Safety & Environment

Managing Health, Safety and Environmental risks in the port requires robust systems that address the Harbour Board’s own responsibilities as well as facilitating effective HSE management amongst port users.

In late 2014, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance approved the Harbour’s integrated health, safety and environmental management system to the international standards OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001. This marked the culmination of a project to progressively harmonise the company’s approach to managing risks to people, property and the environment.

Formal management review of HSE activity was an essential part of this process. Under the integrated system the Board’s executive team now meet monthly, instead of quarterly, to evaluate recent activity and performance as well as provide top-level direction to the continued evolution of the system.

A key element of this evolution has been the process of simplifying and consolidating hundreds of internal procedures to make them easier to use and simpler to administer. This approach has already seen the number of controlled documents reduced by 80% without compromising the effectiveness of the management system.

Reducing the amount of time spent on administration and reinstating line management as the primary way in which the company discharges its HSE responsibilities has allowed the HSE Advisors to focus on providing specialist technical advice to any person that requires it and on the strategic management of risk in the uniquely complex operating environment of the Harbour.

To support this, every member of staff has completed an HSE competence and training needs assessment, designed to ensure that the company is equipping its most important resource, its personnel, with the tools needed to drive continuous improvements in performance.

Other elements of the system have also been enhanced. A web-based system for reporting adverse events – whether safety or environment related – has dramatically improved the quality of data being collected, allowing more effective investigations to take place in less time.

Effective management of adverse events poses a unique challenge in the port, where the majority of the activities causing them are carried out by port users operating outside our control. The Harbour has an important role as both an exemplar and champion of best practice that is reflected in its engagement approach to partnerships like the Port Safety Group, which facilitates knowledge sharing and joint problem solving.