Safety comes first – and that goes for everyday life on board too. That is why we continually train our employees on the HESS topics – Health and Hygiene, Environment, Safety and Security.
A short but crucial term: HESS
On-Board safety right from the start
Our motto in the field of on-board safety is: Continuous information right from the start. Thanks to our integrated HESS training concept, we train each and every one of our employees during each step of their careers – before, during, and between their periods on board.
All crew members undergo thorough safety training on land before they go on board. Each maneuver is practiced in preparation for a real-case scenario using team exercises and theoretical training. This basic safety training ends with an exam. Further pre-boarding training sessions in the Philippines, India, Indonesia and Germany (Hamburg and Rostock) go into all AIDA-relevant HESS topics in greater detail. In 2011, we trained just under 1,800 new employees in this way.
2. On-board training
On board safety officers continually instruct the crew on HESS issues. To assist the officers, we rely heavily on the Train the Trainer principle. For this purpose, four internal HESS trainers have been working in rotation on all ships since 2011; sharing their knowledge with managers and thus enabling them to effectively train their staff to a single, specified standard.
We also conduct short HESS training sessions in all departments on board. To this end we have developed what we call the “15 minute HESS trainer program” with which we present occupational safety as a natural and constantly present part of our work on board.
3. Attended training sessions
Continuity is one principle of our training concept, technical depth the other. HESS therefore also plays a central role in all refresher courses at the AIDA Academy. Whether working in the area of Deck & Engine or Guest, each employee receives the information s/he needs on the subject of occupational and on-board health and safety.
As a result of our consistent implementation of occupational health and safety, there were once again no infringements to report in this area in 2011. Up to 25% of AIDA employees on board and ashore are represented on occupational safety committees at on-board and location level. They are involved with questions concerning safety equipment, training and further education, complaint procedures and the setting of targets. Furthermore, occupational health and safety inspections are also conducted on board.
The following table provides an overview of work-related accidents and working days lost at AIDA in 2011. Gender-specific differences with regard to work-related accidents are primarily due to the breakdown of employees on land and on board. On board, our crew is 79% male, while on land, 60% of our staff are female. Accident rates both on board and ashore are below 2%. In 2012 we intend to reduce the accident rate further still.
National and international laws
Die Einhaltung nationaler wie internationaler Gesetze und Richtlinien ist für uns selbstverständlich. Neue Bestimmungen setzen wir Compliance with national and international laws and directives is second nature to us. We implement new regulations as quickly as possible – often exceeding the required standards. The guidelines set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) are the international benchmark for AIDA Cruises. The most important regulations include the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS-Code) and the International Safety Management Code (ISM). These guarantee safety in ports and operational safety on board. IMO regulations also include the SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea). This sets out rules for the construction, outfitting and operation of ships.
On board our ships, our safety officers ensure compliance with both international regulations and our internal guidelines. The crew receive regular training and demonstrate in drills that they are able to respond professionally to potential emergencies, and that life-saving appliances are operational. Specially trained fire teams are present on every ship to ensure the safety of guests in the event of fire. All procedures are laid down in the Safety Management Manual. Independent experts have recognized our systematic approach in the area of ship safety.
For further details on compliance with national and international regulations at AIDA Cruises, please refer to the Environment chapter.
Highest standards of quality at international level
When it comes to our standards of quality, environment and safety, we exceed the statutory requirements. An Integrated Management System (IMS) helps us to continuously improve our performance. It includes the maritime social standard (GLC MSR) which is certified by Germanischer Lloyd: This international standard is a comprehensive instrument for upholding humane working conditions in companies. Germanischer Lloyd annually certifies AIDA Cruises in accordance with the GLC MSR and a series of ISO standards. These include:
ISO 9001: The quality management system on the basis of which we improve guest satisfaction.
OHSAS 18001: The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series, based on international occupational health and safety requirements. The system helps us to continuously improve working conditions and to avoid accidents and work-related illness.
ISO 14001: Our environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14011 establishes internal requirements for improving our environmental performance and further reducing our ecological footprint.
ISO 22000: Our compliance with the ISO 22000 standard guarantees a high level of food safety.