Safety is a perpetual effort

Maersk Container Industry is continuously adapting and learning from incidents to cultivate an all-round safety culture. In Qingdao, a friendly basketball match symbolises the never-ending task of keeping people safe.

Basketball Qingdao
The match symbolises the closeness between two safety stakeholders that have led into social interactions, and the significance of this partnership is not lost on the men.

We live safety

We want our employees and contractors to be out of harm’s way at work, and their families to trust that we’ll bring them home. And we want our customers and partners to be confident that we strive to keep lives and assets out of risk, no matter where they are.

On a hot, dusty weekend afternoon in Qingdao, China, staff from the Maersk Container Industry Qingdao are gearing up for a friendly basketball match against their opponents – the local fire-fighting team. Nearby, within factory compounds, a fire-truck purchased and installed by MCI sits on daily standby.

The match symbolises the closeness between two safety stakeholders that have led into social interactions, and the significance of this partnership is not lost on the men. With the Maersk Group’s Global Safety Day just round the corner on April 28, it highlights the work being done across the company to make sure everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.

Factory Qingdao - Maersk safety

The nature of our heavy industrial operations in a hazardous environment presents a risk and we as an employer and our employees must always take the proper precautions and cannot afford to relax. Safety requires constant effort. It is a perpetual job.

SØREN HENRIKSEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MCI QINGDAO

SØREN HENRIKSEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MCI QINGDAO

MCI has cultivated a partnership with the local fire-fighting team because the latter is often called upon to participate and advise when drills are held. The firetruck is an investment by MCI, after a fire incident over a year ago demonstrated that circumstances such as traffic and the city’s infrastructure pose a risk to immediate action when an emergency occurs. The truck being present on site can save time from delays caused by congested roads to the factory.

A continuous effort across the Group

As highlighted in the Group Sustainability Report 2015, safety is the most material sustainability issue within the Group. Two areas take precedent with targets to reach zero – work-related fatalities and major oil spills.

Factory Qingdao - Maersk safety
Factory Qingdao - Maersk safety

The importance of avoiding injuries and fatalities within the group is the most important task for all business units.

BENT NIELSEN, VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE GROUP SAFETY COMMITTEE

In 2015, there were 7 fatalities. In 2014, 11 fatalities occurred. The Report states that the Group will not consider our efforts adequate until accidents of this kind are eliminated from our activities.

“The importance of avoiding injuries and fatalities within the group is the most important task for all business units,” says Bent Nielsen, Vice Chairman of the Group Safety Committee, which last year received increased empowerment and license to conduct safety reviews across the business.

Addressing the increase in Lost-time injury frequency

Across the Group, the number and frequency of Lost-time injury frequency (LTIf) improved in 6 of its businesses for 2015 compared with 2014. LTIf refers to the rate of time that is lost in operations due to injuries or fatalities. All business units have a focus on driving down these and raising safety awareness.

According to 2014 - 2015 data from the Committee, MCI’s LTIf has gone up from 1.98 in 2014, to 2.88 in 2015. This increase is attributed to increased production in the company’s new factory in Chile, necessitating a period of adjustment among new workers, with a majority of cases categorised as minor injuries such as cuts and bruises.

Casper Jacobsen, Global HSSE coordinator at MCI says: “This year, we expect the number of LTIs to drop significantly, especially with the stabilising of operations in our new factory in Chile, and also, our push to generate an all-round safety culture.”

Factory Qingdao - Maersk safety
Ricky Liu, Senior manager for the health, Safety and Environment department at MCI Qingdao, surveys the factory grounds. Liu’s team comprises 14 members who work with colleagues across the factory.

Safety as a way of life at MCI Qingdao

In December 2014, a fire incident prompted the evacuation of the premises at MCI’s Qingdao factory, with local fire-fighters called in to put out the fire and assess procedures. After an investigation, it was ascertained that all safety procedures and practices were followed, the fire having been caused by flammable material that was ignited and sucked into a filter unit. Mitigation steps were improved and the filter replaced within 48 hours.

It was due to the keen eye of an employee who spotted the fire’s starting glow, that enough time was allowed for evacuation and no further damage inflicted.

Ricky Liu, Senior manager for the health, Safety and Environment department at MCI Qingdao, says: “We do everything by the book, with extra care. Our motto is – If you see it, you own it. Safety isn’t just something that affects me, it is a promise that I am bound to fulfil.”

Liu’s team comprises 14 employees working with their colleagues across the factory, carrying out risk assessment, hazard analysis, training, daily safety patrols and assessment, and aiming to improve working procedures.

Besides stringent tests that employees have to pass, a safety culture is also build on trust and practice, with drills to ensure workers know the procedures in an event of an emergency, and an all-round understanding that the focus is always on safety across the board, from new inductees to top management.