Safe Port – protection measures against the pandemic continued

The port company continued its efforts to build a safe work environment together with its partners operating in the port areas. An updated safety guide provided instructions for the entire shared worksite. For the second year in a row, protection against the pandemic was at the forefront of occupational safety measures.

Cover of the Safe Port brochure.The Port of Helsinki is prepared for situations such as various accidents, disturbances and emergencies and maintains a safe work environment. The safety of the work environment is important not only to the port company’s own staff, but to the staff of all operators in the port area.

Ports are shared worksites, and at the ports of Helsinki, the Port of Helsinki Ltd is the employer with primary authority and many obligations. In addition to traffic arrangements, the port company’s responsibility is highlighted in areas used by several parties simultaneously, such as passageways, quay areas and areas in shared use.

The efforts to build a safe worksite are led by the business units of the port. The Port’s passenger and cargo business managers are responsible for shared worksite safety matters in their respective areas together with the main operators of the area.

Striving towards zero occupational accidents

The Port of Helsinki’s safety work objectives in 2021 included zero occupational accidents, reducing absences due to sickness or accidents, a good level of occupational wellbeing and developing the company’s safety culture.

For more on the Port’s occupational well-being and sick leaves, please see Chapter 6.

The occupational safety objectives are connected to the Port of Helsinki’s performance bonus system, in which objectives related to occupational safety were set in 2021 for making safety observations and the frequency of occupational accidents.

Protection against the pandemic still at the forefront of occupational safety measures

Protection against the coronavirus was still emphasised in the 2021 occupational safety measures.

  • The Port of Helsinki’s preparedness group continued its regular operations. The group provides updates on the COVID-19 crisis, assesses the effects of the crisis on operations, manages the procurement of personal protective equipment and communicates on the challenges brought on by the crisis and the solutions of the Port of Helsinki. The work of the preparedness group also includes active communication with the authorities and interest groups, compiling status reports and resolving operational issues.
  • The provision of personal protective equipment to the staff continued.
  • The extensive remote work recommendation was continued throughout most of the year.
  • A multi-site work model was introduced in late autumn.
    Safety measures in passenger traffic during the coronavirus period are described in Chapter 4 (link).

Continuous development of safety

Work to develop the company’s occupational safety culture continued. In 2021, the Port of Helsinki implemented the company’s occupational health and safety action programme and its zero accidents programme.

  • The most important everyday safety practices in the port area, i.e. regular safety meetings and safety working groups with cooperation partners and authorities, were continued.
  • The company’s occupational health and safety operations were audited by DNV. It was affirmed that the company’s operations continue to meet the requirements of the ISO 45001 standard.
  • The Port’s safety guide was updated in the late summer of 2021. Everyone operating at the port must follow the instructions, and companies familiarise their own staff with the rules of the guide.
  • The practices related to regularly observing the safety of the port structures were renewed.
  • The Port of Helsinki coordinates risk assessments between port operators.
  • All harbours held safety exercises on a monthly basis.
  • The Port of Helsinki’s supervisors were trained in occupational safety matters, and occupational safety was actively highlighted at staff info events, at department meetings and in the company’s other internal communication, etc.
  • The company’s management and occupational safety committee held safety walks systematically at all harbours.
  • The Port held a tendering process and, together with its cooperation partners, selected a critical communication and alarm service for the entire Vuosaari Harbour community. The service will be put into use in 2022.
  • The development of the Port’s notification and monitoring system for dangerous goods continued.
  • Fair Game training courses continued focusing on discussing and implementing the company’s ethical principles.


  • In 2021, one employee of the Port of Helsinki had an occupational accident. However, the accident was minor and only caused two days of absence. The company’s frequency of occupational accidents* remained close to the level of the previous year: 8.4 (2020: 8.1).
    * Frequency of occupational accidents = the number of occupational accidents that have led to at least one day of sick leave per one million working hours.
  • The average sick leave percentage among the Port’s employees decreased to 2.1. (2020: 2.4.)
  • In August, one fatal passenger accident occurred at West Harbour. The incident is being investigated.