Logistics:Safety and Accident Prevention at Container Terminals Regulations
Logistics:Safety and Accident Prevention at Container Terminals Regulations
Operationson daily business at the seaports have potentially been dangerousbusiness since early times to the present shipping industry. Theshipping industry is a venture where time is very important, itsmoney and in most cases, it has been observed that the managements ofthe ports breach the prescribed safety protocols in order to improvethe speed of operations that results in the increase of profitability(plc, 2016).The outcome of such ambitions is that the workers at the dock areincreased risks of respiratory problems and life-threateninginjuries, and in other unfortunate cases, death results. Presently,the operations at the port rely on complicated container stowagemovements accompanied by the use of large cargo handling machines.Although the safety of the dockworkers has always been the keyfoundations of the domestic as well as the international platforms,the management of ports, agents of the government and otherorganizations that bring together nations have gradually developed anumber of guidelines on the safety programs as a response to thenumerous maritime related tragedies in the recent past(Kuehne &Nagel, 2016).
Inthe past, the management of the ports perceived the port safetyprograms as unnecessary barriers that affected the sought afterperformance levels and were thought to infringe the expected profitmargins that the companies so desire. It has however been realizedthat very high premiums for high insurance cost of compensatinginjured workers, court fines resulting from lawsuits are moreexpensive compared to the designing and the control of safety plans(Kuehne & Nagel, 2016).
Thephysical and health safety is a concern in the modern global economy.With the heights of globalization being achieved, it is expected thatthe level of imports and exports amongst countries is expected toreach the highest levels. Sea transport is the most popular cargofreight ever embraced in the movement of goods overseas (Kuehne &Nagel, 2016). More entry of cargo into the port facilities has madeit possible to have in place more cargo handling equipment and themovements of cargo to deliver them to the next level in the handlingprocess and thereby increasing the risks of work-related accidents.Some of the safety procedures that have been put in place over therecent past include the programs on safety training, initiatives onenvironmentally friendly operations as well as the introduction ofautomated machines that are probably powered by electricity to handlecargo, automated vehicles and the use of character recognitiondevices.
Thesafety issues associated with cargo handling
Thereare a number of dangers that have existed within the ships as well asoutside, the hold men, people working on the cargo inside the cargovessels to the center of the hold from the wings, communicated withthe machines operators using signals. The gesture of the hold mandirected to the operators where they expected the cargo to be moved.This means that any misunderstood signal would always lead to adisastrous to the workers carrying out their activities under thecontainers. These people in most cases have had very small spaces,and time to escape the falling cargo containers.
Dustinhalation is another danger that the workers at the port face.Notably, that dealing with cement products and since there is poorventilation and it becomes very difficult to avoid suffocation, andthis leads to severe breathing problems. Other dangerous elementsinclude acid, fertilizer, and asbestos. It has been noted that theseissues are usually reported to the port management, but no action isusually taken. In July of 2016, the safety of life at sea conventionof the international maritime organization or IMO came up withregulations that require the shippers to verify the mass of thecontainers on transit when tendering it to the sea carriers as wellas the terminals. There are however very many frustrations regardingthe lack of proper information from the significant serviceproviders. It is important also to note that different countries havedifferent rules and procedures of handling procedures that have madeit very difficult to implement in order to comply with some of therules(Port Equipment Manufacturers Association, TT Club and ICHCAInternational 2 3 Recommended Minimum Safety Features for ContainerYard Equipment INTRODUCTION, 2012).
TheUnited States, Department of Labor report came up with how severe theinjury rates of the workers are at disturbing levels. It was in factdescribed at one point as one of the most dangerous forms of laborthat one could engage in (Kuehne & Nagel, 2016).
Theenforced legal regulations
Theenforced legal regulations on safety procedures that have been put inplace over the recent past include the programs on safety training,initiatives on environmentally friendly operations as well as theintroduction of automated machines that are probably powered byelectricity to handle cargo, automated vehicles and the use ofcharacter recognition devices (Kuehne & Nagel, 2016).On July 1stof 2016 nevertheless, the regulations became international law underIMO but a law in 162 countries that are signatories to the SOLASconvention. According to the regulations, it will be theresponsibility of the shipper to provide the verified gross mass(VGM) that have been signed on paper or electronically. According tothe regulations, carriers are not expected to load any cargocontainers in any part of the world without being accompanied by theverified gross mass (VGM) because that would mean they are not incompliance with the insurance rules and the flag state. The list ofcountry by country guidelines by the world shipping council showedthat only approximately two dozen countries of the world had adoptedthe guidance in June. A number of the challenges faced in theadoption of the rules stem from the desire by all the stakeholders toavoid any increases in the cost of operations whichcould compromise their objective of earning their desired level ofprofitability(“Regulations on Subdivision and stability of passenger ships as anequivalent to part B of charter II of the international conventionfor the safety of life at sea, 1960 ..,” 1974).
Thelack of training amongst the dockworkers is said to be the highestcontributors to the high rates of accidents. The 2006 maritime laborconvention was adopted by the international labor convention of theinternational labor organization (ILO). The convention was under theILO Constitution in article 19 in a maritime convention in the year2006. The main aim of the article prepared in the convention is tocarry out an analysis of the MLC regulations concerning theinspections in the sea ports (Dacanay & Walters, 2011).This required that those countries that are members to the ILO thathave ratified the MLC enforce the contents of the article through theport state control procedures. The MLC regulations as constituted donot directly apply to the ship owners but actually relies on theimplementation by the countries through their national domestic lawsor other regulations. This, therefore, means that those countriesthat have signed the convention are required to align their law as tothe MLC which will then be implemented by the ship owners and otherstakeholders.
