We met with Alberto Casali, Head of HR, to discuss about human resources and safety at PSA Voltri-Pra.
How many employees does the terminal have?
The terminal has 670 employees. Approximately 350 personnel are dedicated to the handling of containers. They work on 6-hour shifts spanning 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What type of jobs do they do?
All operators from the moment of employment begin with the training to become a prime mover driver and lashing/unlashing operator. They subsequently continue a professional growth path that foresees four career stages that may lead to the achievement of Quay Crane driver.
The stages are as follows:
1: Prime mover drivers/Lashing-unlashing staff
2: Reach Stackers drivers/Checkers
3: RTG/RMG operators
4: Quay Cranes drivers
How does one person become a quay crane operator? How does recruitment work?
The quay crane operator task requires a series of specific characteristics. The operators currently work at a height of 40 meters, which will become 53 meters with the new cranes, therefore vertigo is not an option. As well as that you need self-control, nerves of steel and a lot of technical training. They move containers that can weigh up to 45 tons and if you do not pay maximum attention you can cause serious accidents.
What are you expecting with the new cranes?
The new cranes will enable PSA Voltri-Prà to have an important impact on the crane operators and the maintenance personnel because the equipment that is arriving is completely new.
We spend a lot of time and effort on training. We have purchased new state of the art cranes and 120 quay crane operators are currently being trained on a simulator that is a mock-up of the operating cabin of the new cranes. Meanwhile the maintenance team will undergo a specialized training course carried out by the parent company of the cranes, ZPMC.
What is your commitment to the terminal safety improvement?
We have made important progress over the last fifteen years. We have drastically reduced the number of workplace accidents.
These cases are measured through LTIF (lost time injury frequency), which calculates the number of accidents taking place per every million man-hours worked. In 2009 we recorded 146 events per million man-hours worked. Year after year we have been able to reduce this figure by 86%. LTIF today is 7, meaning that in the first months of this year we were able to reduce the number of accidents by a further 72% (compared to 2015).
The main focus is on human behavior and how we can positively influence it. The vast majority of workplace accidents can be attributed to minor distractions like slipping or missing a step on a ladder.
This is why we continue to carry out a number of initiatives that involve our staff and make them constantly aware of the importance of health and safety, such as the Safety Day, and Take5 sessions, as well as a number of competitions like “Best Safety Slogan” or the “Innovation in Safety Contest”.
How does one person encourage safe behavior?
First of all by talking to people every day on the importance of safety. Safety is everywhere. We installed more than 100 signs throughout the port to remind people to follow the basic safety rules and regulations.
A recent practice that we have adopted is the standard set out by the PSA group called “Take 5”. This is a very quick handbook that contains the steps required to manage all the operations that take place throughout the port in the safest way possible.