Monday, June 24, 2024

Govt floats new ports safety plan

Health and safety practices at New Zealand ports will be improved as part of a new industry-wide action plan, Workplace Relations and Safety, and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.

“Following the tragic death of two port workers in Auckland and Lyttelton last year, I asked the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group to pull together a detailed picture of what is happening in ports and create a plan to address serious harm,” Mr Wood said.

“The group has worked together to provide this important insights picture and action plan, and I fully support the work taking place.

“Everyone has the right to go to work and come home safe. We’ve made good progress, and research shows serious injuries on ports have declined over time, but there is still more work to do. The plan prioritises areas where improvements can have a real impact on workers.”

The Port Sector Insights Picture and Action Plan sets out actions across six key areas:

  • Implementing the Fatigue Risk Management System: Good Practice Guidelines to reduce the risks associated with worker fatigue;
  • Establishing an Approved Code of Practice around loading and unloading of cargo to implement more consistent regulatory standards in relation to some of the highest risk activities in ports;
  • Recommending the Government extend the Maritime NZ designation to cover the whole port;
  • Work to improve incident reporting, notifications, insights and learning across the ports, so the sector can get a better real-time understanding of harm and take necessary action;
  • Action to improve training and workforce issues;
  • Actions to ensure there are easier ways of sharing good practice that the sector is doing here or overseas to encourage continuous improvement on ports.

“The industry is on board with these actions and have started implementing many of these changes. I believe it will make a real difference to the health and safety of those working on ports,” Minister Wood said.

He said the leadership group had already rolled out guidelines for setting up a fatigue risk management system and is providing workshops, training, education and resources.

“In addition, work on an Approved Code of Practice for stevedoring is well underway.”

“I want to thank the leadership group and all those in the sector for coming together and working in partnership to improve port safety. This has been a genuine tripartite process, with employers, unions, and the regulators working together in good faith to solve problems and everyone putting the safety of workers first,” Mr Wood said.

The Minister said Maritime NZ and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission are continuing to investigate last year’s tragic accidents. 

More information on the Action Plan can be found on the Maritime NZ website.

Latest Articles