Best Safety Moment Awards Entry: Hutchison

Award Nomination:

The Port of Felixstowe is the biggest container port in the UK and welcomes up to 4000 visiting hauliers a day. In addition to collecting and delivering containers, drivers also collect and deliver unaccompanied trailers from the RoRo ferry service.

The Port can be a hazardous environment especially for pedestrians who may be in the container yards; in addition to visiting drivers there are up to 80 rubber tyred gantry cranes working alongside around 250 terminal tractors and trailers and it is a busy and sometimes congested area.

We therefore want visiting haulers to stay in their cabs during their visit and not get out in the container parks.

We do, however, recognise that they need to leave their cars to secure and release twistlocks and to adjust skeleton trailers so we need to provide areas for this to happen.

In support of this initiative, we have taken the following action.

  • Port induction videos and a driver test.
  • Mobile matrix signs reminding drivers of the requirements.
  • Haulier bays where they can safely adjust trailers and check twistlocks.
  • Briefings for port staff on why this initiative is being undertaken what they need to do.
  • An app for supervisors and managers to record noncompliance when drivers are found out of their vehicles in in correct areas.
  • A policy of exclusion from the Port for repeat offenders.
  • Repeated communications to local haulage companies and trade associations.
  • Haulier leaflets with key messages and maps.

Additional Information

Hutchison Ports operate around 50 ports across 5 continents (regions) and handle around 85 million TEU annually. There is a global Safety team which is supported by a safety committee (SAFCOM) chaired by the Global Head of Operations, with members from each region. The European delegate to SAFCOM is currently from Felixstowe.

Part of SAFCOM’s role is to review accidents and incidents and help set the global safety strategy and plan. HP has also developed Global Minimum Safety Standards (GMSS) that all Ports are obliged to follow.

Many of the more serious accidents that have happened over the years have involved workplace transport and to help support Ports, SAFCOM has been developing rules relating to the management of vehicles and pedestrians.

Ports must have detailed traffic management plans and must have measures in prevent unauthorised pedestrians and have safe systems of work for those who are authorised e.g. engineers.

To comply with GMSS BUs must manage visiting haulers.

At Felixstowe visiting drivers must watch at least 2 port videos before entering the Port. These were created by filming the journey around the port with a tractor unit fitted with a camera.

Once they have watched the videos they must take and pass a test of knowledge. They will only be granted a personalised ID entry card once they have passed the test. The card shows that they have passed.

About 7000 regular drivers were obliged to take the test when it was introduced, new drivers must do it before they enter the terminal and when ID cards are renewed regularly the test must be taken again. Any driver involved in an accident or incident may also be required to retake the test.

Drivers also receive a printed port map and safety rules.

All this material is available online through the Port’s booking website.

Haulier bays have been created around the parks using Armco barriers and road quality line markings.

Significant efforts have been made to communicate this programme to local hauliers both during meetings with organisations like the Port Users Association and in writing.

The material from the haulier app is monitored by a Senior Manager and if necessary, ID cards will be withdrawn for a short period for persistent noncompliance. When challenged most drivers are aware of the requirements and are generally reasonable about the policy.

This initiative is part of a wider programme to monitor pedestrians and is reviewed periodically.

As a result of this initiative there are notably fewer hauliers out of their cabs on the terminals and records show that noncompliance has dropped markedly.

All Ports are required to report on all traffic management measures to the global safety team and Felixstowe has been able to submit a suitable traffic management plan along with details of this and other initiatives which have been accepted as compliance with the GMSS.

Details of the Felixstowe plan have been used as a case study to support other Ports in the Group as they develop their own control measures.

This is a long term policy for HP and we will continue with the measures described above as well as continuing to develop, for example by the introduction of cab high check-in for RoRo hauliers later this year.

Managing workplace transport is a daily challenge we have plenty more to do but this programme is a step in the right direction.

The policy has not been with challenges especially as in the past hauliers have been out of their cabs acting as the unofficial banks person for the RTGs.