Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by the Ports' Safety Organisation (P 07C)


  Further to my letter of 23 March 2001, the survey into the first six months' operation of the port industry's Code of Practice on the Engagement of Non-Permanent Employees on Cargo Handling Operations in the Ports Industry has now been completed. I undertook to let the Sub-Committee have a note on the survey and that is the purpose of this letter.

  The Code itself is a voluntary Code developed and supported by the entire ports industry (not just members of PSO). It is also supported in principle by DETR and HSE. It is modelled on standards for permanent employees and its intention is to set minimum industry standards in which non-permanent employees are not put to work on cargo handling operations until the cargo handling company concerned is satisfied that they have undergone appropriate safety induction training. The Code also specifies standards regarding further job training, fitness and competence and the respective responsibilites of the parties concerned. A key element is the issue and wearing/carrying of a Port Safety Induction Card to indicate that the wearer/holder is in compliance with the Code's provisions.

  All respondents to the survey were asked to complete a section on general implementation/effect. The key elements were:

    —  to what extent was it perceived that the Code had been implemented—

fully 11 per cent, widely 22 per cent, generally 42 per cent, to some degree 24 per cent, not at all 2 per cent

    —  what was the overall effect thought to be—

substantial effect 14 per cent, some effect 71 per cent, no effect 5 per cent.

  From this it is concluded that there has been a considerable impact. It is clear from the replies that the implications of the Code's requirements are already being felt and applied and that the effects are likely to increase in the next six months. This is quite encouraging. PSO is committed, together with the industry, to reviewing the provisions of the Code after 12 months, ie in the autumn, and we will continue to promote it over the foreseeable future.

Mike Compton


30 May 2001

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