The port takes the level of training to great new heights

Published: 10/3/2018 4:03:11 PM

On a sunny autumn day, a group of people stand by the quayside at the Port of Södertälje, looking up at a 60-metre-high crane. Because today they’re all going up there. And not only will they climb up into the crane, they will climb out of it, straight into the open air and abseil down! Everyone who will be going up into the crane normally works at the Port of Södertälje, and the day is part of a safety training programme organised by the port.

Safety above all

- If something were to happen, it's important for an operator be able to get down from the crane to the ground on his or her own. For example, if a fire breaks out or if someone falls ill and is unable to take the stairs down, says Henry Carlsson, lead trainer from the Crux company, which organises courses on subjects including fall arrest protection.

- When we're practising, we always have a backup line so that the course is as safe as it can be.

Knowledge brings peace of mind

As a port worker, being at a great height is a natural part of the working day. So it's important to create peace of mind even in stressful situations. If an emergency situation occurs 30 metres above ground level, you simply mustn't panic. The course therefore aims to contribute not only new knowledge, but also peace of mind.

Participants have to abseil down to the ground one by one from a height of 30 metres. It is quite difficult to imagine how high this actually is, but if you've ever stood on a diving board and had butterflies in your stomach, maybe you can imagine the feeling. A diving board is usually ten metres high. So this is three times as high. Despite this, everyone looks happy and fairly relaxed as they reach the ground.

- We're pretty much used to great heights, says Jörgen Sjövall, who works at the port, so this day's not too scary, it's more a case of it being exciting.

- But it's really good to practise this, so that I feel that I really do have the practical knowledge I need to get down to the ground if something were to happen.

This day is the practical part of the course, and all participants have already completed a theoretical part.

Enjoyable training day produces an even safer work team

Even if the training is incredibly serious, both training sessions also generated a lot of laughter and an even better team spirit into the bargain. Supporting, encouraging and cheering on your colleagues is also a way of enhancing the group dynamics and team spirit.

Jörgen summarises the feeling of the day in one word: GREAT!

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