According to speakers on a joint webinar by the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) and Port Technology International, technological innovation must be supported by buy-in and staff training from all port users and stakeholders to promote safety.
CHCA CEO Richard Steele told attendees that there had been 354 shore-based fatalities, including 349 port workers and 20 truckers globally since the year 2000. Richard Steele commented that the key thing that industry can do is to agree common good practice and then act as champions, role modelling those good values and creating expectation of standards across the industry.
To be successful you need training and procedures, supported by continuous training and alerting through digital tools
… said Evert Bulcke, Rombit CEO
Evert Bulcke also pointed out that maintenance, energy and repair costs were reduced by around $5,000 per vehicle, per year, from such innovations as the real time digital coach, while the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that around 70% of all lift and crane accidents could be prevented through training and the application of digital tools.
Steve Biggs, a senior assistant for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also emphasized the importance of making sure that changes to work practices were agreed with staff, getting their “buy-in”. Only then could new technological fixes and innovations in work practices be successfully applied, ICHCA CEO Richard Steele agreed.
Richard Steele also pointed out that the IMO provides excellent international regulations but once national borders are crossed the regulatory frameworks are individual and it becomes more complex to try to get uniform application of procedures. Industry itself has an ongoing responsibility to all of its stakeholders to continue to show health and safety leadership.
The consensus was that all stakeholders, both inside the terminal gates and those coming into the port from outside should be aware of and actively included in safe working practices. Safety rules need to be reiterated constantly, but that must be combined with visible and felt health and safety leadership from management to the shop floor. All of which can then be supplemented by tech that produces data and can monitor safety performance.