The issue

Safety at work is a basic human right, and workplace conditions directly influence workers as well as their families and communities. Keeping our people safe is our first and primary responsibility as a company, a core value for us and an unequivocal expectation from our employees, their families and communities. 

 A.P. Moller - Maersk, however, still sees fatal accidents occurring as part of our operations as are other, less serious accidents.

What we do

Safety Differently is Maersk's new approach to safety, which we developed in 2018 and began implementing in 2019. The approach is based on our belief that safety reflects the presence of capacity to manage risk in variable conditions, and that it must be enacted through leadership responsibility towards workers rather than compliance alone. Even with many prevention measures in place, accidents may still happen due to uncertainty and change; and it is our people, not rules and instructions, that hold the insight as to how we can create a safe working environment.

In the same vein, our targets highlight not the absence of accidents, but the presence of capacity and effective controls to eliminate as many of the factors contributing to the occurrence of accidents as possible and managing the outcome of an accident.

The approach has three critical priorities:

  • Leadership accountability – all leaders must be fully and emotionally engaged in and committed to safety;
  • Capacity for safe operations – stronger focus on ensuring effective controls for high-potential events, in addition to ongoing efforts to reduce minor accidents; and
  • Building the right culture for safety – move away from a culture focused almost exclusively on individual actions and responsibility and more towards becoming a learning organisation, with organisational capacity and operational controls in place and with high levels of employee engagement. 

We will set this course to ensure that if and when we do have accidents, the organisation is able to ‘fail safely’ so that high-potential events do not result in permanent and life-changing injuries or fatalities

The change in our approach to safety does not mean that we discard our safety management systems and procedures. They are the backbone of a safe working environment and are based on years of experience and learning.

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