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Safety


Safety

A port's navigational safety policy underpins the Harbour Master's responsibility for the safety of navigation. The navigational safety policy, which should be approved by the highest level of management within a port, usually a board of directors, is a publicly available document which states what the board holds itself responsible for in respect of the safety of navigation within its area of jurisdiction.

The reputation of a port is 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 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 can be found here.

Port Safety

Safety Management and Risk Assessment

To achieve a safe port, a Harbour Master must identify the hazards which present in the port and then assess the risks associated with those hazards. The risks must then be managed down to an acceptable level usually identified as the ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principle. 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. Thorough risk assessments can be used not only in the formulation of better operating procedures but also in the formulation of effective emergency plans.

Port By-laws

Navigational safety and care for the environment are governed by numerous international, national and local laws and regulations. Harbour Masters have to not only obey local by-laws but also enforce them. They may also be authorised to draft by-laws for their own ports. Port by-laws and admission policies set the conditions under which vessels may enter and leave the port and where they berth.

Rotterdam Port by-laws: https://www.portofrotterdam.com/en/files/rotterdam-port-management-bye-laws

Admission to Port

Harbour Masters rely on reliable and accurate information to inform decision-making concerning the entry and departure of commercial shipping. The geographical configurations of the port, prevailing weather conditions, port water depths, and the height and strength of the local tides are some of the factors that a Harbour Master considers. This information and other factors will inform a port's navigational safety policy and at operational level affect the decisions concerning the arrival and departure of shipping. Harbour masters specify their entry requirements in great detail. These include safest approaches to a port, pilot boarding ground and details of advance notifications to be given to the port prior to arrival.  

The arrival of a commercial vessel into a port is always a planned event. Notification of the vessel’s arrival sometimes begins weeks before the actual arrival. The vessel normally gives 72-48-24 hour notices to all the parties concerned and corrects the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) with every notice so as to be as close to their declared ETA as possible when arriving at a pilot station.

Pilot boarding and communication between the ship, pilot and port authority shipping control office or VTS are critical to the safe arrival of a ship as it proceeds to its intended berth.

Various agencies including the vessel’s designated Agents, the Harbour Master or his representative, the Pilot company, towage company and the stevedores working the vessel are involved with the arrival of a commercial ship into a port.

Points of notification are predesignated positions set by the Harbour Master when the vessel calls Marine Control on a pre-agreed VHF Channel and informs them of the vessel’s actual position. This information warns other vessels in the area of the incoming vessel’s progress and allows the Marine Controller or VTS to alert ancillary services, such as tugs and lines-boats.

Pilotage

The task of the pilot is to advise the ship’s master on passage through the port and its approaches. The pilot brings knowledge of the local maritime conditions and operational practices that have been gained through extensive experience of navigating ships in the restricted waters of the port and its approaches. Use of a pilot is compulsory in many territorial waters.

In most Member States legislation provides the possibility of some form of exemption from pilotage, either in the form of exemptions in the regulations for compulsory pilotage or by issuing Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC).

Tugs and Towage

Many ports deal with big ships in confined or restricted areas and in many cases the risk of contact (allision) with port infrastructure and the risk of grounding is managed by the use of tugs. The use of tugs may be compulsory in some ports for some ships and this is one of the decisions the Harbour Master will make when considering safety of navigation. The Harbour Master may also monitor the competence and qualifications of tug personnel and the performance of tug operations.

High-speed craft

High speed craft in port waters may pose potential risks to safe navigation, channel / bank erosion and danger to persons working under or around wharf structures. It may be necessary to manage the speed of high-speed craft in areas of risk. Engagement with high-speed craft associations will ensure that key risk areas are identified and managed appropriately. Use of AIS on commercial high-speed craft will allow monitoring by VTS / Port control.

Mooring Operations

Safe and efficient mooring processes are vital for ports and terminals. A ship breaking loose from its moorings is a hazard to other vessels and to port infrastructure. A drifting vessel may cause serious damage to cranes, cargo manifolds and fenders and injuries to staff ashore and afloat.

