Select Location

Find an APM Terminal

Terminals
Luanda Namibe
Terminals
Bahrain
Terminals
Cotonou
Inland Services
Cameroon
Terminals
Pointe-Noire
Terminals
Port Said
Terminals
Tema
Inland Services
Ghana
Terminals
Conakry
Terminals
Aqaba
Inland Services
Jordan
Inland Services
Kenya
Terminals
Monrovia
Inland Services
Mali
Terminals
Apapa Onne
Inland Services
Nigeria
Terminals
Salalah
Inland Services
Saudi Arabia
Inland Services
Senegal
Inland Services
South Africa
Inland Services
Tanzania
Inland Services
Tunisia
Inland Services
UAE
Inland Services
Uganda
Inland Services
China
Terminals
Mumbai Pipavav
Inland Services
South Asia
Terminals
Yokohama
Terminals
Tanjung Pelepas
Terminals
Colombo
Terminals
Laem Chabang
Inland Services
Thailand
Terminals
Cai Mep
Terminals
Aarhus Kalundborg
Terminals
Helsinki Kotka
Terminals
Marseilles Fos
Inland Services
France
Terminals
Poti
Inland Services
Germany
Terminals
Vado Ligure
Inland Services
Netherlands
Inland Services
Romania
Inland Services
Spain
Terminals
Gothenburg
Terminals
Izmir
Terminals
Buenos Aires
Inland Services
Argentina
Inland Services
Brazil
Inland Services
Chile
Terminals
Moin
Inland Services
Ecuador
Terminals
Puerto Quetzal
Inland Services
Mexico
Terminals
Callao
Inland Services
Peru
Inland Services
Uruguay
190430-global-safety-day

Global Safety Day marks a shift in safety philosophy at APM Terminals

APM Terminals’ focus for this year’s Global Safety Day is ‘Learning from the way we work’. This is part of the company’s shift from traditional safety – which focuses on outcomes –  towards ‘Safety Differently’, which focuses on understanding and improving normal work processes to improve safety performance.

In support of Safety Differently APM Terminals is implementing ‘Learning Teams’ to ensure its employees’ knowledge and experience about safe working is used effectively. 

“Our employees working on the quayside, at container freight stations, and in warehouses and storage facilities to mention just a few, are the people with the highest injury potential,” says Ruth Gallagher, Global Head of HSSE Improvement at APM Terminals. “Our management have more influence over work design control and yet hold the least knowledge about how the daily work is done. Learning Teams will close this gap.”

Learning Team philosophy

The Learning Team philosophy is that the employee or worker is the solution, and not a person to ‘fix’ because they deviated from standard controls. “My role is to drive a shift in mindset to help us learn from workers on the front line and ask them to develop the solution,” she says. “Learning Teams are about building trust, not blame.” 

At APM Terminals, the Learning Teams established on Global Safety Day will be used to answer questions such as, ‘If work processes are time-sensitive, how can the company provide the necessary time to achieve the goals without slowing down the processes?' Or, ‘If front-line staff have to deal with complicated or unrealistic procedures, how can those procedures be changed to make them workable?' 

The concept is currently being trialled by APM Terminals with Learning Teams focusing on lashing safety. The job of lashing and securing containers remains largely manual and is a hazardous operation. Across APM Terminals’ operations last year, lashing injuries were the cause of more than 35% of all global incidents where a person was unable to return to work the next day. With vessels calling at its terminals growing larger, the risk of injury for lashers remains high.

Gembutsu approach

Leadership at a number of terminals were asked to complete GEMBA walks for lashing. The term GEMBA originates from the Japanese term gembutsu, meaning ‘real thing’. It is the term used to describe personal observation of work and is closely tied to the concept of Learning Teams and a fundamental part of APMT’s operating system. The focus of the walks was to see the process and validation of controls in action. During the walks, leaders held discussions with lashing teams to understand how to keep them safe.

Tools and tips have been developed to help leaders get the most out of the walks and an online survey tool records outcomes and supporting images. The walks helped achieve a better understanding of the tasks involved and identify improvements, which can then be shared with other terminals. The outcome also demonstrated an increased sense of ownership of the solution, which make any improvements more effective overall.

Proven effectiveness

With over 240 GEMBA walks now completed, the initial response has confirmed how effective this approach can be. For one leader, it was an opportunity to reinforce the company’s ethos that they will never put productivity before safety. According to Gallagher, “This type of message, coming directly from leadership at the very moment the stevedoring team have to make a call, has so much more impact than a safety discussion in a board room could ever have.”