Safety as our top priority

The safety and well-being of our roughly 16,600 employees on land and at sea are a top priority for Hapag-Lloyd. 
Our aim is to promote and maintain our employees’ health and their ability to work for the long term. The specific measures that we take to ensure this is the case, whether they be preventive or corrective, essentially depends on the job concerned and the place of work. The effects of a comprehensive health and safety management system (OHS management) on the working environment play an important role in this context

Extensive occupational safety measures and on-board rescue drills are just as much a given for us as infection-control measures. Especially when working at sea, Hapag-Lloyd employees are synonymous with reliability. They ensure that the ships and their cargoes are safeguarded and that efforts are consistently made to protect the environment.


Health and safety on land

Hapag-Lloyd provided free flu vaccinations in 2023. We also continued our regular screening campaigns for the early detection of bowel cancer and our series of lectures on the subject of care, as well as maintaining the in-house massage programme for our employees. Our initiatives continued to focus on mental health in the reporting year. We again offered mental health coaching for our employees and their families in partnership with the Fürstenberg Institute. Together with pronova BKK, we regularly provide needs-based services and preventive measures tailored to current requirements, such as the five-week digital Mental Health programme that we ran again in 2023.

Health and safety at sea

The land-based ship management organisations are responsible for the safety of our employees at sea and for ship operations as a whole. External regulations that apply to us are the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which includes regulations on workplace safety on ships as per the International Safety Management (ISM) Code and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code on the prevention of maritime security risks, the occupational safety standards specified in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Regular training on risks in ship operations

Improving safety on board is a top priority for us. That is why we are permanently working on safety, with regular training courses on safety-relevant topics for marine personnel forming a key cornerstone of our efforts. Training sessions, drills and briefings are reviewed for their effectiveness as part of the certification process for the safety management system (SMS) concerned and during corresponding audits. During this process, Hapag-Lloyd and all managers of Hapag-Lloyd vessels ensure that new staff members understand what their responsibilities are with regard to safety and environmental protection. Each crew member on our own vessels is instructed in the safety precautions and procedures on board when they start work, and learns about the relevant regulations and guidelines. All new employees must be familiar with measures conveyed as part of emergency preparedness training. Furthermore, there are training sessions on behaviour in the event of a fire or evacuation at least once a month during sea deployments. Training sessions on various vessel accident situations, such as collisions or vessels running aground, are also provided at least once a year in each case. Regular training sessions are also carried out on land. These include basic safety training, which takes place every five years over the course of several days and instructs staff on how to manage risks and hazards on board.

Promoting mental health

Since 2019, we have applied what is known as the Risk Assessment Mental Stress (RAMS) on our vessels registered under the German flag to provide a risk assessment on psychological health. RAMS is a scientifically validated mental stress analysis based on the EU directive on safety and health at work and the German Occupational Health and Safety Act. Our vessels registered under other flags fulfil similar standards in compliance with international law (IMO and MLC).

Safe ship operation – the port state controls

In all port states, ships can be inspected to ensure compliance with international occupational safety and health standards in so-called port state controls (PSCs). As part of these inspections, the condition, equipment and proper operation of the vessel are checked. During the 276 PSCs of our ships in 2023, only around 0.87 deficiencies were identified on average per inspected vessel. This deficiency rate, which is well below the average global deficiency rate (e.g. Paris MoU: 2.73), testifies to the success of our Safety Management System.

  • Only 0.87 deficiencies during port state controls


Strict guidelines for dangerous goods

In 2023, Hapag-Lloyd transported roughly 480,000 TEU of dangerous goods, which accounted for about 4 % of our total transport volume. Our own strict regulations relating to dangerous goods go beyond the legal requirements. In 2023 alone, reviews carried out by our software enabled us to identify around 3,900 cases of bookings with improper declarations. To ensure the safety of our crews and the environment, Hapag-Lloyd refuses to transport improperly declared goods on our ships. [read more]

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