SailSafe Phase 1: Our Achievements

A review of the impressive results achieved by WrightWay’s involvement with BC Ferries in reducing accidents and engaging the workforce to commit to behavioural safety

SailSafe Achievements – Success through safety

Outstanding success in pioneering collaborative venture with leading Canadian shipping company

BC Ferries operational memorandum updating staff of progress

Reflecting on the past twelve months, I’m pleased to say that we had a very good year in Operations, and I’d like to thank everyone for helping to make it a success.

Safety
Of the many ways we define success, none is more important than safety. By the end of December we had completed the initial phase of SailSafe, our joint commitment to achieve world-class safety performance working with the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union. The proof of our success is in the safety numbers. Lost Time Injuries were down 20% and Days Lost to Injury were down 26% compared to last year. The ALERT process, one of SailSafe’s key initiatives, was implemented throughout the Company last year, and I’m pleased to report that by year end, we have already received more than 1,200 ALERT forms. So far, over three-quarters of these have been resolved. I encourage everyone to continue to submit ALERT’s, and more importantly, to continue to work with your supervisor to close them off so the risk can be reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).

As we enter Phase 2 of SailSafe, improving safety practices on a day to day basis and creating an overall safer workplace will continue to be the primary focus at BC Ferries. Since safety is everyone’s responsibility, I encourage you to get actively involved in one or more of the 41 action plan items that comprise the second phase of SailSafe. The full plan is available at www.sailsafe.com.

I am firmly of the opinion that if our primary focus continues to be on the safety of our employees and customers this will pay huge dividends for us in other areas of the business. We are already seeing the result of this first hand in the Operations Division as we achieved across the board success in meeting or exceeding our business objectives in 2009/10.

Customer Satisfaction
Among the most gratifying performance measures reported in 2009/10 was our Customer Satisfaction score, which reached an all-time high of 91%. Much of that success was reflected in the way we handled customer service during the Olympics when we added 153 extra early morning and late night sailings, as well as during the busy summer months as we responded to a gradual comeback in traffic. These results confirm our belief that investments in new vessels, terminal infrastructure and management tools such as the Operations and Security Centre are paying off. However, as we continue to hear from our customers, the primary reason for our success is the passion and pride our front line employees on the ships, at the terminals and in the call centre, bring to their jobs each day.

Vessel Reliability and On-Time Performance
A key component of customer service is making sure our ships and terminals are operationally ready each and every day so that we not only can provide our 500 plus sailings per day, but that we do so on-time. Once again, in both these areas we saw great results last year. Thanks in large part to the work of our Engineering and Terminal Maintenance Departments, as well as our extensive investment in ships and terminals, we achieved a Vessel Reliability score of 99.70%. Similarly, as a result of the team work between our Deck and Terminal Operations Departments, we recorded an On-Time Performance score of 88% which is a new record for the Company, thus proving that we can become safer and sail on schedule.

Fuel Consumption, Overtime and Absenteeism
On the financial front, I’m also pleased to report that through everyone’s hard work in the Operations Division we were able to significantly reduce our actual expenditures compared to budget during 2009/10. While there were many areas that we successfully managed down our costs and still provided a safe and reliable service, there are three areas I would like to bring to your attention – Fuel Consumption, Overtime and Absenteeism.

With regards to fuel, we were able to save 4 million litres of fuel across the Division thanks to the diligent efforts of our Deck and Engineering Departments. Not only does this equate to about $3.2 million dollars in savings but, more importantly, it reduces our CO2 emissions significantly. Moving to overtime, I’m happy to report that we reduced our overtime expenditures within Operations by $1.4 million or about 7% compared to the previous year. While I realize that there is some overtime that we will never be able to eliminate for safety and scheduling reasons, it is important that we all continue to manage this area accordingly. Absenteeism is another area that we saw outstanding results in over the past year with an employee absenteeism rate of 4.23%, which is our lowest recorded level ever. It wasn’t too many years ago that this number was up in the 6 and 7% range. Once again, by prudently managing employee health and wellness and facilitating return to work plans, we are more productive as a Company which helps lower our overall costs.

This Year – 2010/11
As we are all too aware, the economy is still very skittish. For this reason, we need to take a very cautious approach to how we manage our budgets this year. While we should never do things that will compromise safety, we need to continue to scrutinize all expenditures before they are made.

We have many things to look forward to this year. Our 50th anniversary is a great opportunity for employees to celebrate all that has been accomplished in building the largest and best ferry system in the world. We will be opening our newest line of business, BC Ferries Vacations, which through our new travel centre in downtown Vancouver and our enhanced website, provides us a great opportunity to develop a new revenue stream. We will also continue to grow our very successful Commercial drop trailer business.

I am confident that through good management and the hard work of all employees we will be as successful in this upcoming year as we were in the year that just passed. Once again, thanks for your outstanding efforts in 2009/10 and, as I mentioned earlier, if we keep our eye on safety I truly believe that everything else will fall into place.

Mike Corrigan
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Testimonials

There were too many misunderstandings, the pilots did simply not inform the bridge officers about their intentions. They rather kept that information for themselves.
Hans Hederström, CSMART, Almere

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