Appropriately trained shore-based berthing crews will work with ship crews to bring ropes or wires from the ship ashore and put them on the shore bollards by hand or with the use of winch trucks. This is a specialised activity involving significant safety issues.

IMO FAL.6/CIRC.11/Rev.1 GUIDELINES ON MINIMUM TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOR MOORING PERSONNEL

Lashing

Cargo needs to be lashed safely and effectively.  Lashing gangs may be dockworkers or authorised crew members (for instance on short sea RoRo (Roll-on/Roll-off) ferries). Deck cargo, containers and RoRo trailers on the weather deck are vulnerable because they can be hit by waves in bad weather and need special attention. For example, steel coils and other heavy cargo can shift during rolling and pitching when not properly stowed and lashed. When a ship arrives with a list due to shifted cargo, the harbour master is informed and will send a nautical expert on board to ensure that the ship will enter the port safely before providing a berth.

Latest News & Events

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. This was reported on 22 July.

Updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: ‘Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.’

IMO Secretary General Lim commented: ‘I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships.

These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.’

On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured causing an explosion and fire. The tanker was moored alongside a general cargo berth in Ulsan, Republic of Korea and the Singapore registered chemical tanker Bow Dalian was moored outboard. Ignition of the styrene monomer vapour resulted in a fireball, which reached the road bridge above. Both vessels were damaged, and two crew suffered minor injuries. Fifteen emergency responders were injured during the fire-fighting, which lasted for over six hours.

Rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. Elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Although the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated cargo, the potential for heat transfer through intermediate tanks was not fully appreciated or assessed.

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Security
Port Call Optimisation
Ship image
Vessel Traffic Services
Safety
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Emergency Management
Environment

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Women in Shipping Virtual Summit 2021

IHMA is pleased to once again be partnering with the Women in Shipping Virtual Summit in 2021. The following information is provided by the event organisers.

Two-days of unmissable insights on the professional development of Women in Maritime

Women in Shipping Summit will go live this September offering you the chance to hear and learn from 30+ inspiring leaders on the topics that matter to you the most.

The full agenda is ready, and we're delighted to provide you with 15+ hours of content accessible from anywhere in the world and live streamed direct from the virtual platform. Speaking companies include Danish Shipowners’ Association, The Rising Tides, Fichte & Co., Svitzer, Siemens, Wista and lots more.

This is your only chance this year to join the community and develop your career as a maritime professional. Join us on the road map to recovery, as we approach a post-pandemic world.
Key sessions you can't afford to miss include:

Public health policies:
Considering seafarers as an extreme case study, this emphasises the need to find real solutions to protect mental and physical wellbeing to ensure the work-life balance is stable and maintained.

The future of work:
2020 created the perfect test environment, leading all of us to ask what the future holds. What about childcare and paternal leave, and what are companies likely to adopt as working routines beyond 2021?

The key to a balanced lifestyle:
Gain mental health tools and understand the correct way to apply them. This is vital for cultivating mental strength in the face of adversity.

Power talk:
Redundancies, organisations going out of business, role restructures and questions on the sustainability of our professions. As such, many of us have found ourselves asking is it time to make a change, and if so, where to start?

Nutrition & mental health:
Even though one of modern life's well-established truths is that nutrition is closely linked to mental and physical health, it's also something that is often neglected or ignored. Join us as we take a step back into nutrition school.

Want to book?
Secure your pass today for two days of live and on-demand sessions, plus the chance to see the full attendee list with unlimited networking opportunities.
Use the exclusive 20% discount code FKT3826IHMA for IHMA members to benefit from the maximum saving in addition to the early bird rate - find out more and book now.

The super early bird rate closes Wednesday 30 June 2021.

#WomenInShipping

Delivered virtually
IAPH virtual world ports conference 2021

IAPH is pleased to invite IHMA Members to join the virtual IAPH World Ports Conference from 21-25 June 2021.

A world-class virtual event assessing the indispensable role of ports in global maritime trade and brings together key industry stakeholders for learning, information sharing, networking and collaboration.

View the full agenda and register today.

IHMA Congress Platform
IHMA 360 Webinar - 30 June 2021

The next IHMA 360° Webinar will be held on Wednesday, 30 June at 09:00 (BST).

