Namely, the British Ports Association, British Tugowners Association, Port Skills and Safety, UK Chamber of Shipping, UK Major Ports Group, and UK Marine Pilots Association issued a joint notice to raise awareness against DWHLs use and the consequences.

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The notice highlights what is expected of seafarers in the International and Domestic codes of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Code of Practice - Safety and Health in Ports and the Marine and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) Code of Safe Working Practices, and cross-industry signatories call for ship-owners, ship-managers, ship’s agents, port operators and pilots to help in eliminating the use of DWHLs through:

  • Informing all incoming vessels of their duty to follow the Code of Safe Working Practices (COSWP);
  • Issuing them with MCA Safety Bulletin No. 2 - Dangerous Weighted Heaving Lines;
  • Stressing that fines, Port State Control Inspections and criminal prosecution are likely, especially should a vessel persist in using DWHLs.

Richard Steele, Chief Executive of Ports Skills and Safety, the UK’s professional ports health and safety membership organisation, welcomed the notice, saying that:

Health and safety is a shared responsibility and I am delighted to be part of this joint commitment to raise standards and show real leadership on the issue of dangerously weighted heaving lines. Inappropriate and illegal use of DWHLs poses significant risks to maritime workers both on vessels and on the quayside. There are clear, well established rules for safe use. These must be adhered to

In addition, Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, commented that the UK Chamber Safety is front and centre of everything it does.

He added  that, Maritime Safety Week must be praised for providing a focal point for such issues and is firmly supported by the UK Chamber as it looks to continue the safety drive with the launch the Safety Charter during LISW.

You may see the full industry notice in the PDF below