANKO; SCF occupies the 111th position among the 207 companies featured in the ranking). The TRCF (Total Recordable Case Frequency) was 1.15, which is also less than half the industry average (2.09 according to INTERTANKO; SCF is placed in the 99th position among the 207 companies).
Sovcomflot’s good safety practice is based on augmenting Russian maritime traditions. Respect for knowledge and the experience accumulated over decades is becoming an undisputed competitive advantage. SCF Group’s training centres in St. Petersburg and Novorossiysk, where SCF crews receive regular training and refresher courses have become unique resources for the professional development of marine personnel.
SCF Management Services (Dubai), the managers of Sovcomflot Group fleet, is certified by Green Award - an international environmental organisation that was the first in the world to introduce an environmental assessment system for ships based not only on the ship's technical characteristics, but also on the professional competence of the crew and management level. Sovcomflot Group has been participating in the Green Award scheme since 1996. Green Award auditors visit SCF's ships and offices annually. Obtaining approval requires that international conventional requirements governing navigation safety, quality and environmental protection are not just met, but substantially exceeded.
Realising that navigational safety depends primarily on the skill levels within a ship’s crew, Sovcomflot is enhancing its cooperation with Russian maritime educational institutions by directly participating in the educational process, organising the programme of practical training at sea on an annual basis, and implementing targeted training programmes for young fleet officers. Specialists from SCF Group’s crewing offices select the most promising cadets into target groups at the Admiral Ushakov Maritime State University, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, and Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University – 20 cadets per institution. Cadets from the target groups are guaranteed employment with SCF fleet, while the employer benefits by gaining access to the best young talent.