Thursday, February 12, 2015

Port and Container Terminal Safety Needs Improvement Says Freight Sector Insurance Leader

TT Club Analysis Shows Lessons Need to be Learnt
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The TT Club is the international transport and logistics industry's leading provider of insurance and related risk management services and, as such, when it speaks on a subject as crucial as safety, deserves full attention. Speaking this week at the Philippine Ports and Shipping Conference in Manila, TT Club’s Asia Pacific Regional Director, Phillip Emmanuel revealed some cold, hard statistical facts regarding the safe handling of freight in ports and container terminals worldwide.

A detailed analysis of the root causes of insurance claims show 80% of bodily injuries at global ports and container terminals involve handling equipment or vehicles. Mr Emmanuel emphasised the statistic and urged operators to improve their management practices in order to reduce the incidents which result in injury, and sadly sometimes death, to workers and others at ports and terminals.

The TT Club analysis looked at nearly 7,000 claims valued at more than US$10,000 and totalling US$425 million. The lessons to be learned for port and terminal operators in terms of minimising future risk to the workforce and third parties, equipment, ships and other property are numerous. TT Club executives, including Emmanuel, are committed to highlighting these, often avoidable, dangers and to promoting safer working practices across the sector.

During his Manila speech, Emmanuel drew his audience’s attention to a comprehensive catalogue of operational issues that require careful management to control potential risk, including quay crane boom collision and adequate crane braking systems, regular equipment maintenance regimes, fire prevention systems, adoption of best practice in packing and handling of cargo, and appropriate processing of dangerous goods. In particular, however, Emmanuel addressed the risk profile of ports and terminals as it pertains to the occurrence of accidents resulting in bodily injury, factors costly in the sense of both the human suffering and value of claims. He said:

“Similar to many preventable incidents, those involving the workforce and third parties can very often be minimised in the simplest of ways given careful attention and the employment of sensible management practices. Strict limits to pedestrian access to yard stacks, well indicated one-way vehicle lanes, designated safe and secure areas for truckers, and regulated on-terminal induction procedures are all easily enforced and effective procedures.”