We catch up with Health & Saftey Manager, Robert Doma, who gives us an update on the latest developments and future plans regarding Health, Safety and Security at Intercruises.

What was Intercruises main focus for Health and Safety in 2017?

We faced quite a lot of challenges following the acquisiton with HBG, as many of our H&S processes were based on TUI’s policies and procedures.

One of the most challenging tasks that we had was to replace the Risk Console and implement our own procedures that were more tailored to the needs of Intercruises. Therefore, the main focus for Health & Safety last year was on the development and implementation of CRIM. CRIM is our new in-house incident management tool which was introduced to the entire Hotelbeds Group last year. We played a key part in the development of the tool and were responsible for the implementation and training for DM. We used our online training tool (IELP – Intercruises eLearning Platform) to reach over 550 trainees worldwide.

Another important priority last year was to review, align and update our Crisis Management plan. Our first objective was to create a realistic plan; to clearly identify the different levels and roles that would be necessary to execute that plan, and later developed trainings for each of the roles. We trained 167 Incident Coordinators worldwide through GoToMeeting. Moreover, we conducted several table-top exercises and will continue to do more of that in the near future.

Cruise lines have a strong focus on disability, so we developed training materials on Disability Awareness and Assisting Guests in Wheelchairs, and later became accredited disability-awareness trainers in Spain. We reviewed the ADA & EU regulations and aligned our training material with the cruise lines’ requirements.

Accidents will always occur, but it is important to find ways to minimize the probability of them happening to us. To learn from our mistakes, we started to create “lessons learned” documents by analyzing different crisis situations to see what we could learn from them. We not only analyzed crisis situations that affected us directly (Fort Lauderdale, France and Barcelona) but also external accidents like the latest unfortunate accident in Mexico. Once a lesson learned document is ready, we either publish them or in some cases, conduct a webinar on the topic.

What are the focuses for 2018 and what are our priorities?

Crisis Management:
As part of the integration in this year, our main priority is to finalize the alignment of our Crisis Management Plan worldwide for the three brands. We are currently conducting our so called basic Crisis Management Plan training, as well as the release of our Major Accident and Emergency Helpline. Our organization is complex and this complexity can cause breakdowns in the transfer of information. One of the hidden effects of organizational complexity is that it blurs the lines of responsibility. With the help of this helpline, we will enable a quick transfer of information and implement a clear protocol on the assignment for the Incident Coordinator, which is the most important step to an effective crisis response operation.

We have started to focus/concentrate on security and have already created a series of security-awareness articles over the last seven months. Ultimately, our goal is to add value to our products by helping the different departments. We help the Sales Department by improving the already-existing processes with new protocols and organizing them into a clearly defined management system in order to gain competitive advantages over our competitors. The Contracting Department benefits from our advice when choosing the right suppliers, making sure that we fulfill the obligations agreed in the contracts with our clients. We have also supported the Operations Department by implementing security-related procedures and making sure that our staff knows what to do in order to stay safe, ultimately providing a better service to the final users of our services. Over the last year we have also supported them in the development of SafeAshore – Intercruises’ in-house shore excursion safety system, which is currently being rolled out, and will be live in over 80 ports worldwide by 2020. In March 2018, the system also won Intercruises a Wave Award for “Best Use of Technology“, so it’s something we’re all very excited about, and looking forward to witnessing its future progress.

Education and Training:
H&S and security awareness is integral part of every aspect of our organization’s operations. It’s clear that the Intercruises’ H&S department has a role to play in developing both the appropriate corporate culture, as well as specific skills and capabilities. It is the H&S Manager´s responsibility to ensure that everyone within the organization is aware of their role, how they can contribute to general organizational safety, and what specific steps should be taken in the event that potential threats are detected or actual incidents occur.

Care Team:
This year we are going to put our efforts into revitalizing our Care Team services. We continue to attend the 2018 Europe Air, Land, & Sea Workshop + HSR™ Training in London, where they will discuss, amongst others, the Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting case and the survivors or the Tunis Bardo Museum Attack, highlighting the unique and positive influence that company Care Team/Special Assistance Team members have on the long-term healing of survivors and family members.

For Health and Safety related inquiries, please address your emails to healthandsafety@intercruises.com and someone from the team will reply as soon as possible.

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