Friday, February 11, 2011

Forum On Dangers Posed By Badly Loaded Freight in Shipping Containers

Safety Considerations Under Review
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE - WORLD WIDE – The 21st and 22nd February will see a forum on the subject of overloaded and badly stowed cargo in shipping containers held in Switzerland. The International Labour Organization (ILO) ‘Global Dialogue Forum on Safety in the Supply Chain in Relation to Packing of Containers’, is intended to be the first truly worldwide examination of the safety problems linked to overweight, badly packed or inadequately secured freight containers, and those carrying undeclared dangerous goods.

Ahead of the event the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and its unions will be lobbying politicians, the European Union and other stakeholders on the subject in an attempt to impose mandatory regulations on anyone responsible for stowing and moving a container are kept fully informed of their weight, state of packing, stowage and securing, as well as their centre of gravity and whether or not any fumigants or dangerous substances are present.

ITF general secretary David Cockroft explained:

“At their best containers are a key link in the world supply chain, at their worst they are a danger to the lives of workers and the public. Their use across transport sectors whether truck, port, rail or ship, makes this of particular relevance to the ITF and its transport worker members. We’re therefore delighted to see the ILO recognising the need for debate.”

A statement from the ILO says:

“Many accidents in the transport sector are attributed to poor practices in relation to packing of containers, including the overloading of containers. This has caused major concern particularly because the victims can be the general public, transport workers, or their employers, who have no control over the packing of containers.

“The purpose of the Forum is to reach a common understanding by all stakeholders of the underlining issues pertinent to the packing of containers and a better understanding of the reasons that lead to the application of poor practices in packing of containers that result in industrial accidents as well as to reach consensus on a common approach throughout the supply chain for the correct application and enforcement of the appropriate standards for stowing containers.”

The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting ‘Decent Work for All’.