Safety on the Sea

Safety Initiatives of Vessel Operations

Based on our mission statement "Bringing value to life", the Group is playing a part in customers' supply chains and supports the daily lives of people. In the shipping industry where vessels, which are the frontline of safe operations, operate far away from shore offices, NYK believes that sharing the goals with everyone involved, steadily continuing the activities, and completing the PDCA cycle is paramount. The Group pursues safe operation from all aspects, such as maintaining a system that aims for zero accidents, implementing initiatives based on original safety standards, fostering human resources development, and preventing accidents before those occur by utilizing advanced technologies like ICT (information and communication technology).

Safety and Environmental Management Committee

Based on the awareness that ensuring safe vessel operations underpins the NYK Group's business activities, the Safety and Environmental Management Committee, chaired by the president, was established in 2001, and offshore and onshore personnel around the world make a concerted effort to promote the safety and environmental activities. Every year, the committee reviews the activities conducted the previous year and decides the activity policy and goals for the current year. Also, the activity policy decided by the committee is translated into specific activities by the sub-committees for each ship type and executed as safety enhancement activities for each ship.

Safety and Environmental Management Committee (SEMC)

  • *N-MEC Technology Committee
    The purpose of this committee is to review seafarer training policy and the knowledge and skills seafarers need for our vessels.
More information:

Downtime*1 Measurement

We use the downtime that ships are stopped due to accidents or problems as a means of measuring the degree to which we have achieved safe ship operation. All our employees work toward to the target of 'zero' downtime.

Trends in Downtime

  1. *1Downtime is the total duration in which vessel service has stopped due to a collision, grounding, engine accidents, etc.
  2. *2From 2020, the calendar year (CY) is used instead of the company’s fiscal year (FY).
    Thus, January-March 2020 data contained in FY2019 is also included in CY2020.

As one means of achieving the goal of "zero" downtime, the Group has conducted research into predicting and preventing ship equipment failures through the use of IoT and big data, and we have a system that enable onshore personnel to also support safe operations.

Number of SIMS*1 -equipped Vessels and Number of Anomaly Incidents

SIMS data for vessel machinery is analyzed to improve our ability to quickly detect signs of a potential ship mechanical accident, electrical leakage, fire, or other trouble.

  1. *1SIMS(Ship Information Management System)
    SIMS allows us to monitor in real time detailed data during navigation, starting with data from engines and all kinds of equipment through to vessel speed and vibration, as well as weather information like wind speed and tidal currents. All the data is shared between vessels and worksites onshore.
  2. *2From 2020, the calendar year (CY) is used instead of the company’s fiscal year (FY).
    Thus, January-March 2020 data contained in FY2019 is also included in CY2020.
More Information:

Safety Management System

In order to maintain the quality of the operational vessels, safety management is thoroughly enforced based on the Group's unique, standardized safety standards NAV9000.

Safety Campaigns

NYK regularly conducts safety enhancement campaigns to foster a corporate culture that embodies safety. Personnel engaged in onshore and offshore operations exchange opinions and deepen their mutual understanding about a main theme that is set based on current priorities. During the campaign period, many executives and employees visit vessels to talk directly with crew members about safety. Moreover, NYK creates opportunities for further discussion with representatives from shipowners and shipmanagement companies to get its safety activities to the frontline of vessel operations.
NYK strengthens its culture of safety through various materials, such as the company's "Casualty Report" for flash reports about accidents, "Safety Bulletin" for strategies to prevent accidents and problems, "Marine Engineering Information" for technical matters, and "Security Information" for security issues.

  • *Safety campaigns: "Remember Naka-no Se"(Summer season), "Sail on Safety"(Winter season)
    NYK hold safety campaigns twice a year, in summer and winter. Summer campaigns are based on the lessons learned from the stranding of the very large crude-oil carrier (VLCC) Diamond Grace in Tokyo Bay in 1997. Winter campaigns mainly focus on preventing marine accidents, including those resulting from rough winter weather. Executives and employees who visited vessels engaged in face-to-face dialogue to heighten awareness.

