Safety on the Sea

Ocean Transport—Safety Initiatives for Vessel Operations

Aware that ensuring the safety of vessel operations underpins its business activities, the NYK Group has established the Safety and Environmental Management Committee chaired by the president. Under this committee's guidance, personnel offshore and onshore make a concerted effort to maintain and improve a range of safety initiatives. The main focus of such efforts is vessels, which often operate in remote locations.

Safety and Environmental Management Committee

Each year, the Safety and Environmental Management Committee chaired by the president reviews activities for the previous year and sets the next year's targets and guidelines. In addition, subcommittees for specific types of vessels formulate specific activity guidelines based on the committee's decisions and move safety activities into implementation.

Safety Promotion System


To keep safety efforts consistent despite this remoteness, we believe that ensuring everyone involved shares goals rigorously and sustains efforts day in and day out through PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycles is paramount. Because this process calls for systemisation, we input information on accidents and problems into a database. We then decide strategies and countermeasures for improvement activities by using vessels' downtime as a measurement of the degree to which we have achieved safe vessel operations and by analysing the risks latent in problems that have arisen. We communicate these strategies and countermeasures to all operating vessels' seafarers through a monthly magazine, Calm Sea, which provides safety information. Further, our unique NAV9000 audits check that frontline operations are advancing safety activities steadily.


CALM SEA that is published every month since 2003.

Safety Campaigns

Stepping Up Safety Campaigns

To entrench safety campaigns in the NYK Group’s culture and heighten their effectiveness even further, the Group conducts safety advancement campaigns regularly. By discussing and taking measures based on the main theme of each campaign, which reflects a current priority, personnel engaged in onshore and offshore operations deepen mutual understanding. We have devised ways to bring campaign activities as close as possible to frontline operations. For example, during campaign periods, many executives visit vessels to talk directly with crew members about safety. Also, we hold gatherings aimed at furthering discussion with representatives of shipowners and ship-management companies.
In addition, we strengthen safety campaigns by immediately distributing and sharing the latest information through a range of day-to-day communication tools. For example, Casualty Report carries flash reports about accidents, Safety Bulletin explains strategies for preventing accidents and problems, Marine Engineering Information specialize in technical matters, and Security Information focuses on security issues.

* Safety campaigns
We 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.

Use of Downtime to Measure Safety

We use the time that ships are stopped due to accidents or problems as a means of measuring the degree to which we have achieved safe ship operation. Our sea and land operations work together to bring us closer to the target of ‘zero’ downtime.

Downtime Data


Near Miss 3000 Activities

Advancing Near Miss 3000 Activities

Our Near Miss 3000 activities aim to prevent accidents. Under the slogan ‘DEVIL Hunting!’, since 2006 the NYK Group has been working with partner shipowners and ship-management 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 ‘devils.’

In these training 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.
Near Miss poster

Number of Near Misses Reported


Fiscal 2015 Near Miss Causes


Marine Accident Readiness

Continuing Emergency Response Exercises

Crisis-response Drill
The Group provides regular drill to increase employees' ability to respond to accidents. For greater realism, each training exercise involves scenarios with different vessel types and problems. Cooperation from the Maritime Bureau within Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), in addition to the Japan Coast Guard and the Maritime Disaster Prevention Center, enabled this drill to be realistic and practical. We will further advance its safety management systems, positioning navigational safety as its most important task, and will aim to be a leading company in the safety field.

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.


CASE STUDY Advance Safety×The NYK Group

Eliminating Human Error
-Using Creative Solutions to Reduce Crew Members' Workload

We aim to create a safe working environment by cultivating a safety-focused mindset among crew members so that they continue to perform day-to-day duties with an awareness of the need to prevent collisions, equipment breakdowns, and work accidents.

Aiming to Reduce Accidents through POWER+


As an addition to its wide variety of quality assurance activities, the NYK Group began POWER+ nextgeneration 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 ship-management 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. We plan to implement the activities in all of our operating vessels with a view to bolstering safety even further.

Transition of number of accidents (image)

Slogan:We are one team and one family

Example of Activities


While on board, each crew member carries a Safety Passport, which includes family photographs and a declaration of commitment to conducting operations safely. Each crew member introduces themselves and their family members to encourage a family-like environment at sea.

A Chief Officer's Opinion

When crew members on board show family photographs to each other, it helps us to relax, and conversations become lively. I think these opportunities to get to know one another better have made us more considerate towards each other and heightened safety awareness; a crew member is more likely than before to alert another if spotted not wearing safety equipment. Also, discussions at morning meetings before beginning work have become wide-ranging and lively. To make sure we return happily to our families after working on board, we cannot compromise the safety of vessel operations. POWER+ reminds us of the important things we tend to forget.

CASE STUDY Students×The NYK Group

Fostering crew members
who implement safe vessel operations

Shortage of Seafarers Continues

Given that the number of vessels worldwide is set to continue rising, the recruitment of capable seafarers is becoming a pressing task for international shipping companies. In response, we are focusing on a strategy of fostering future crew members by educating them during their student years. We provide these trainees with rigorous onshore and onboard training and a full set of self-study tools. This training requires time and investment compared with the recruitment of crew members as needed. However, our training secures crew members who understand our corporate culture and have a strong sense of loyalty, thereby heightening our crew member retention rate.

History of Maritime Academies in the NYK Group

Established in the Philippines in 2007, the NYK-TDG Maritime Academy (NTMA) has produced more than 600 seafarers since its first batch of students graduated in 2011. At NTMA, to ensure classes provide advanced crew-member training, the curriculum reflects the high standards that the NYK Group requires, and the Group's navigation officers and engineers conduct certain classes. Further, to improve basic math and science skills, we have introduced an original educational programme from Japan and provide cadets with an environment for self-study. Other initiatives include collaborating with local banks to increase support for students with limited financial resources. Also, we make efforts to keep outstanding students in employment.

By around 2020, we expect the first batch of graduates to be working as captains, chief engineers, and sales support and ship management personnel and serving in senior positions on board high-risk vessels. By establishing a system based on long-term employment and continuing development, the NYK Group will maintain and enhance its overall ability to transport any cargo safely and reliably.

Cadets undergoing training

NYK-TDG Maritime Academy

Messages from Graduates

Jose Tosoc Jr.
Second Engineer
One of the First NTMA Graduates


As a member of NTMA's first batch of graduates, I am currently serving as a second assistant engineer on board a chemical tanker. During training, we were told repeatedly that 'NTMA is for training, vessels are the real field utilising the expertise, and attitude is what defines you'. Also, the NYK Group's Filipino crew members have a family-like unity. I think this is a strength that other shipping companies lack. All of us love our jobs and work with pride. To be among the first batch of graduates is both an honour and a responsibility. I want to adhere to NTMA's mission and vision and support all of the activities of NTMA and the NYK Group. I will happily tackle any initiatives that contribute to the Group's growth.

Anthony Aguilar
Third Officer
One of the First NTMA Graduates


NTMA not only provided us with a curriculum that included navigation, vessel handling, and arts and science subjects but also gave us guidance on becoming personnel who are suitable for the positions of officer and engineer in the NYK Group. On board vessels, we are treated like family. After graduating from NTMA, without having first served as a junior officer, I was appointed third officer. My duties are very challenging, but I have been able to overcome the pressure and difficulties thanks to the patient help of senior colleagues, who are like older brothers. Although I still have a lot to learn, I will do my best to be a responsible officer and contribute to the Group's further growth.

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