Northport – The First Malaysian Port To Be Awarded Iso 45001:2018
Northport (Malaysia) Bhd, (“Northport”), a member of MMC Group, recently clocked another impressive milestone in its 118-year history when it became the first Malaysian port to be awarded the ISO 45001:2018 standard. The Lloyd’s Register’s Assessor Manager/Country Lead for Malaysia, En. Mohamed Azhar Sulaiman officially handed over the ISO certificate to Northport’s CEO, Dato’ Azman Shah Mohd Yusof in a ceremony held at Northport on 27 May 2019.
“As one of Malaysia’s busiest ports, we saw the need for our workplace to be certified with ISO 45001 to proactively improve our occupational health and safety performance in preventing injury and ill-health at the workplace. The efforts toward the certification is also a testament of Northport’s commitment to protect our employees, customers, contractors, service providers and port users from work-related accidents,” said Dato’ Azman.
Mohamed Azhar said that Northport has put in tremendous effort to operate its business and activities to the highest level of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management systems across its organisation. Through Lloyd’s Register’s assessments, Northport employees were able to adapt and implement such a robust management system.
ISO 45001 is an ISO standard for management systems of OSH that helps organisations to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions. It was developed by a committee of OSH experts and followed other generic management system approaches such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. It took into account other International Standards in this area such as OHSAS 18001, the International Labour Organisation’s ILO-OSH Guidelines, various national standards and the ILO’s international labour standards and conventions.
According to Dato’ Azman, Northport’s journey towards ISO 45001:2018 certification began in 2012 when its Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) performance was showing a very alarming deteriorating trend. The journey towards HSE Excellence was meticulously crafted and was divided into three phases within a period of nine years with the focus to improve HSE culture and eventually to be recognised locally and internationally. The effort was further intensified after MMC Group took over the ownership Northport in early 2016. Under the new leadership, the initiatives in getting the certification were strengthened and immediate returns from the efforts was enjoyed with the improvement of more than 20% on Lost Time Injury (LTI) performance.
“Northport has developed several initiatives and programmes that generated positive outcomes including reducing hazards and OSH risks, in the quest for providing safer and better workplace. In line with the Government’s plan to improve the safety level across the entire industries, Northport is now being recognised as an organisation supporting this plan and this has been proven through the certification approval,” said Mohamed Azhar.
Among the HSE initiatives undertaken by the port is the Health, Safety and Environment Omission Notification (“HON”). HON is a mechanism designed to enforce safety compliance on the port users, contractors and employees within the port premises.
According to Dato’ Azman, prior to HON, the port had a Non-Conformity Report (NCR) as an enforcement tool which was not as effective. When they launched HON in February 2017, Northport saw an immediate drop in the number of incidents and accidents.
UCUX or ‘You See You Act’ is another initiative introduced by the Company to promote and enhance incident reporting. UCUX is a programme in which incident alerts can be immediately done through the use of mobile phone via calls or text messages and action will be taken immediately.
To further enhance its safety measures, Northport has imposed the usage of vehicle stickers on all vehicles entering the port premises to ensure that only authorised vehicles are allowed to enter the port area. Northport has also introduced a shuttle service arrangement for the crew of vessels intending to exit or enter the port area.
A speed limit of 35 km per hour was also imposed on all motorised vehicles in the port area. Enforcement officers equipped with speed gun devices are placed at accident-prone areas as part of its strict implementation of the regulation to curtail the risk of traffic incidences within the port footprint.
Drug and substance abuse are also taken seriously by Northport. The Company has established a policy with regards to drugs, alcohol and illegal substance to preserve the health, safety and welfare of its employees and other port users.
To ensure thorough monitoring and to strengthen the security of the port area, Northport has enhanced its terminal surveillance with the use of a drone and closed-circuit surveillance system. The new system utilises the latest in video surveillance technology, including facial recognition, license plate character identification, intrusion detection and night viewing. The monitoring and controlling of the system are centralised at Northport’s new Surveillance Centre which houses high resolution intelligent large screen panels with a customisable configuration that receives its feed from 158 cameras from various locations around Northport. This fully integrated closed-circuit surveillance system is built on smart software that is scalable and upgradeable with features to fulfil the growing and evolving security challenges of the future.
“With its full implementation effective 1 May 2019, Northport is the first Malaysian port to use the integrated drone-closed circuit surveillance system round-the-clock to fulfil various port security needs including general surveillance, parameter monitoring and detection of suspicious activity,” said Dato’ Azman.
To ensure that the new initiatives and guidelines are well acknowledged by the internal and external stakeholders, Northport is consistently communicating its HSE related programmes through quarterly engagement sessions with the Company’s strategic stakeholders and industry players, including haulage operators, contractors, service providers, port tenants, industry associations, Government agencies and other port users.
The strong tone from the top is another push factor that further intensified Northport’s initiatives. Several MMC Group’s HSE initiatives were implemented by Northport to fulfill its commitment in supporting the Group’s initiatives for the benefits of all stakeholders, including Northport employees. Regular management walkabouts are also conducted to ensure all safety regulations are observed by Northport’s employees, contractors, service providers and port users. Apart from that, Northport is also conducting mega toolbox talks before the start of every shift to remind its employees to always observe existing HSE rules, regulations and guidelines as well as to cascade and communicate the new ones and to share lessons learnt from previous incidents.
To further infuse HSE culture among its employees, Northport observes two HSE programmes every year, in conjunction with the World Day for Safety and Health at Work in April and MMC Group HSE Week in October. During both programmes, Northport acknowledges its safety performers with “Best Safety Performer Awards” and “UCUX Award”. “Best Contractor Award” is also awarded to its contractors and service providers for their excellent safety performance.
“The top management of Northport has shown strong leadership, interest and commitment to ensure utmost implementation and continual improvement of the OSH management system. Moreover, adequate resources were evident for the establishment, implementation, maintenance and continual improvement of the OSH management systems,” said Mohamed Azhar.
Northport’s continuous efforts in enhancing the safety of its employees, reduce workplace risks and create a better and safer working condition has earned them significant recognition. In 2016, Northport, together with Port Klang Authority and Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd, received the APSN Green Port Award System (GPAS), in conjunction with APEC Port Services Network (APSN) Workshop on Safety of Dangerous Goods at Ports. The award was given based on several selection criteria which included compliance with regulations set by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia (DOSH), constant promotion and communications on safety practices as well as demonstrating visible leadership commitment towards safety and health.
Northport also won the Gold Award (Class 2) Occupational Safety and Health from the Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH) for 2017. The award was presented in recognition of Northport efforts in maintaining a high standard of OSH at work, as well as the safety and health best practices in the Logistics and Transport category. It was a significant recognition of Northport’s continuous improvement in OSH after the port was awarded a Silver Award in the same category during the previous year’s award event.
“Attaining ISO 45001:2018 certification is evidence of Northport’s continuous effort towards HSE excellence and the certification is an explicit endorsement of the Company’s desire to achieve the best in everything we do. As TeamNorthport, we strive through thick and thin together and this achievement is undeniably a team effort, through great teamwork by passionate, committed staff of Northport,” said Dato’ Azman.