DFDS Seaways PLC Immingham Docks

Creating a sea of change in health and safety

DFDS is a leading logistics provider located in many major European and Scandinavian ports, offering a wide range of supply chain solutions with an extensive shipping network and port-centric operations. It employs a total of 5,000 employees (including 600 at Immingham Port) and operates 50 freight and passenger ships on 25 routes.

Busy ports have always been highly dangerous working environments. With HGVs, terminal plant and equipment, and ferries regularly arriving and departing, the need for strong safety and health management and practice is vital. That’s why DFDS Seaways PLC, Northern Europe’s largest shipping and logistics company, enlisted IOSH’s help to improve their employees knowledge of hazards around Immingham Docks in Lincolnshire. This is the UK’s largest port by tonnage, handling up to 55 million tonnes.

The company recognised that increasing overall safety and health knowledge would encourage employees to report near-misses and actual incidents more often. So they opted to run our Managing Safely course for decision-makers and Working Safely for front-line colleagues. This training was provided in-house to gain a better feel for locating potentially hazardous situations and ways to control them.

Colleagues reported that they enjoyed the training and felt their wellbeing was being taken seriously. Raising levels of awareness of individual and collective legal and moral responsibilities has had a positive effect throughout the business. In particular, it has enabled DFDS to equalise reporting of incidents and promote reporting of near misses across the board.

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"Part of our new health and safety plan was IOSH training which met the broad spectrum of disciplines at DFDS, including warehouse staff, port operatives and automotive roles. As a result, something more bespoke wouldn't meet all the criteria we need to cover in the training. There's a great benefit to reporting hazards, and getting the chance to put them right. And its IOSH training courses that really opened their eyes to that. Because what may be a near-miss today could be something more serious tomorrow."

Andrew Hall, Health and Safety Advisor, DFDS Seaways PLC