Competition for Brush Up on Safety Awareness

As a part of a safety campaign, we introduced a competition from fiscal 2017 for shipowners and shipmanagement companies inside and outside Japan. To enhance safety awareness of crew members, NYK recognizes shipowners and shipmanagement companies that proactively carry out their own safety promotion activities under the theme of "Brush Up on Safety Awareness."

Near Miss 3000 Activities

DEVIL Hunting!

Our Near Miss 3000 activities aim to prevent accidents. Under the slogan "DEVIL Hunting!", since 2006 the Group has been working with partner shipowners and shipmanagement companies to advance activities that are based on Heinrich's Law and which seek to nip accidents in the bud by identifying and dealing with the often over-looked precursors to accidents, or "DEVIL"
In these activities, our goal is to create environments that are safer and easier to work in by increasing crew members' safety awareness. Through the consistent performance of routine duties with an awareness of safety, crew members help prevent collisions, equipment breakdowns, and accidents during work.

  • *DEVIL Hunting!
    'DEVIL' is derived from 'Dangerous Events and Irregular Looks'. The purpose of these activities is to eliminate at the very early stages the precursors and factors to accidents before a major event occurs.

Number of DEVIL Reported

Calender 2020 DEVIL Causes

  • *From 2020, the calendar year (CY) is used instead of the company’s fiscal year (FY). Thus, January-March 2020 data contained in FY2019 is also included in CY2020.

Information Sharing between offshore and onshore by the newsletter "Calm Sea"

Up-to-date information, such as the degree of achievement of safe operations, examples of Near Miss 3000 activities, lessons learned from the accidents, and environmental measures are notified to the shipowners, shipmanagement companies, and all operational vessels through the monthly newsletter "Calm Sea", and information is shared between onshore and offshore personnel.


Marine Accident Readiness

Emergency Response Network

The Group has created an emergency response network based on four overseas regional blocs to be ready for maritime accidents and problems around the world.

Continuing Emergency Response Exercises

The Group regularly conducts crisis response drills in order to increase employees' ability to immediately respond to accidents. In order to conduct more realistic drills, the type and size of the vessel, details of the accident, and problem are varied each time. Moreover, operational vessels, shipmanagement companies, and a number of other affiliated parties such as government institutions and customers also participate in the drills. At the drill held in August 2018, members from the Maritime Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, 3rd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, and Maritime Disaster Prevention Center participated, and with the cooperation of the divisions involved within and outside these institutions, a practical drill was conducted. The 20th anniversary of the Diamond Grace accident was marked in 2017, and in order to prevent the lessons learned as a result of that accident from being forgotten, NYK has once again revised the response to accidents involving an oil spill. Importance is also placed on reviewing the drills, and we are working to strengthen the crisis response system based on feedback from affiliated parties.

CASE STUDY Advance Safety

Eliminating Human Error

Aiming to Reduce Accidents through POWER+

As an addition to its wide variety of quality assurance activities, the Group began POWER+ next generation safety activities to reduce vessel operating accidents and casualties caused by human error. We conduct these activities based on two basic tenets. First, rather than safety being merely adherence, individuals should take the initiative and choose to implement and establish safety. Second, individuals should show consideration for and help each other to cultivate a safety culture in which individuals act for the benefit of the group.

In 2015, NYK SHIPMANAGEMENT PTE.LTD. (NYK SM), which is the shipmanagement company at the core of the Group, began these activities. To inculcate the new basic tenets of the activities in all personnel, from management through to frontline personnel, NYK SM is conducting a range of different workshops, briefings, and educational ship visits. NYK SM's task is to develop the Group's safety culture not only by enhancing skills - which has been the main focus of previous initiatives - but by fostering a willingness among personnel to show consideration for and help each other.

Reflecting the high evaluation of these activities, we received the 2015 Seafarers Safety Initiative Grand Prize from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in September 2015.

Transition of number of accidents (image)

Slogan : We are one team-one family

Example of Activities

NYK SM's SMILE (Stay Motivated & Innovative - Let's Enjoy) campaign aims to improve communication and safety awareness among crew members, who are encouraged to share photographs of themselves smiling on operational vessels.