APMT safety campaign slashes fatalities

APM Terminals has cut fatalities by 93% in three years. Credit: APM Terminals APM Terminals has cut fatalities by 93% in three years. Credit: APM Terminals
Industry Database

A safety campaign prompted by a “black year” for fatalities at APM Terminals’ global terminals in 2014 has led to a 93% decline in the number of fatalities in three years.

Speaking at Transport Events’ 5th Med Ports, Oriol Torradeflot, organisational development director at APM Terminals, explained how 14 fatalities in 2014 pushed the operator to undertake a comprehensive review of incidents.

The resultant programme, known as Fatal 5, supported a fall in fatalities to 10 in 2015, two in 2016 and one fatality in 2017 to date.

Five key problem areas were highlighted by the review: transport, working at heights (accounting for 25% of total fatalities), suspended loads, stored energy and control of contractors.

The Fatal 5 programme and assessment tool provides a vision and a set of requirements in three areas: safe systems, safe infrastructure and safe people. The first covers areas such as terminal rules, and up to date risk assessments. The second covers areas such as standard signalling and safety features in equipment. The last covers areas such as inductions and supervision.

“None of our terminals are complying with all of this yet,” said Mr Torradeflot. “This is a long journey; we are not looking at a star terminal, all are bring assessed to make progress.” The programme has already led to “a level of safety maturity in all our terminals”, he added.

The improvement plan contains an inverted pyramid of hard and soft actions that can be taken to improve safety at APM Terminals’ facilities. However, Mr Torradeflot said that the preference was for hard actions and that the operator prefers to measure safety activity rather than results. “The ultimate objective is to reduce risk in terminals and eliminate fatalities,” he said. “Anything related to safety is not quick or easy; it takes time.” With reference to that, Mr Torradeflot said that sharing, learning and engaging contractors are important factors.

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