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Recommendations Published on Container Yard Equipment Safety

December 21, 2012

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The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association, TT Club and ICHCA International have jointly published recommended minimum safety features for container yard equipment, identifying features and functional requirements to improve the safety of people, equipment and cargo.


The impetus for the joint publication, entitled Recommended Minimum Safety Features for Container Yard Equipment, came from global analysis of more than 4,000 claims made over a six-year period by port and terminal operators insured with the TT Club. The analysis revealed that 53% of the total cost of claims and 75% of the cost of injury claims related to yard equipment. Additionally, 67% of costs related to fires were attributed to yard equipment.

"These findings point to a heavy concentration of avoidable incidents," said Laurence Jones, TT Club's director of global risk. "Analysis of the Club's data shows that up to 1,600 claims amounting to $130 million resulted from yard incidents. Changes to operational procedure, additional training and/or fitting safety equipment to machinery could significantly reduce these claims." For example, lift trucks were involved in 30% of bodily injury claims analyzed, mainly as a result of trucks reversing into people. The simple installation of collision prevention devices could potentially have saved $30 million and prevented 51 workers from being killed or suffering serious injury over the six-year period.

In the new document, the three organizations have pooled the respective expertise of their members to identify ways that port and terminal operators can minimize yard safety risks by adopting equipment features and technologies proven to reduce injury or damage, but which are not currently standard. The document covers all major types of container yard crane and mobile equipment, including RTGs, RMGs, ASCs, straddle carriers, lift trucks and reach stackers, AGVs and terminal tractors.

The recommendations address key risk items such as collisions, high winds and storms, overloaded or misdeclared container weights, people being caught under wheels or falling between moveable parts of equipment, equipment fires, drivers being overcome by emissions and more.

Tables and illustrations clearly list the major safety risks, features and functional requirements for each of the equipment types.

The three organizations stress that international, national and local regulations are mandatory, while these recommendations are voluntary. The three bodies also recognize that technology alone will not eradicate all incidents and that installation of safety equipment and systems should always be adopted in parallel with routines, training, effective maintenance and good yard design and operations.

However, the hope of all three bodies is that these minimum recommended safety features will be adopted generally by equipment suppliers and buyers both on new and existing equipment to improve safety levels at the world's ports.

The full recommendations can be downloaded at http://www.pema.org/resources/public-downloads/, where PEMA's growing body of Information Papers, Surveys and Recommendations are also available.

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