A step forward for port safety by employers, unions and government agencies

05 December 2022

Safety on ports took an important step forward today when employers, unions, the Port Industry Association and government regulators - working together as the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group - published detailed guidelines for setting up a fatigue risk management system.

The Chair of the Leadership Group, Maritime NZ Chief Executive, Kirstie Hewlett, said the formation of the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group, and its collective leadership across the sector, is critical to improving safety on Ports, and the Leadership Group is proud to release the fatigue guidelines, which will be the first of many outputs from the Leadership Group.

"Massey University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre was involved in helping to develop the guidelines, by providing expertise around the science of fatigue and how it affects people’s bodies and minds, using the latest New Zealand and international research."

Napier Port General Manager Marine and Cargo, Adam Harvey, who is leading the tripartite working group implementing the Guidelines, said it was agreed by the Leadership Group that fatigue is an issue that requires active work across the sector.

"Importantly, publishing the guidelines is only the beginning of the port industry working together to manage the risk of harm from fatigue," Mr Harvey said.

"Across the industry, we are making a commitment to our workers and their families. We want all organisations employing workers on ports to have at least started a fatigue risk management system by September next year. We will be providing training, education and resources to support the guidelines."

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary, Craig Harrison, said having unions as part of the Leadership Group, providing worker’s experience and perspectives, has been crucial in the design of the Guidelines.

"The Guidelines show what the different parts of the sector can do together taking a tripartite leadership approach and we are looking forward to supporting their promotion and implementation to keep workers safe" Mr Harrison said.

The Leadership Group is currently preparing other actions, including to recommend to Ministers, on how to continue to improve Port health and safety.

The guidelines

Building a Fatigue Risk Management System: Good practice guidelines for the ports industry are on Leadership Group members’ websites including the Port Industry Association and Maritime NZ and via WorkSafe.

WorkSafe website

The guidelines focus on understanding what fatigue is, the science behind it and how to implement a fatigue risk management system. Usefully, it includes 16 appendices, which are examples and templates that organisations can adapt and use.

The audience for the guidelines is business owners, health and safety managers, health and safety representatives and others involved in the operation of the business.

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