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.

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

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


I would like to thank you for the feedback from the Crew Resource Management Training Course. Clearly, this is excellent stuff and most useful to us in trying […]
Captain R M Bishop, V Ships Management U.K.

Sidebar Image

Safety management: saving money as well as lives Boardroom engagement and morale-boosting workforce empowerment is crucial to a safer working environment – and good for the botto »

Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries, speaking after he had received at the Du Point biannual DuPont Safety Award at this year’s World Congress for Safety and Health […] »

In 2014, Canship Ugland Ltd entered into discussions with WrightWay Training Ltd (WWL) to explore options to provide Leadership and Management training to our Ships’ Officers »

WrightWay (WWL) has been assisting Irish Ferries through its appointed ship management company, Matrix Ship Management, from March 2012 to date. In this time WWL has delivered Huma »

In 2007, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. and the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union (BCFMWU) embarked on a journey towards creating a world-class safety management syste »

One Day Conference on Friday 21st November 2014 at HQS Wellington, Embankment, London Click here for a PDF with more information. Venue: HQS Wellington Temple Stairs Victoria Emban »

Maritime Professional – Part II – Talking With the Experts About Maritime Safety Culture – What is it And How to Improve It Read the full article here. »

Maritime Professional – Talking With the Experts About Maritime Safety Culture – What is it And How to Improve It? Read the full article here. »

The Manila Conference of last year examined a number of revisions to SCTW, not least of which was a notable shift in emphasis, in placing Crew Resource Management […] »

Could it also be the most productive thing you will ever do for your business? Although reduced in number in recent years, with seamen still being injured and […] »

By combining HELM training with workforce involvement and ownership, one company avoided $7.5million in direct health & safety related costs and a further $30 million in operat »

ADPC the master developer of ports and industrial zones, recently held the internationally approved management level training course on Human Element, Leadership and Management (HE »

News Article from Maritime Training Issues: Summary Can a vessel operator completely reshape its safety culture? At BC Ferries time loss injuries have been cut in half. Serious [&h »

“BC Ferries began working with WrightWay Training and Force Technology (WrightForce) approximately six years ago with the formulation of the joint-Union/Management initiative »

BC Ferries began working with WrightWay Training and Force Technology (WrightForce) approximately six years ago with the formulation of the joint-Union/Management initiative called »

Leading international training and safety consultancy, WrightWay, was awarded the prestigious IHS Safety At Sea Training Award at the annual awards gala, held onboard HMS Belfast, »

Dear John I am writing to thank you and Bob for your interesting and thought provoking presentation at HEAG 13. You brought a wealth of experience from both […] »

Manila Amendments and their effects on Human Factors training The Manila Amendments to STCW are being phased into the certification structure over the next few years, with full [&h »

WrightWay has been conducting Human Factor (Resource Management) courses for 15 years, with up to 27 courses per year.  For all of those years all the courses had […] »

A Safety Partnership Open, honest and constructive discussions between Canada Steamship Lines, CSL, crews, office personnel and management took place this past winter.  The object »

Introduction Welcome to WrightWay’s first newsletter. We trust you enjoy our first steps into sharing with you what we are doing in the world of Human Factor (Resource […] »

Fantastic news from BC Ferries, and a ringing endorsement for the “SailSafe” programme from the Auditor General. Click on the image to read the President and CEO of [&h »

Wrightway announce Open Course course which is accessible to self sponsored delegates or for companies who only require a few places in March 2012. To find out more […] »

CSL and V Ships are pleased to announce the launching of a joint safety initiative called ‘SafePartners’. Together in 2012 and beyond, we will raise the bar still [&hel »

Simulators aid management development A suggestion for the provision of state of the art full mission marine simulators for training both leadership teams and Boards of Directors A »

Update of successes and expectations at BC Ferries SailSafe is the collaborative workforce engagement programme with WrightWay as a key partner Chief Operating Officer, BC Ferries »

SailSafe Achievements – Success through safety Outstanding success in pioneering collaborative venture with leading Canadian shipping company BC Ferries operational memorandu »

The H Factor Human Factors and Behavioural Safety are vital components of a companies business strategy as described in this article published by Shipping & Marine magazine Cli »

WrightWay Training opens its doors to the trade Exclusive, hands-on simulator training sessions are being offered by leading international training and safety consultants WrightWay »

To train or not to train your staff? International training and safety consultants, WrightWay is emphasising the critical importance of workforce training despite the economic down »

An Inconvenient Truth The relationship of complacency and human behaviour in accident prevention A discussion article by John Wright examining the concept of complacency in acciden »

Is complacency to blame? Identifying the root cause is essential to prevent regular recurrences Discussion on the use of correct terminology in apportioning causes Following the pu »

Workforce engagement – A template for success BC Ferries is one of the largest, most sophisticated ferry transportation systems in the world, with, up to 47 ports of [&hellip »