HSE publishes new guidance on the safety of dock workers

The Health and Safety Executive has published a “simpler” Approved Code of Practice and signposting guidance document to improve safety in the docks industry.

Port Skills and Safety and the union Unite worked with the HSE to produce the guidance entitled Safety in Docks: Approved Code of Practice and guidance – L148.

It replaces the existing Approved Code of Practice (COP25) which has been removed as part of the revocation of the Docks Regulations 1988.

HSE’s head of transportation, Vincent Joyce, said: “The removal of the regulations is part of a package of revocations that streamline and clarify the regulatory framework. This will enable businesses to concentrate on the things that matter and improve the workplace protection for employees and others.”

The ACOP is designed to help duty holders understand what they must do to comply with the rigours of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and other relevant regulations.

Topics covered in the ACOP, which address the larger end of the industry as well as those engaged in dock work in smaller locations, include:

  • Workplace transport
  • Falls from height
  • Lifting operations

Mr Joyce explained: “Although the Docks Regulations are being removed this will not lower safety standards as duty holders will still have to comply with other legislation that provides the same level of protection. Employers who needlessly put workers and the public at risk can still expect to face action from HSE.

“We’ve worked with employers and unions to provide a comprehensive package of guidance and will continue to work with them to ensure that the changes are properly communicated across the industry.”

The ACOP is supplemented by the Safety in Ports guidance sheet series which has been produced by Port Skills and Safety with support from Unite and HSE.

All information is freely available via the HSE website.

Visit: www.hse.gov.uk/ports/index.htm

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