Presentation of guidelines for preventing accidents in holds

Livorno port puts safety first

by Port News Editorial Staff

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

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