Navigation and Content

Dear User,

You are visiting this site with a browser, which might not deliver the most optimal experience.

You are still able to proceed, but in order to best experience this page, we recommend using Edge, Firefox and Chrome.

You are in  Global
or Select a different location

8 Things That Add Up To Zero – Safety in Project Logistics

Whether you’re shipping time-critical oil and gas components to support offshore operations, delivering everything needed to construct a new wind farm, or moving generation equipment for a power plant upgrade, there is nothing more important in project logistics than safety. Keeping up with a great record of years without a lost time injury (LTI), DHL Industrial Projects shares the 8 things essential to ‘Delivering safety with zero harm’

Explore How To Deliver With Zero Harm

Explore Now

There’s a lot at stake when transporting out-of-gauge, heavy, oversized or hazardous goods globally. This is especially true when operating in locations that have limited infrastructure or when there are differing levels of experience in specialized activities and industry standards.

DHL’s valued clients make significant investments in their most challenging moves, commonly referred to as project logistics or industrial projects. But the most important investment is never the cost of contracting logistics specialists, chartering aircraft and ocean-going vessels, or even constructing new access roads. Where investment really matters is in relation to safety.

According to our Project Logistics Experts, “There is no such thing as an acceptable level of allowable incidents. To our way of thinking, the KPI safety target in project logistics can only be zero. Anything higher than zero is effectively a license to harm.” This article shares some of the wisdom of the team – the eight things that must be done well to safely execute on project logistics.

1. HSE Management System

The foundation of safety in project logistics is an established, compliant, and well-implemented health, safety, and environment (HSE) management system. This needs to center on building a safety culture within the organization to support all related activities. At DHL this system recognizes the valuable contributions of employees and subcontractors – both are considered strategic partners in project logistics.

2. HSE Training Program

An effective and well-structured HSE training program is required, not only for employees of the project logistics organization but also for subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers. Adrian C. White adds, “We don’t teach how to do business safely. Rather, we mentor our personnel along with our subcontractors to think about safety. We guide, support, and update their knowledge.”

3. Subcontractor Management Program

Another essential element is a comprehensive subcontractor management program that focuses on safe systems of work and approvals under HSE and compliance. “When onboarding, we look for evidence of an implemented safety system for managing business on behalf of DHL, and then follow this up with spot audits as well as quarterly reviews to ensure it is being implemented for both HSE and compliance.”

4. Risk & Hazard Identification Process

Every project logistics service provider requires a process that can effectively identify risk and hazards across all operations, one which can help control and mitigate those risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). The assessment of risk is a key element for the management of DHL operations and all projects are mandated to have approved risk assessments and documented controls in place prior to activities commencing.

5. Safety Mindset In Operations

Operations are required to be pre-planned, assessed, and executed with safety as the overriding factor and with the mindset of ‘Delivering safety with zero harm’. DHL empowers all employees and stakeholders to stop any operation if they observe any unsafe act, condition, or process or if they believe there is imminent danger of an incident occurring. Any person invoking a STOP WORK instruction will be fully supported by the DHL Industrial Projects senior management team.

6. Project Documentation

A solid package of project documentation is required, including HSE plans, method statements, risk assessments, transport management plans, and more. Technical engineering and assurance are a key addition to how DHL manages operations and this adds another professional element to ensure capabilities are maximized and operations are planned fully. All of this must be pre-approved and distributed to all involved parties with clear and documented management-of-change processes and controls.

7. Effective Communication

There is no substitute for effective communication between everyone involved in any activities. This must be maintained throughout the execution of the works. Every employee or stakeholder adds value to DHL’s safety ethos and helps to develop a strong and robust safety culture throughout the organization globally.

Recognizing exceptional contributions is an important part of this. Adrian C. White notes that “Every year we issue awards to top subcontractor partners who have demonstrated excellence in safety and who have helped contribute to our safety ethos.”

8. Audit, Inspection & Review Process

A well-established and documented program for audits, inspections, and reviews of an implemented HSE and compliance process is essential. This should involve all stakeholders and all project activities, including adequate processes to monitor and record corrective and preventative actions and to manage all changes required.

Contact our Project Logistics Team

If you would like to know more about project logistics at DHL – including full-service management, multi-supplier projects, feasibility studies, and capabilities for end-to-end visibility – please get in touch today. Would you like to stay informed of the latest project logistics industry developments? Consider signing up for our updates!