South Africa’s Port of Ngqura has achieved a safety record of one million hours of work without a disabling injury. This achievement confirms the port’s commitment to a safe environment for employees, but also to customers, given that operations are often hampered by extremely windy conditions, it said in a statement.
A disabling injury is classified as one that results in permanent or temporary disability from the day of the incident, impairing a person’s ability to perform the tasks he or she had been doing prior to the injury.
“Under the banner of our ‘Zero Harm’ safety campaign, we’re on a serious quest to eliminate safety incidents and maintain safety as our highest operational priority,” said Mpatisi Pantsi, safety, health, and environmental manager at the port.
The Zero Harm initiative was adopted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) after a trainee marine pilot died when she fell from a boarding ladder at the port of Durban in 2017.
The port authority has also stepped up its Visible Felt Leadership activities such as Orange Overall days and Blue Overall days, when managers engage with employees in their operational environments to understand challenges they face daily.
Pantsi says the port’s safety record is due to, among other issues, effective communication and robust safety awareness among staff. “We ensure that risk assessments are conducted for each work area and that risks are communicated to all employees. Our work instructions are in place and our workforce is competent and medically fit. We’ve entrenched a safety culture with safety talks every morning, weekly safety symposiums, and incident recalls – learning from incidents that have occurred in other ports.”
The Port of Ngqura has also been recognised with a Silver Membership Award at a recent TNPA safety competition – along with the ports of Mossel Bay and Saldanha – a zero disabling injury frequency rate for one year.
It is also working towards ISO 45001 accreditation.