National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA)

Play Video Andy Smith - President & Chief Executive Officer  

In June 2011, the BCMEA hosted the annual National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA) conference and annual meeting. NMSA represents the marine cargo handling industry in safety and health matters arising under various statutes. Capably organized and hosted by Vice President of Training Safety and Recruitment John Beckett, Employee Engagement Manager Suki Haché, and NMSA Meeting Coordinator Elaine Tendler, this three day event brought together employer and union maritime safety professionals from across North America with a record registration of over 125 attendees. The BCMEA was pleased to host the BCMEA/ILWU Joint Safety Committee union representatives from across BC.

The NMSA Technical Committee met on the 22nd in order to discuss regulatory issues and updates, major safety-related incidents in North America over the last 12 months, and to hear sub-committee reports on topics such as environmental issues, safety innovations and training initiatives. A welcome reception was held that evening on Vancouver Harbour Cruises tour ship Britannia, showcasing the beautiful natural scenery of the Canadian West Coast for the attendees. The theme of the 2011 conference was "Inspiring Innovation". In his welcome speech to the conference attendees, BCMEA president Andy Smith offered some insights into the nature of innovation as it relates to safety, and the elements involved in the calculation of safety, such as tolerance of risk and the imperatives of today’s society. He concluded with a call for innovative, creative solutions to safety issues in the commercial environment. Mr. Smith was followed by keynote speaker Jim B. Spigener of BST Solutions Inc., who offered an insightful analysis on the role of leadership in innovation, and innovation in leadership. Wayne Donnelly, president of Winnipeg’s New Heights Industries led a panel discussion on innovation in fall protection with BCMEA manager of Safety Systems Terry Bertram and APM Terminals West Coast Director of Safety Dave Turner. The afternoon sessions started with noted Canadian naval architect Robert Allan on the role of escort tugs in tanker safety, after which Henry Bowles of Bowles-Langley Technology presented an overview of his customized alertness testing software. Tom Ward, chief engineer at Ports America discussed the complex issues involved in the creation of automated terminals, and the day ended with an analysis of the difficulties of accurate container weight assessments by Ron Signorino of USMX/Blueoceana and Captain James J. McNamara of the National Cargo Bureau. On Thursday evening, the annual NMSA Safety Person of the Year award was presented to Marc MacDonald, Pacific Maritime Association Vice President of Accident Prevention, at a buffet dinner held at the Terminal City Club.

The final day featured Dr. Ray Baker's engaging and personal presentation on “A Modern Approach to Addictions”, followed by DP World Vancouver Operations Superintendent Jason Pratt's discussion of “Driving to Zero” in the area of workplace safety. The conference concluded with an innovative and entertaining improv performance presented by the Granville Island Theatre Sports comedy group.

The BCMEA and NMSA would like to express their appreciation to Platinum sponsors Hampton Roads Shipping Association and Neptune Bulk Terminals; Gold sponsors American Equity Underwriters, Global Container Terminals Inc., the Maritime Employers Association, The Mobile Steamship Association, the New York Shipping Association, Inc., the Pacific Maritime Association, Ports America, Signal Mutual Indemnity Association, and the United States Maritime Alliance; and Bronze sponsors Maersk Inc., the Midgulf Association of Stevedores , Pacific Coast Terminals, the Ports of the Delaware River Marine Trade Association, the Southeast Florida Employers Port Association, and Western Stevedoring. Thanks also go out to exhibitors Alais Ventures Ltd., Cargotec, DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Liebherr Canada, Nova Southeastern University's Project SEAMIST, Red Wing Shoes, Taylor Machine Works, and Worksafe BC.

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