Hambantota International Port – Sri Lanka’s first port to be certified for Health and safety

Hambantota International Port (HIP) was recently certified ISO 45001: 2018 compliant for their Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS), by the International Organisation for Standardisation.

The port went through six months of preparation and a three-month audit, prior to receiving the certification, which enables organisations to put in place an effective OHSMS management system. The audit was conducted by Bureau Veritas Lanka Private Limited, a global leader in audit services in the fields of quality, health and safety, environment, and social responsibility.

ISO 45001 will position HIP to manage their occupational health and safety (OHS) risks and improve their OHS performance through developing and implementing effective policies and objectives. Key potential benefits of using the standard includes reduction in workplace incidents, reduced absenteeism and staff turnover leading to increased productivity, reduced cost of insurance premiums, creation of a health and safety culture wherein employees are encouraged to take active role in their own OHS, reinforced leadership commitment to proactively improve OHS performance, enhanced reputation and improved staff morale.

HIP has a world-class loss prevention system in place that protects the people, environment, assets as well as the reputation of all the stakeholders.  With ISO 45001, the port has enhanced the loss prevention system, adding more value to the business processes.

This is an important milestone for the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) as it clearly indicates the prominence given to health and safety, which is a must while dealing with a myriad of different operations involving man, machine and systems. It is also relevant to note that HIP is currently, the only port in Sri Lanka to receive this standard. HIPG which is one of the two companies incorporated to manage HIP, handles port services, maritime services, port-related industrial zone and integrated logistics, besides acting as the business incubator for the port.

The certification process involved identifying and selecting a third-party certification body, followed by an initial audit – Gap analysis and then the main audit – implementation audit. The first annual surveillance audit would be conducted, one year after the award of the certification followed by a second surveillance audit at the end of the second year of certification. A further audit is done for recertification on completion of the third year. All audits will be conducted by the certifying body, ensuring that the quality assurance of the standard is maintained.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organisation promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards and operates in 164 countries.

HIPG will continue to maintain the highest standards in port operations through their structured approach towards enhancing quality through international best practices.  Being under China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) is an added advantage for HIP in establishing world standards, as the global port operator brings a wealth of knowledge sharing and expertise to their local partner.

HIP provides a variety of services ranging from container handling, general cargo, roll-on/roll-off, passenger, bunkering, bulk terminal, gas to project cargo.  It is well on its way to becoming one of a kind, as the only port in the country, designed to handle the full gamut of services in the maritime and logistics area. HIP plans to present economically efficient and environmentally sound incentive benefits and port services to all the port users and stakeholders.

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