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Port safety 

"A safe port is an efficient port" 
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Why is Port Safety so important?
Most, if not all, navigable rivers, channels, ports, harbours and berths are subject to danger from, for example, tides, currents, swells, banks, bars or revetments, traffic density and changes in depths. Such dangers are frequently minimised by lights, buoys, signals, warnings and other aids to navigation and can normally be met and overcome by proper navigation and the handling of a vessel in accordance with good seamanship. The reputation of a Port is largely dependent on its safety record and efficiency. Any damage to a port’s safety record may impact on its reputation and by extension, its trade.

The Harbour Master’s role in Port Safety

The Harbour Master plays a key role in the development and implementation of a safety management system which manages the hazards and risks associated with port operations along with any preparations for emergencies. This should be operated effectively and revised periodically.

Some countries provide guidance to their ports on port safety. An example of this is the UK’s Port Marine Safety Code and its accompanying Good Practice Guide which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/port-marine-safety-code
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Safety management & risk assessment
The prime function of Harbour Masters is the safety of all marine operations. To achieve a safe port, a Harbour Master must consider what can go wrong and how best to prevent it. This is the underlying principle of risk assessment – a practice that will not only lead to a safer port but may also help to reduce insurance premiums, a commercial benefit to the port company. Good Risk Assessments can be used not only in the formulation of better operating procedures but also in the formulation of effective emergency plans.
AMENDMENTS TO THE GUIDELINES FOR FORMAL SAFETY ASSESSMENT (FSA)
Source: IMO   Date: October 2006
 
AMENDMENTS TO THE GUIDELINES FOR FORMAL SAFETY ASSESSMENT (FSA)
Source: IMO   Date: August 2005
 
GUIDELINES FOR FORMAL SAFETY ASSESSMENT (FSA)
FSA is a rational and systematic process for assessing the risks relating to maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment and for evaluating the costs and benefits of IMO’s options for reducing these risks.
The Guidelines have since been amended by MSC/Circ.1180-MEPC/Circ.474 and MSC-MEPC.2/Circ.5.
Source: IMO   Date: 2002
 
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