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ANALYSIS | RECRUITMENT & TRAINING


KEEPING SAFE


“A lot of people entering our industry are learning project forwarding on a computer. That is not project forwarding, that is data input.”


Sue St Germain, TransProject (in 2012)


The role of health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) has become increasingly important across the project logistics supply chain. The baseline standards governing HSSE in the sector include the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z10) and British Standards Institute (OHSAS 18001). Speaking to HLPFI in 2013, DHL senior health, safety,


security and environment executive Bill Cummins said that oil and gas industry logistics have shown the highest fatality rates, greater than in mining and construction. “Without a collaborative HSSE programme, and a similar vision of the HSSE goal, businesses will fail to operate at the same level.” In 2015, SAL Heavy Lift described how it integrated a safety


worse, revolutionised the ways in which companies conduct their day-to-day business. Te year 2008 saw the launch of LinkedIn, which has since grown into a behemoth with 467 million members. It should not be a shock that in an industry as diverse, specialised, and geographically spread as project logistics, where networking is a must, this tool of the trade quickly became a necessity. However, with external recruitment now possible with the click of the mouse, the challenge of staff retention became even more difficult. In September/October 2012, HLPFI reported that project


forwarders were finding it hard to hang on to qualified staff. Shippers were increasingly trying to bring skilled project logistics profess ionals in-house, in a bid to minimise the involvement of the project forwarder in the supply chain.


Poaching staff Colin D’Abreo, executive vice president of USA-based KOG Transport, said his company suffered from the advances of project owners. “It is very difficult to get experienced people. Project owners are poaching staff.” Owners’ attempts to recruit from forwarders can be quite


brazen. “We have employees who get approached every three months by owners. Some large ones do this regularly,” said Reiner Wiederkehr, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fracht USA. Te 2008 economic crisis and 2014 oil price crash sparked


waves of consolidation and bankruptcies on all sides of the business. Te entire project logistics supply chain was forced to rationalise its workforce. An unprecedented wealth of talent has left the sector. Te July/August 2017 edition of HLPFI


presented an interesting conundrum. Greg Tansey, then president and chief executive of Oregon-based Omega Morgan, reported that quite a lot of business had presented shorter lead times than usual, which made it challenging to ramp-up resources for projects. Experienced supervisors and experienced project managers were at a premium, he added. At the time, Omega Morgan was debating whether or not to pursue one particular request for quotation because of manpower issues. Bruce Cutillo (pictured above right), general manager of


the projects and dangerous goods networks at logistics network WCA, suggested “the real shortage of logistics managers will be fully seen once the project logistics market


84 | HLPFI10


culture in order to dramatically reduce incident rates. “Many of the incidents and accidents that happen in our industry are often a result of human error,” said George Geddes, then head of HSSE at the Hamburg-based carrier. The line also determined that for every euro of direct cost (the insured cost that could be recovered) following an incident, there was a greater loss of EUR10 in indirect costs. Mammoet’s Marcel Schets, manager SHE-Q (safety, health,


environment and quality), said that safety plays a critical role in projects as incidents cause delays and a lot of money. “More importantly: they can impact people’s lives.” He said that Mammoet believes that there will be growing attention among project stakeholders regarding project safety and the elimination of serious incidents and fatalities (SIF) events. “There is a growing consensus in heavy industries that,


although recordable injuries are diminishing, the number of high risk incidents is still high. On top of rules, regulations and safety standards – which are critical - there must be more attention given to the managerial and behavioural aspects of a safe working environment. This can only be accomplished if all stakeholders on a project share their best practices, equipment innovations, standards and procedures, as they rely on one another to create a safe working environment.”


starts to pick up again,” citing Australia, Dubai, Canada, Russia and Europe as regions of concern. Businesses involved in project movements are constantly assessing variables, the most unpredictable of which are often people themselves. Despite doing everything possible, and finding the right person, things can, and often will, go wrong when recruiting staff. Wiederkehr expressed concerns for the future. “Do we


foresee a shortage of experts in our field of business? Could the potential staffing shortages and resulting difficulties of placing the right employees in the right roles with the right salaries be a hindrance? Yes, on all counts,” he said. Ultimately, there is no single best way to


approach recruitment and training. Rolf Riedl, founder of the European Heavy Lift Group in 1987, which grew into the international Te Heavy Lift Group (THLG), summarised his approach to recruitment when speaking to HLPFI in 2009. “I look for an awareness of languages, that they speak


English at least,” he said. “Tat they have a good general knowledge and know where things are in the world. “Tey need to be diplomatic; it is no good thinking in


terms of I am from the UK, or I am from Germany and we do things this or that way. And then they have to be flexible, ready to travel. Tis is not a nine-to-five job.”


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