What is health and safety? It may seem an odd question coming from an organisation whose raison d’etre is to expand health and safety in the ports industry, however it is an important issue to raise. Not least because unless everyone is on the same page as to what constitutes health and safety, gaps are liable to form in planning and implementation. In addition to this, priorities and operational context can fluctuate with the ebb and flow of personnel and the wider landscape of the sector, meaning the form health and safety can take changes from operator to operator. While this is to be expected, it can lead to tacit agreements on safety policy where none such exist. Non-executive board member Dr. Alan Page, Head of Natural Sciences at Middlesex University, expands further on this premise and explains how we can avoid people leaving the room with quite different understanding of what they think that they have agreed.
Of course, PSS offers a wide range of checklists and tools to ensure that overarching health and safety principles are effectively standardised across the industry so as to avoid gaps of knowledge at the sharp end. Regardless of size or operational complexity, we strongly encourage all members to adhere to the Safety in Ports documents which have been developed with the assistance and agreement of the operators, regulator, and unions. When in doubt as to whether there is a clear understanding on a certain piece of regulation, you can always refer to the SiP documents for guidance. If you still have questions, the PSS teams are always available to clarify and assist.