Shell honors Enterprise Marine towboat crew with annual safety award

(HOUSTON) — Shell Shipping and Maritime, Americas recently held its third annual Goal Zero Hero Awards dinner in Houston, recognizing the crewmembers of 21 contracted/chartered vessels who had the courage to intervene and clearly demonstrate their commitment to zero incidents and safe operations in service to Shell.  

The Goal Zero Hero program is a regional initiative modeled after Shell Shipping and Maritime’s global Partners in Maritime Safety initiative, the recipient of the 2015 CEO HSSE & SP Award, which engages and encourages senior leaders of maritime partners to join Shell on a shared journey toward a zero-incident industry. The Americas Goal Zero Hero program furthers the global mission at a more operational level by building on a shared culture of safety in all of Shell's maritime operations and a clear understanding that safety is not just a philosophy, but a way of life — a top-down, bottom-up approach — where we are all active and willing participants in the journey toward Goal Zero.

Since Shipping and Maritime, Americas’ Goal Zero Hero program was implemented, there has been a yearly increase in the number of awards presented.  The increasing trend of interventions is an excellent indicator that more people are focused on safety as a mission and feel empowered to own the responsibility to continually improve and, if necessary, to take action to intervene, even if it means stopping work, to best ensure safety for all.

“Safety is non-negotiable. It is part and parcel of everything we do,” said Tim Downs, GM Shipping and Maritime, Americas. “Every one of you is here because you made a difference; you set the example; you made sure operating safely was then and remains today, our highest priority.”

While all 21 award recipients were previously recognized as Goal Zero Heroes immediately following the actions they took, the dinner presented an opportunity to formally recognize in front of their peers the top 10 “Heroes” of 2015 as voted on by Shell Shipping and Maritime, Americas’ leadership.

The presentations ended with the announcement of the Goal Zero Hero of the Year Award for 2015 being presented to the crew of the towing vessel M/V Gregory, operated by Enterprise Marine Services (EMS), based in Houma, La.

The M/V Gregory crew received this award for their clear focus on safety and excellent judgment when on the morning of March 11, 2015. EMS tankerman/steersman Von Smith noticed third-party contractors working in the vicinity of the tank barge they were about to load. Prior to loading operations, Smith confirmed with the dock supervisor that the work crew would not be doing any “hot work” while the barge was being loaded. A short time later, Smith intervened and used his stop-work authority to immediately shut down the transfer after observing one of the third-party contractors preparing to light a cutting torch. A quick meeting between Smith, Capt. Greg Wilkinson and the facility person in charge (PIC) resulted in the immediate removal of the torch and all related equipment from the dock, at which point the cargo transfer resumed. The M/V Gregory crew’s efforts to put safety first clearly ensured the safety of people and Shell cargo operations and preventing predictable harm to people, asset damage, and impact to the marine environment.

“This crew exemplifies what it means to be forward-focused on safe operations,” said Downs. “We have all been energized tonight by the enthusiasm and pride displayed by each of our honorees, and we are proud to recognize their efforts to always start and finish with safety in mind.”

Enterprise Marine Services will hold the Goal Zero Hero trophy until next year’s awards ceremony.

By Professional Mariner Staff