Lagos — NIGERIA’s biggest port terminal operator, A. P. Moller Terminals Apapa weekend hosted truck drivers plying the terminal as part of events to mark its 2021 Global Safety Day.
The event, which held at the Lilypond Truck Park, Ijora, Lagos, also featured a series of safety talks and the presentation of over 1,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the truckers. The PPE was made up of 800 reflective vests, 800 packets of nose masks, 40 pairs of safety boots, 40 hard hats, 40 pieces of rain gear, 40 pairs of rain boots and 1000 key rings.
The APM Terminals Global Safety Day is an annual international awareness-raising campaign to promote safe and secure working environment for workers and other stakeholders at the port.
The theme of the 2021 Global Safety Day is “We Lead With Care”.
The Chief Operating Officer and Head of Terminal, APM Terminals Apapa, Steen Knudsen, said safety remains the operator’s watchword.
“Safety is our license to operate and we have kept that as our watchword. We want everyone that come to work in our premises to be safe and return home without any incident,” Knudsen said.
Addressing the truck drivers at the event, the Head of Safety, APM Terminals Apapa, Felix Ugwuagbo, said the event was organised to engage truck drivers with a view to reminding them of relevant safety rules and encourage them to abide by the rules.
“Most of you have wives and children and if you get injured, you won’t be able to work and provide financial support for your family members. So please obey safety rules to be able to work effectively,” he said.
Ugwuagbo highlighted the importance of the safety rules instituted at the terminal and which he said the truck drivers must adhere to.
“Truck drivers are very important to us. Without truck drivers, containers cannot be moved. Truck driving is a very delicate job in that, if care is not taken, anything can happen. The terminal is not a place you walk around as you please. It is a place that has heavy containers, equipment, and other heavy objects.
“At APM Terminals, we lay strong emphasis on the safety of individuals that work in the terminal. We cannot do it alone, and that is why we say truck drivers must be aware of our safety rules.
“For instance we emphasize the need to moderate your speed when you are driving within the terminal because you must be mindful of other drivers and of heavy equipment.
“Another rule is that smoking is not allowed in the terminal. One of the reasons why smoking is prohibited is because there are combustible items in the terminal and even in some of the containers that you carry.
“Also, we don’t allow people to walk or wander around the terminal. You are required to stay in your truck when you are inside the terminal. This is also a major safety requirement to avoid accidents and injuries in the terminal,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu, commended APM Terminals Apapa for engaging the truck drivers. She described the event as the first of its kind in the industry.
“I really want to thank APM Terminals for organizing this event. Being the leading terminal operator in the country, what they did today, if you look at all the terminals, none of them has ever done it before. This is the first of its kind. So for that reason, we appreciate them for the initiative. Also, we want to encourage APM Terminals to have this kind of event quarterly to educate truckers.
“There is a saying: ‘Health is Wealth’. You can only be active and energetic enough to work when you are healthy. Your truck must also be in good condition. If your truck is faulty, get it repaired. When you do this, it is for your own good,” Olotu, who was represented at the event by the Head of Safety, Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Oyedokun Oyewole, said.
The representatives of the truckers, who took turns to speak at the event, were all full of commendation for APM Terminals for prioritizing safety at its terminal and for organizing the Global Safety Day event.
“This is the first time truck drivers would be engaged and celebrated like this since I started work many years ago. I want to implore APM Terminals to continue with this type of gesture to us and we will not take it for granted,” one of the truck drivers, Babatunde Olamilekan, said.