ILO completes discussion on best practice for safety and health in ports
ILO Meeting of Experts was charged with the purpose of discussing, revising and updating the 2003 ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in ports. Employers, Unions and Governments saw this as an opportunity to bring about changes that take major developments in the field of OSH into account.
The ILO Meeting of Experts was held from November 21 – 30, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland with the mandate and purpose of discussing, revising and updating the 2003 ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in ports. The existing Code is very long and technical in tone and language, to which engaged Employers, Unions and Governments saw this as an opportunity to bring about changes that take major developments in the field of OSH into account.
The Safety and Health in Ports Code of Practice covers all aspects of work in ports where goods or passengers are loaded onto or unloaded from ships. This 300 page document also covers work incidental to loading or unloading activities in the port area, and is applicable to both international and domestic ports. Improvements were made to the document on the role of joint H&S committees, safety protocols for automated and semi-automated terminals, inclusion of rescue plans in terminal protocols and effective risk assessments. Some suggestions, such as increasing lighting levels from 50 to 100 lux, defining fast flowing water as 1 knot or more, expanding the role of first aid attendants as emergency rescuers, limiting the work of ships crews on lashing of containers, grain dust explosion protection on ships and washrooms to be provided on dock only were not agreed to as there was no agreement between the social partners on increased safety value.
The Employers' Group consisted of many experts from across the field who brought their technical expertise and knowledge, including from the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, John Beckett. Mr. Beckett was nominated by the Canadian Employers Council and was one of eight representatives from around the world to work on the updating. The revised code will be published on 2017 in English, French and Spanish.
By giving an equal voice to workers, employers and governments, the ILO ensures that the views of these social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programs.