Best practice results in landmark 2.5 million manhours without LTI


At the end of September 2017, Targe had, after almost 24 years operating at BP’s Hound Point Forties Filed Terminal and more than 27,000 tug assists, achieved 2.5 million man-hours without a single Lost Time Injury, i.e. making the seemingly impossible, possible.   The following notes are intended to highlight some of the core values that underscore Targe’s safety ethos.


It is difficult to link specific elements to the development of a safety culture, but here are a few ideas which could point in the right direction:

  1. Employ the right people: recruiting interviews are not all revealing, but Targe’s method is to conduct interviews on board and to let the existing crew members engage in conversation and walk rounds with the candidates.
  2. Once engaged, that’s it: work with the employees to bring them on.  To quote a President of the USA, ‘If you make a bad choice, hug it all the tighter’.
  3. Leadership needs to earn the respect, trust and loyalty of the crews which exists on a two way street. Respect and trust the crew and they will respect and trust you.   Ensure they have Management’s full support creating one team with a common goal.
  4. Promote excellence to get excellence: people rise to challenges and take pride in what they do, and in turn in the company.
  5. Ensure you have people in senior roles who actually understand the challenges seafarers face.
  6. We try to make it clear that profitability which is required of a successful (and ongoing!) operation is best achieved through a partnership of owners/employees/customers.
  7. As Admiral Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations USN, identified in his recent review of the Pacific 7th Fleet, some of its deeply rooted problems came in part from the piling on of  meaningless duties that contributed nothing to operational effectiveness, and on the contrary smothered initiative’.

Targe’s pledge to its seafarers has been and continues to be to protect them, as far as is practicable, from the myriad of senseless demands which come from a range of bodies, governmental to commercial that do not contribute to safety and efficiency.

  1. Conversely, Targe embraces those ideas and initiatives that have had, or could have, a positive effect on outcomes.

The guidelines above govern our style of operation: in concrete terms, Targe

  • Fully participates in risk assessments from pre work hazard identification, to pre-planned work process risk assessments and tool box/safety briefs; permits for intrusive or hazardous activity; dynamic risk assessments to identify migrating risks with ‘stop the job ’; all crew members taking part in and being  part of learning and improving upon the safety culture.  Indeed, we introduced RA’s 5 years before BP, the H&S Executive and MCA (then MSA),
  • Ensures crew competences are reviewed and help is provided where doubt exists.
  • Engages everyone in safety management system reviews so that each takes ownership of it;  as a senior BP Auditor observed  “Targe’s SMS is the best I have seen in my 40 year career;  it is tailored to the size and complexity of the operation:  it is top down driven with everyone using it as a tool, rather than mere compliance.”
  • As Bob Malone observed in his letter appointing Targe as BP Shipping’s inaugural CEO’s Partner of the Year . . . “Targe’s  management has a personal and inclusive relationship with its seafarers,  and this, together with specialist training, is an inspiration to us all”  (paraphrased)

For further details please contact Tom Woolley, Managing Director of Targe Towing.

Telephone:   01674-820234

E-mail :

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