Training that makes a life and death difference

Since Maersk Training in Chennai, India, opened its doors to external clients in 2009, the facility has grown to a point where almost half of its business today is driven by non-Maersk clients.

"Businesses are not only looking at profits, but at attaining the goal of no accidents in the workplace," says Captain Satya Mitra Bagga.

Fuelling the growth are its maritime safety courses, where revenue from external clients has more than quadrupled in the last three years.

“We don’t want to go to clients who are only doing it for lip service. We do business with clients who really believe that this training makes a life and death difference for their people.”

A former seafarer who traded in the ocean for the classroom in 2007, Captain Satya Mitra Bagga acknowledges that Maersk’s reputation as a safe and responsible employer, together with its experience in promulgating a safety culture, is a big reason that clients come to them.

Maersk’s safety footprint
“Clients are very open to hearing from us. They know that we are very good at safety, and expect that the same things we have done for Maersk to make it safe we could impart to them as well,” Bagga notes, as he points out that the demand for behavioural and technical safety courses from non-Maersk companies significantly increased since opening the training centre to third-party companies in 2009.

For Maersk Training, customising solutions for clients with employees who work in unique or dangerous work environments is a welcome opportunity and one in which the company is happy to take part. This has led to the introduction of more technical safety courses such as the well-received Handling of Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) course for container freight stations.

Introduced in 2011, the Handling of Hazardous Materials course teaches employees who work in container freight stations how to deal with goods that are on the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) list.

A safe business is good business
As the training centre welcomes more and more clients concerned for their employees’ safety, Bagga explains:

“Businesses are not only looking at profits, but are coming back with the goal of no accidents in the workplace. Yes, they want to make money, but at the same time they should have no accidents. They feel their own clients would not want to relate to them if they are not safe, and they are coming back to the starting point by saying ‘okay, then let’s be safe’.”