HSE to Conduct a Scottish Ports Inspection Programme Early 2018

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 10:45

HSE to Conduct a Scottish Ports Inspection Programme Early 2018

HSE in Scotland will begin a programme of port inspections early in 2018.  This is a Scottish initiative and is not expected to roll out in the other nations.  The HSE team have a long list of about 30 ports from which they will select a “few” Scottish ports to visit.  The programme has areas of interest, but does not seem to be driven by any particular concern or incident(s), there is no indication that this is a ‘for cause’ driven programme.  The tone is more that it has been a while since they took a look at ports generally.  Given this, we understand that they will be interested in visiting a range of port sizes from smaller to large and it is unlikely that they will visit a port that has been seen recently.

Despite the general nature of the visit, HSE have identified certain areas of interest which are:

  • Workplace transport/vehicle movement
  • Work at height
  • Control of pedestrians (especially members of the public/public access)
  • Manual handling
  • Bollards
  • Lifting Operations
  • Cranes (mostly quayside as opposed to mobile), in particular repairs/maintenance, insurance inspections and speed of closing out issues raised in insurance inspections)


The plan is for Scottish HSE to produce a report of findings once the programme is complete. PSS will distribute the findings to the ports community and it is likely that Gavin Howat at the HSE or one of his colleagues will attend a BPA Scottish Ports Group meeting to present them, if agreed.


As Scottish ports may be aware, HSE in Scotland has a banner programme called Scottish Plan for Action on Safety and Health (SPlASH) 2016 and beyond .  PSS and Derek McGlashan at Forth Ports have been following up with Gavin Howat to see if there are ways that the health and safety activity of the ports community in Scotland might tie into this programme.    We have agreed with Gavin that we will develop ideas further when we have seen the inspection findings report.  




Some considerations

  • Although these inspections are general in nature, an inspector will of course take action if they spot something that they believe to be unsafe.
  • Whilst the inspectors have prodigious rights to access, the inspections are most likely to be notified in advance.
  • If you do have an inspector visiting your site, you will have a duty of care for their safety.  It will be for individual organisations to decide how to achieve this but providing a competent person to escort them at all times whilst on your estate is likely to be a part of your measures.
  • HSE are aware of PSS Safety in Ports Guidance Suite https://www.portskillsandsafety.co.uk/resources.  The inspectors may have read them prior to conducting the inspections as there is guidance in the documents on many of the areas in the HSE’s list.  This could be a useful opportunity for you to review any relevant documents in that suite and to test against your current arrangements. 


If you have any questions on this, please feel free to contact Richard Steele on 07415 876 303 or richard@portskillsandsafety.co.uk