By Godwon Oritse
NIGERIA’s leading container terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa on Wednesday marked its 2021 Annual Global Safety Day, with over 60 employees and contractor staff with outstanding safety records recognized during an onsite event in front of colleagues and invited dignitaries.
The event themed “Leading with Care” had in attendance the Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu; Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta, and other invited guests.
Terminal Manager, APM Terminals Apapa, Steen Knudsen, said in his welcome address that while the management staff have more influence over work design control, the colleagues at the quayside, yard, workshop and other units “are the experts and it is crucial that we all listen and learn from these colleagues with the highest potential for injury”.
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Steen said safety is a joint effort “no matter where you sit in the organization”.
“You are the experts that expose yourselves to the front-line activities of our business, hence I want to encourage you to continuously learn safety and adapt to best practices. Safety is not what we learn once; it is a continuous process.
“Do not hesitate to wave me or other management team members down to share your ideas, suggestions and the challenges you are facing when carrying out your duties. Our priority is to make sure everyone coming to work in our terminal return home to their families safe and sound,” Steen said.
Also speaking, the Head of Safety, APM Terminals Apapa, Felix Ugwuagbo, said while safety remains a key priority at the terminal, all employees including senior management team members must be diligent in observing relevant safety measures at all times.
An employee, Keni Ebiowei who shared his experience at the event, also emphasized the need for every worker to take responsibility for safety at the terminal.
“My experience has taught me to believe that safety should be first as I carry out my responsibility. As a matter of fact, it should not be a management policy again; it should be individual responsibility,” Ebiowei said.
The Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu, commended APM Terminals Apapa for raising the bar in port operation and port safety in Nigeria.
“APM Terminals is the largest container handling company in the whole of Nigeria. We want to particularly salute you for all the efforts you have put in place to ensure that the premier port keeps ranking first in areas of cargo handling, cargo integrity and safety for all the people who are coming into the terminal. Today, we have the opportunity to see people behind the scene and I particularly appreciate what you are doing today.
“It is not every time we get to see the handlers, the drivers, hence we are using this opportunity to celebrate those who are not always visible. Thank you for keeping the premier port safe. Thank you for keeping APM Terminals safe. Thank you for ensuring that we are having safety practices that are of global best standards,” Olotu said.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of certificates of recognition to outstanding workers by the Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta, while sharing a strong and valuable reminder to the team.
“Remember, while you are being recognized today for your safety achievements, you are also setting the bar higher and must outperform yourself tomorrow.” Malanta said.