HSA inspection campaign to target operations and risks in Docks and Ports

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has begun a two-week Docks and Ports inspection and awareness campaign.

The campaign will focus on the management of transport operations and vehicle risks particular to docks and ports including: large vehicle movements and manoeuvres, shunting operations, use of vehicle loaders and forklifts, loading, unloading and load securing, workplace signs and traffic routes and pedestrian management.

The campaign will also concentrate on large vehicle operations and the interaction with pedestrian workers and visitors.  HSA inspectors will be focusing on shipping companies, common user areas, roll on roll off operations, container handling and bulk transport operations and visiting transport operators.

In the ten-year period 2012-2021, there were 16 fatalities at docks and ports. The most common type of fatal incident involved vehicles striking people on foot, some of which occurred during slow speed manoeuvres and reversing. Other types of fatal incidents involved falls from height (including from vehicles), being hit by falling object and being crushed between two objects.

Deirdre Sinnott, HSA Senior Inspector says that the risks can be reduced by focusing on key areas, adding, “Employers should recognise vehicle accidents as a real threat to their business. They should put in place a vehicle risk management policy that covers all vehicle related activities in the workplace.

“This includes not only vehicles operated by employees but also vehicles visiting their premises, for example routine deliveries and collections.  It is vital that procedures are developed and put in place to eliminate and control known risks associated with driving for work, loading and unloading, deliveries and collections, parking, reversing and manoeuvring. Once these written procedures are in place they should be communicated clearly to all employees, contractors and visiting drivers in the workplace.”

HSA Inspectors will be providing information and making employers aware of resources available to help them reduce the likelihood of adverse incidents involving vehicles in their businesses.

The Code of Practice for Health and Safety in Dock Work is aimed at providing practical guidelines on a risk management framework, to help employers, employees and others with duties under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and associated Regulations, to identify, assess and control the risks specific to their operations within port and docks facilities.

Employers and those operating in docks and ports environments are urged to familiarise with key risk management requirements in the The Code of Practice for Health and Safety in Dock Work. Also, freely available HSA guidance and resources on managing priority vehicle risks can be found on the HSA website at https://www.hsa.ie/eng/vehicles_at_work/transport_safety_guidance_resources/