Compliance with regulations covering
cargo operations and promotion of good practice
With regard to cargo handling,
ships have a duty to report any hazardous cargoes
to ports and special arrangements can then be made.
In general, these are compliant with HSE regulations,
or are based on the IMO IMDG code. Most of the implementation
in detail is carried out by private stevedores,
not by the port authority (unless the port directly
employs stevedores). Spills and emissions from cargo
handling do occur.
In order to minimise accidental
incidents operators and stevedores need to ensure
that the standard of training given is adequate
and that in the event of an accident, adequate procedures
are in place. Regular maintenance checks should
be undertaken by these parties to ensure that the
risk of accidents occurring is minimised. Safety
systems are in place in most ports and risk assessments
are carried out for more hazardous activities. Furthermore,
many ports dealing with dry bulk cargo already make
use of the BATNEEC in handling operations, such
as dust suppressing systems. Impacts from dust and
fumes are unlikely to be in sufficient concentration
to cause ecological harm if HSE regulations are
complied with. Cargo accidents involving spills
will trigger the appropriate level of the port emergency
There is a clear incentive for
ports and harbours to reduce such pollution incidents,
as they represent not only a hazard to workers and
the environment but also a financial loss. Loss
of cargo will result in reduced profits and clean
up operations may be expensive and time consuming.
In severe cases fines may also be imposed where
an activity is regulated under the Environmental
Protection Act or other relevant legislation.
Ports and harbours can encourage good cargo handling
practice amongst those working within the confines
of ports and harbours, including, stevedores, terminal
operators, ships agents and all port employees.
This should focus on efforts to minimise nuisance
and environmental impacts caused by their operations,
with particular reference to dust, atmospheric pollution,
water and soil contamination and noise.