PSS innovation in port safety conference 2024

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Published: Feb 16, 2024

PSS held an Innovation in Port Safety conference in February, showcasing advancements in safety practices and skills development within the maritime industry. Port authorities, industry leaders, and technology experts came together to explore the latest innovations aimed at enhancing safety standards and mitigating risks in port operations.

The annual event provides a platform for industry stakeholders to explore advancements in port safety practices and skills development. It underscored the importance of investing in skills development, embracing new technologies, and fostering collaboration to ensure the safety and well-being of port workers and stakeholders. As the maritime industry continues to evolve, events like these play a crucial role in driving safety innovation and shaping the future of port safety.

Neil Dalus, Risk Assessment Manager, spoke about why the TT Club consider innovation to be such an important topic, highlighting risk mitigating opportunities and the importance of data to drive change.

“If you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

Neil Dalus, TT CLub

With the rapid evolution of technology and the increasing complexity of port operations, there is a growing need for port personnel to acquire new skills and competencies to effectively navigate safety challenges, but with these new innovative solutions, there will always be challenges. Chris Hatter, Portsmouth International Port, spoke of the rapid changes that are currently being seen in digitalisation, automation, AI and data manipulation with in the port industry, noting among other items, the resource, legal and IT challenges that will be faced as we march into this new era of AI.

Shaun Hudson, Principal Account Director – Ancoris, took to the podium to discuss the way that all industries are now beginning to AI-navigate everything.

For years, cloud technology has been used to improve operations, increase flexibility and enable faster time to market. But Cloud-Native is no longer enough to be better than your competitors. Enter the age of AI-Native. Becoming AI-Native requires:

• Strong problem solving skills. AI is changing the way organisations approach the same or new problems. And it needs even further focus on the actual outcomes.
• Continuous improvement mindset. No-one ever means to build anything for it to become obsolete a year later. Rapidly evolving technology and the associated skills impact, mean that continuous improvement is key to staying ahead.

“Think Big. Start Now. Stay Ahead.”

Shaun Hudson, Ancoris

The event went on to showcase a warehouse safety simulation game, demonstrated by Mark Robinson of Chrome Angel Solutions, citing the trails they have already run with in the port industry. Whilst the use of gaming to enforce safe behaviours in our ports may seem alien to some of us, the reality is that these too sallow users to experience real world tasks, realistic environments and be exposed to real world hazards in a safe environment.

Yucel Yidi, Ports and Terminals Manager – RightShip also presented at the conference on the topic of enhancing ports and terminals resilience and safety with digital tools.

“Information sharing is key to successful risk management.”

Yucel Yidi, RightShip

Helen Evans – Head of Market Development and Rich Mcloughlin – Head of Maritime Engagement at Safetytech Accelerator went on to discuss the importance of collaboration within the industry, but also the challenges that are faced along the way. Whether it’s enhancing productivity, reducing risk or decarbonisation, the landscape of opportunity is vast…but choosing when and where to invest in emerging technologies is difficult and resource intensive. This is even harder within asset intensive and safety critical industries.

“Navigating the everchanging landscape of technology innovation is challenging.”

Helen Evans, Safetytech Accelerator

Cato Davies, CEO – Ensemble Analytics gave a talk on data driven compliance and safety for port operations.

“Employees are the hardest asset for a port to manage, the biggest safety risk, and the key factor to efficiency.”

Cato Davies, Ensemble Analytics

Focusing on the automation of data, using statistics and AI to identify the risks of different shifts to mitigate safety issues of the future was noted as a regular theme throughout the day.

Gordon Meadow, CEO – SeaBot Maritime, demonstrated ways in which organisations may be able to optimise the value of people against new operational complexity – showcasing autonomy, remote operations and the adoption of smart systems.

“Optimising lifelong learning will allow us to drive technological innovation through new culture and social structures.”

Gordon Meadow, SeaBot Maritime

During the course of the day, delegates were given the opportunity to network with our exhibitors, play Pac-Man on the Comet exhibition stand, demo virtual reality headsets, play with our new safety in ports flashcards and see demonstrations on how AI can assist in avoiding incidents.

Port representatives shared their experiences and lessons learned in leveraging technology to address safety challenges and enhance overall safety performance. These real-world examples served as inspiration for other ports looking to embark on their safety innovation journey.

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