How a culture of safety can be sustained in cargo transportation: A case study of Total Nigeria PLC

For those that may be thinking it is not possible to achieve and sustain a culture of safety in cargo transportation, they have a veritable lesson to from the Nigerian foremost petroleum marketing giant, Total Nigeria PLC. This is because the organisation has not just entrenched a culture of safety into every aspect of its operation, but has been able to sustain it over the years from its various offices to the transportation of its products to various part of the country.

While many wet cargo tankers are falling on a regular basis in the past few years, Total Nigeria PLC has distinguished itself such that, as of the time of filling this report, Total Nigeria PLC has made a commendable record of transporting its products for over 1087 days without any fatal accident. This wholesome achievement was disclosed at the 2018 edition of Haulage & Logistics Magazine Annual Conference & Exhibition (HAULMACE 2018).

While sharing the company’s safety experience at the event, the Head of Transport Safety in Total Nigeria PLC, Eng. Ajibola. A Alaga stated it clearly in his paper presentation that transport is a dangerous endeavour that is full of risks but concerted effort and proactive measure can curtail unfavourable occurrence.

Eng. Ajibola

In his paper titled “sustaining a culture of safety in wet cargo transportation on Nigerian roads: the Total Nigeria PLC experience, Alaga stated that drivers’ behaviour, aged trucks, substandard tank and poor roads- corridors and road signs are the major cause of truck crashes in the country. He however reiterated that zero accident policy in road transportation and adopted best practices by the company has helped the organisation to achieve its desire result on safety.

According to Alaga, some of the strategies adopted by Total include Awareness campaigns, formal trainings, Simulators, Track-centre, Satellite tracking to monitor the behaviour of drivers by On-Board Computer (over-speeding, driving without rest, night driving, harsh braking, etc.), Psychological-clinical transformation of behaviour, On-Board Camera.

Other measures put in place by the company, according to Alaga, include regular truck Audit, Safe-To-Load at loading depots, fleet renewal as well as standardization of tanks to SON: NIS 529-2006 (reviewed 2017).

For every organisation to be able to achieve a desirable result on safety in operation and transportation of cargo, Alaga advocated for the deployment of Safety Management Systems (both  at transporters’ and oil companies) and according to him, the safety management system should be an all encompassing one which will consist of drivers’ management, Vehicle management, Trip management, HSEQ Management.

Alaga has also recommended that there is need to embark on capacity building in form of special training support for Relevant Agencies in truck driving, truck maintenance checks, Transport Safety Education, STL Application among other, saying such measure will go a long way to sustain a culture of safety.

The safety expert also reiterated the need for route survey involving the use of GPS Technology, Visual recognition Technology (revolutionized), insisting that route survey will help to solve the challenge of inability to know passable roads at every point in time.

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