Join Graham Howe, Business Development Director for ION for his presentation on'Global Challenges and Solutions for the Digitalisation of Mixed-use ​Ports'  (see below for more information). 

IHMA Commercial Member, ION is an innovative, asset light global technology company that delivers powerful data-driven decision-making to offshore energy, ports and defense industries. 

Congress attendees and IHMA Members will be able to watch the webinar, including access to Q&A and live chat, once logged into the IHMA Congress event platform. Keep an eye out for the reminder email to access the session on Wednesday 30th.

Ports and terminals are at the centre of the digitalisation process in the shipping industry. To date a lot of focus, time and resources have been spent on the digitalisation of global hub container ports. These hub container ports have invested heavily in smart technologies in their drive to transform themselves into 'digital ports’ in order to facilitate the just in time shipping of large numbers of TEUs.  

This has led to a ‘digital divide’ in smart technology adoption between the hub ports and the medium/smaller mixed use ports. There is, however, now a global awareness that the other part of the port sector has been underserved by technology. To address this, new solutions are entering the market at a faster rate than ever before and the cost barrier to port entry has also decreased. 

Many medium and small size ports are now realising that digital technology adoption is key to increasing their operational efficiencies by reducing the errors associated with manual, paper-based processes. Digitalisation can have many positive outcomes including: 

  • An increased awareness of HSE issues, leading to an improved safety record
  • Increased efficiency in back office functions, improving operational cash flow 
  • The reduction of vessel fuel consumption which will lower the port’s carbon footprint 

This presentation will include case studies from around the world and outline the direction of digitalisation in the medium/small port sector in the next three to five years.  

 

MarSec 21+
MarSec 21+

MarSec21+ | The Countdown Begins

Join us for the second instalment of our conference series on the future of port and maritime security. MarSec21+ will bring together key industry leaders from commercial shipping and ports, and cyber security specialists, to delve into the transforming trends, challenges and opportunities in maritime security in the post-COVID world and beyond.

MarSec21+ is a free to attend event and our ambition is to create a dialogue between Company Security Officers, Port and Facility Security Officers, Cyber Information Security Officers, and their management teams with service providers, shipping associations and importantly, our regulators, to give them a voice to engage in a debate on the key issues that shape maritime security. 

 

Delivered virtually
Andreas Mai

The IHMA is pleased to present the first in its series of monthly webinars.

 

Simply click HERE to access the presentation.

 

Topic: Casualty Management - Collapsed Container Stacks on Board a 19K TEU Ship 
Speaker: Captain Andreas Mai, Harbour Master (rtd)
Session Chair: IHMA President, Captain Yoss Leclerc

Speaker Bio

Andreas is a former Master Mariner and was appointed Harbour Master for the port of Bremerhaven in 1996. In 2000 he also took over the position of Harbour Master at the port of Bremen. During his active time as Harbour Master and Director of the Governmental Port Authority, he chaired the 2004 IHMA Congress in Bremen and, for a few years, the European Harbour Masters’ Committee (EHMC). He retired from his duties at the end of last year after 24 years of service.   

 

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Latest News & Events

WHO vaccine roadmap Seafarer vaccine prioritisation

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers… FIND OUT MORE

Stolt Groenland fire MAIB report Cargo tank explosion and fire on chemical tanker Stolt Groenland Ulsan, Republic of Korea, September 2019

On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. This was reported on 22 July.

Updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: ‘Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.’

IMO Secretary General Lim commented: ‘I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships.

These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.’

On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured causing an explosion and fire. The tanker was moored alongside a general cargo berth in Ulsan, Republic of Korea and the Singapore registered chemical tanker Bow Dalian was moored outboard. Ignition of the styrene monomer vapour resulted in a fireball, which reached the road bridge above. Both vessels were damaged, and two crew suffered minor injuries. Fifteen emergency responders were injured during the fire-fighting, which lasted for over six hours.

Rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. Elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Although the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated cargo, the potential for heat transfer through intermediate tanks was not fully appreciated or assessed.