On Monday, 2nd May 2022, the Management, and a cross section of Staff of Meridian Port Services Ltd (MPS) came together to celebrate the International Workers’ Day with a commemorative session to mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The theme for the day was “Safety by CHOICE, not by CHANCE”. The event also saw representatives from the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA) including the Port Security Manager, Colonel Emmanuel Nyanteh gracing the occasion.
To kickstart the day, the staff engaged in a physical work out session to strengthen the body. This was then followed by a Rescue Drill where the Safety team took lead to demonstrate the process of rescuing an operator stuck on a Ship to Shore (STS) Gantry Crane during operational hours.
The essence of this drill was to identify all existing gaps, thoroughly analyse and come up with corrective measures to fine tune the rescue procedure. The safety team proved their merit by showing knowledge of the situation and approached the mission with tact.
In a key safety note address on the theme, the Quality, Health, Safety, Security and Environment (QHSSE) Manager, Mr. Kingsley Ameyaw indicated that, the choice of the theme “Safety by CHOICE, not by CHANCE” is to ensure accident and fatalities are prevented at workplace and to celebrate the positive safety & health culture needed to drive MPS’ QHSSE journey forward.
He also explained what constituted a positive safety culture and noted that MPS possess a positive safety culture.
“Top Management have committed themselves to prevent accidents and fatality in the terminal by ensuring that there is safe environment for workers by implementing the following which is in line with the Company’s Occupational Health and Safety Management plan. By this, Management is leading by example, and we encourage employees to do same.”
- Integrated Management Systems (IMS)
- External and internal IMS Audits
- Management Safety Walk
Workers won’t buy-in to safety if they don’t see policies and procedures being followed by their superiors. Safety is more than talking the talk—it is walking the walk.
He added that safety is more than just talking. Building positive safety & health culture is an essential part of workplace success and as such, every employee has a specific role to play in building positive safety & health culture at the Terminal.
PRE-LAUNCH OF MPS LEAN PROGRAM
Commenting on the theme, The Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Curtiss Dakpogan emphasised that Safety is something that one must think about every day, “Each day, you need to ask yourself, if there is something that you can choose to do to make your working environment safer for yourself and others.”
On the deployment of the MPS Lean Program, Mr Dakpogan said that the program is an opportunity for everyone to personally grow.
“Lean is a journey that we are launching is about helping us to develop the right mindset, work effectively, eliminate waste and grow collectively. To ensure its success I would ask us all to be open minded.”
On his part, the Operations Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Ohene Addo elaborated on various activities that amount to leaving safety to chance and asked that situations should be avoided. “It is important for pre-checks to be done within the core operational environment. “Let us remember that henceforth Safety is no longer by chance. For our operational workers, please ensure that you get the much-needed rest when off duty as it is critical in accident prevention.”
The representative from the Fire and Safety Department of GPHA on behalf of their head, Mr. Edmund Heyman praised the QHSSE Team for the work done to maintain high safety standards within the Terminal.
“The Safety Department team deserves commendation from us all because they are doing a great job. Let me disclose that in our external engagements especially outside Ghana, the Port of Tema is renowned for the high level of safety applied in operations due to Policies MPS has deployed in its operations. As you have heard, Safety is for everyone. Let us make it a culture to report an act that may be potentially unsafe including near misses and eschew any act that may be unsafe to build a collective safety culture.”
The Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mr. Mohamed Samara in his statement congratulated all employees for their hard work and dedication to their roles especially through the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“Today is a big day, it is a Workers Day, and we are celebrating the success that we have chalked in our work. I would like to show some appreciation to all of us. We have fared well out there. You realise that we could not have this gathering for 2 years because of Covid but we have been able to weather the storm very well through the various controls that were deployed, and I am happy that we managed to survive as a business and survive as individuals though out this pandemic. The key thing that we have learned through this is to keep the hygiene level very high. Hygiene is necessary to ensure our sustainability for generations to come.”
In recognition of the World Safety Day, Mr. Samara described safety as an integral part of the MPS work culture.
“We want to celebrate our success with how far we have come with safety and affirm our commitment to higher safety going forward. With that also, we are launching a new training which is a training of the mind. In this regard, we will train our minds to be able to troubleshoot at all levels and all layers within the organisation. As we brainstorm together, lasting solutions will be found for identified problems. The essence of this is not just to work smarter but also to work together and share knowledge.”
He also acknowledged the support of the GPHA in all matters of safety and security within MPS Terminal which has led to the recognition of Tema Port as a model port for safety.
Department heads from the Human Resource, Finance and Asset Maintenance sections present took the opportunity to share words of encouragement with illustrative examples on the need to be safety conscious for the sustainability of life, livelihood, and property.