Safety activist in fight for lives

When a massive marble slab crashes into a quay from an overloaded container, or a truck is crushed by a falling box, the port operator might be tempted to downplay it.

Maersk 2017

But those days are gone at APM Terminals. It took the extraordinary step earlier this year of appointing an internal “safety activist” in a bid to shake things up on its quays and in its yards the world over.

Martin Poulsen, the company’s former Europe CEO and an APM Terminals veteran, was charged with ending fatal accidents in a move thought to be a first for the port industry.

“We’ve got to be completely frank and transparent about this because if you want credibility, then people must believe you’re doing this for the right reasons – you can’t sugar-coat it,” Poulsen, 41, says.

Given free rein, he’s now investigating serious incidents, simplifying health and safety procedures and doing everything he can to get all APM Terminals staff on the same safety page.

“If people are not committed to safety, then there’s no place for them in our organisation,” Poulsen says bluntly.

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Louise Münter

Louise Münter

Head of Corporate Communication, Energy division


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