THE MANAGING DIRECTOR'S SPEECH DURING THE SAFETY WEEK CEREMONY ON 28TH APRIL 2017 AT THE KPA HEADQUARTERS

 Our Distinguished guests,

Senior Managers and employees,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to this years' Safety Week. This is an event that we hold every year to sensitize our employees, stakeholders, port users and visitors to improve the health and safety performance in the Port of Mombasa and other areas under our jurisdiction. This year's event was specifically planned to coincide with the ILO International Safety Day that is being marked today.

My Dear Colleagues,

In the last one year, I have come to believe that when you pay attention to Safety First, you will almost certainly avoid paying claims!! And this is the path that I want all of us to take: to put safety first in all things we do, so as to prevent accidents and unnecessary damage to property and loss of life.

There is clear evidence everywhere in the world that prevention is better than cure. The Kenya Ports Authority Management, is very much aware of this and therefore seeks to protect workers, port users, visitors and the environment by preventing major accidents through proactive approaches.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt the world over, that there is a correlation between productivity, safety and health at any work environment, such that, the lower the safety and health standards the lower the productivity of the organization, particularly in highly mechanized and labour intensive environment; and vice versa.

Port environment is both labour intensive and highly mechanized, with numerous truck and equipment movements, which raises the risk of accidents. As such we should recognize this important fact and ensure that extra care is taken to raise the safety and health bar.

Indeed the urgency for change in ports is overwhelming because ports are generally high risk environments considering the nature and types of cargo handled, (some of which are classified as dangerous cargo), and the multiple cargo handling operations at the quayside and the yards.

It is for this reason that  we have put in place an elaborate Occupational Health and Safety Policy together with the Green Port Policy; a confirmation of our commitment to Health, Safety and Environment.

We are doing this because we know that improvements in Safety for workers through effective loss control practices can be financially rewarding to an organization and subsequently spread the benefits to other stakeholders.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Safety Management in ports and elsewhere inevitably means changing human behavior, to develop deep interest and desire to embrace safety in everything we do. I have learnt that safety is not just reflector, boots and helmets; Safety is in one's MIND- it is your conviction in doing right things right.

It is worth noting that our Port Safety Branch has put in place various programmes aimed at preventing accidents and inculcating safety behaviours among ourselves. However, they cannot successfully implement the above programmes on their own without the support and collaboration of line departments and all staff. For this reason, I urge all process owners to incorporate health and safety elements in all their processes.

At the same time I want to assure the Safety Team of my support and that of my management team so that together we can make the port a safer workplace.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me at this juncture to inform you about the Port performance last year. In the year 2016, the Port handled 27.36million tonnes up from 26.73 million tonnes handled in 2015. This 2.4 percent growth is against the odds of sluggish global economic performance that has seen a decline is demand for goods. Consequently most ports have had a decline in cargo volumes.

In terms of container volumes, we handled 1.091million TEUs in 2016 up from 1.076million TEUs in 205. I am glad to report that exports grew by 3.6 percent which is a good move to check our balance of trade in the international market.

The above performance is attributed to good management systems that we have put in place including upgrading our ICT systems, capacity expansion, equipment acquisition and the new performance transformation management system (Wajibika) to inculcate a sense of responsibility among workers.

I wish to remind you that we are currently moving to the stage of scientific and evidence based performance appraisal to ensure that we all take charge of our processes. Please take this positively to enhance our performance.

I wish to thank all of you for your support in the last one year, and urge you to increase your efforts this year to move closer to World Class seaports of Choice.

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU.