Workers in the global container port industry would be less vulnerable to injuries and long-term health problems if their employers followed a new set of safety recommendations, British researchers say. In a study aimed at improving the health, safety, and welfare of workers at container terminals, researchers identified continuing dangers, causes for concern, and flaws in the behavioral management systems commonly employed by port operators. They also offered recommendations for improvement.
Carried out by Cardiff University in Wales, the study was commissioned by the U.K.'s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). Six major ports and network terminal operators offered workplace access to the analysts, who "anonymized" the data and drew up suggestions for safety improvements.
Though the report acknowledged the ongoing health and safety progress made by port operators, it also identified seven areas of concern. They include:
"The simple fact is that you can't put a price on dockworkers' lives," said ITF president Paddy Crumlin in a press release. "This major collaborative research project points the way to what can be a safer future for container port workers. We invite all companies to walk that route together."