Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Takin' A Dump

......A Document Dump That Is....

Yesterday was, without question, the biggest news day of the millenium so far here in Lotusland.

And the News Herd and every PR spincycler in town knew that it would be for weeks (witness the build up to the 'Trial' over the weekend).

So, why, when he has apparently been sitting on it for weeks, did Mr. Hahn and B.C. Ferries suddenly decide to dump George Morfitt's safety report (pdf), which contains 70 pages and 41 safety recommendations (and this is with terms of reference that did NOT include the recent disasters involving the 'corporation') yesterday?

And why, exactly, was Mr. Hahn "unavailable" to go on Michael Smyth's radio show last night?


Does this mean that, unlike, say, Keith Baldrey, Mr. Smyth doesn't get reassuring phone calls in the middle of the night from Mr. Hahn when things go wrong, and/or that he doesn't get to take cozy, pre-arranged flights to nowhere with Mr. Hahn either?

Or maybe it was just that Mr. Hahn was actually hanging around all those cameras outside the courtroom in New Westminster hoping for a photo-op that wouldn't have words like this, taken directly from Mr. Morfitt's report, wrapped around it:

B.C. Ferries should:
· carry out a comprehensive review of the Safety Management System (SMS) to determine
which areas are functioning effectively and which areas need improvement;

· improve existing training and orientation processes to ensure they are sufficient to increase
knowledge and awareness of the SMS across the organization, especially among vessel
Officers and Terminal Directors and Managers to ensure they have “bought into” the SMS;

· direct the Internal SMS Verification Audit staff to monitor the level of buy-in to the SMS;

· consider adopting a standardized uniform program for shipboard and terminal employees to
make them easily recognizable by passengers; and

· work cooperatively with the British Columbia Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union to
continuously improve the SMS and operational safety.

Got that?

Those were five specific recommendations that make it quite clear that Mr. Morfitt is concerned that Mr. Hahn's corporate culture may be preventing the implementation of an effective 'Safety Management System' which is an industry-wide best practice (see: Bowland, Darin).

And this is not news when we've recently had a ferry sink! And a ferry lose power and drift over boats in a marina! And a shipboard fire! And a ferry pull away from the dock with a vehicle on the ramp!


BTW: My Dad, who worked the coastal waters all his life, has long said that having those big boats pass each other, at speed, while going through Active Pass is, like Mr. Morfitt alsosuggests in his report, a disaster waiting to happen.


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