Preventing accident and injuries on board ships and in their holds, giving each port company a tool for managing rescue and salvage operations.
This is what prompted the Port Network Authority to produce guidelines for managing port emergencies.
The handbook, a national pilot project, was presented today in the Old Fortress’ Ferretti Hall in the presence of a large number of port operators and representatives from the institutions that helped create the document.
In fact, it was a group activity coordinated by the Port Network Authority, with contributions from the Harbour Authority, the National Fire Department; the Emergency Health Service, The Department of Occupational Hygiene and Safety, and Worker Safety Representatives.
The document essentially complements specific port company emergency plans. It has no binding force but suggests best practices for operators to adopt to reduce response times and avoid more serious consequences.
The guidelines provide a detailed picture of the entire port of Livorno (the port of Piombino will also be covered at a later stage). They describe how emergency services should approach quays, the procedures adopted by companies in the event of an emergency; the possible environmental conditions on board and inside vessels during loading and unloading operations; and the characteristics of Toboga model stretchers and stevedore safety cages .
The guidelines also contain action plans tailored to suit specific types of cargo vessel and according to the degree of difficulty of entering the hold. Finally, training is given extensive coverage and the importance of tests and simulations in order to continually refine the guidelines.
“I can only thank my colleagues at the Port Network Authority and the members of the institutions who worked on this document,” said Port Network Authority President Luciano Guerrieri. “The contributions from stakeholders with particular, specific experience have considerably enriched the guidelines. Port safety is one of the Port Network Authority’s key objectives, and I am delighted that today we have achieved a tangible result,” he concluded.
During the presentation, everyone who spoke at the event emphasized the strategic value of the synergies that individual institutions have been able to set up as part of a common process aimed at reducing the risks of fatal accidents on board.
The head of Livorno fire service, Ugo D’Anna, highlighted the excellent level of institutional collaboration that the city had demonstrated: “Something not to be taken for granted,” he said, “the excellent relationship with the institutions has meant that such an important document could be produced in reasonable time. Now it is appropriate to think about the possibility of organizing, after the summer, joint exercises to tackle scenarios like the ones envisaged in the guidelines.”
The Head of Livorno Harbour Authority’s Technical Administrative Department, Armando Ruffini, also emphasized the importance of the participation of all peripheral state bodies in the project: “Everything that goes in the direction of improving procedures that protect human life must be attended to with the utmost scrupulousness,” he said.
Similarly, Roberta Consigli, director of the Accident prevention Dept of North-West Tuscany’s Health service, in her speech, highlighted that: “We have begun a common approach to managing port emergencies. This is an important and ambitious milestone.”
Translation by Giles Foster