Morerecently in 2010, the occupational safety and Administration (OSHA)came up with a revised regulation that provided the guidance to beenforced for the maritime cargo handling sector. According to theOSHA guidelines, the emphasis has been placed on the need for theport managers to provide the dockworkers with personal protectiverequirements and the vertical tandem lifts that were aimed atreducing the number of injuries involving the workers. In 2010 alone,the United States labor statistics showed that seven people diedwhile another 2,900 were injured while carrying out their duties atthe cargo handling centers (Dacanay & Walters, 2011).The directive by OSHA required that a clarification is made on thepersonal protective equipment so that the employers would be requiredto provide their employees with the protective equipment at no costwhen the employers must pay for the replacement of the equipment andcases where employers don’t pay for the protective equipment.
Theinternational labor standards on occupational safety and health haveset a principle that states that all the dock workers are protectedfrom ill health, disease and injuries that arise from work relatedissues(Maistralis, Wang, & Bonsall, 2003).It is unfortunate however that for millions of dockworkers, thereality is very different. The code of conduct has set out a numberof guidelines for port managers and their employers they are intendedto supplement the national laws on dock workers safety rather than toreplace them for purposes of mitigating the effects of accidents onthe workers.
Asa result of the numerous stakeholder interventions to improve thesafety of the dock workers, some modern day cargo handling mechanismshave been created thus significantly reducing the number ofwork-related injuries and fatalities. First came the automatic guidedvehicles in the 1990s. Most European firms introduced the automatedguided vehicles and the automated lifting vehicle. The AGV, s wasprogrammed and manage med by a global positioning system (GPS), wherethe cargo container would be moved from the ship and placed on thedesignated yard address. The advantage of the system is the reductionof the workforce and most importantly the reduction in the riskexposure by some of the people handling the machines(Maistralis, Wang, & Bonsall, 2003).
Theother safety measure is the introduction of the twist locks. Theautomated twist locks were meant to further improve the safety of theemployees who worked on the unloading of the containers. The twistlocks were designed to secure the containers that have been placed ontop of each other. OSHA estimates that the use of these automaticdevices greatly reduced the need for a dockworker to mount thecontainers and thereby reducing the risks of them falling or beingaccidentally crashed. The health and safety authority (HAS) also comeup with safety and healthy procedures that were meant to ensure thatworkers working at the port are safe from fatal accidents(Maistralis, Wang, & Bonsall, 2003).The authority recommended for instance that where it is possible,there was the need for people avoiding to climb on top of containersand vehicle. It further states that where people cannot effectivelycarry out their activities from the ground, then the most appropriatestep would be to provide a very safe access for purposes of sheeting.
Fatiguehas been recognized as one of the main causes of accidents in themaritime operations. The healthy and safety authority, therefore,came up with ways of preventing fatigue-related accidents. Fatigue isan element that develops gradually as the working hours increase andwill eventually lead to an increase in the chances of individualcausing or being involved in accidents (Dacanay & Walters, 2011).The health and safety authority have recommended measures that willensure that resting periods are put at the appropriate time. Thereport states that the workers working during the day and thoseworking during the night have to be properly trained on the dangersof too much work, lack of sleeping hours and the health risksassociated with fatigue (Dacanay & Walters, 2011).The port managers have also been required to shift their workers in amanner that each one of them will have adequate rest before resumingfor duty. When planning the work schedule for the day, considerationhas to be placed on the working time act of 1997(Maistralis, Wang, & Bonsall, 2003).
Regardingthe handling of machines and equipment, it is recommended thatproperly trained machine operators should be the only people allowedto run the machines. This is to ensure that accidents do not occurdue to improper machine handling techniques caused by unqualifiedoperators(Dacanay & Walters, 2011).
Dacanay,J., & Walters, D. (2011a). Protecting precarious workers in theglobal maritime industry: A case of regulatory failure? Policyand Practice in Health and Safety, 9(2),47–68. doi:10.1080/14774003.2011.11667761
Dacanay,J., & Walters, D. (2011b). Protecting precarious workers in theglobal maritime industry: A case of regulatory failure? Policyand Practice in Health and Safety, 9(2),47–68. doi:10.1080/14774003.2011.11667761
Kuehne,H.-L., & Nagel, + (2016). A practical, legal and holistic reviewof the rule FEATURING 4 PAPERS container weight verification.Retrieved fromhttp://www.cvinternational.com/pdfs/port_technology_e-book.pdf
Maistralis,E., Wang, J., & Bonsall, S. (2003). Safety issues and proceduresconcerning cargo handling of oil tankers. Safetyand Reliability, 23(2),39–46. doi:10.1080/09617353.2003.11690758
plc,I. (2016). PORT SAFETY AND WORKERS. Retrieved fromhttp://www.lloydslistintelligence.com/llint/print-article.htmjsessionid=D71B88CBE0EFBFE90A671C58E2C097B6?documentId=226607&articleType=book
PortEquipment Manufacturers Association, TT Club and ICHCA International2 3 Recommended Minimum Safety Features for Container Yard EquipmentINTRODUCTION (2012). RECOMMENDED MINIMUM SAFETY FEATURES FORCONTAINER YARD EQUIPMENT A joint initiative from port equipmentmanufacturers association, TT Club and ICHCA International. Retrievedfromhttp://www.ttclub.com/fileadmin/uploads/tt-club/Photos/Recommended%20Minimum%20Safety%20Features%20for%20Container%20Yard%20Equipment_01.pdf
Regulationson subdivision and stability of passenger ships as an equivalent topart B of charter II of the international convention for the safetyof life at sea, 1960 .. (1974). Inter-Governmental MaritimeConsultative Organization.