Safety Features for Container Yard Equipment


TT Club, collaboratively with PEMA and ICHCA International have published recommended safety standards for container yard equipment. Together we have identified additional safety devices that can be implemented on yard equipment, along with other operational changes in order to reduce injuries and fatalities as well as cargo, property and equipment damage.

This initiative was developed as a result of some telling statistics:

  • 53% of the total cost of TT Club's operational related claims are caused by yard equipment
  • 75% of the cost of injury claims in terminal facilities result from yard equipment accidents
  • 67% of costs relating to fires can be attributed to yard equipment

These headline findings point to a heavy concentration of avoidable incidents. Analysis of the Club's data shows that up to 1,600 claims, amounting to USD 130million, resulted from such incidents. Changes to operational procedure, additional training and/or fitting safety equipment to machinery could significantly reduce this bill.

Lift trucks, for example, are involved in 30% of the bodily injury claims analysed.  This is mainly the result of trucks reversing into people.  The installation of anti-collision devices could potentially have saved USD30 million and prevented 51 workers from being killed or suffering serious injury over the last six years.

 

Chart: TT Club Global Analysis of Yard Equipment Claims in Ports and Terminals (By Cost of Claims)

Our tripartite publication entitled “Recommended Minimum Safety Features for Container Yard Equipment” details all the risks identified in the TT Club claims analysis and offers comprehensive advice on how to off-set the consequences of each of these risks. 

These preventative measures include the installation of reliable safety devices on the yard equipment. While these safety features and technologies are available and proven, they are not commonly part of standard specifications. However, TT Club advises that adoption of the recommendations must go hand in hand with safe procedures, training and effective maintenance and yard design, including controlled traffic flow arrangements and speed limits. Nevertheless, the document will assist in assessing the risks involved in the choices concerning the appropriate type of equipment to be deployed.

Most fires in yard equipment are caused by fuel or hydraulic leaks in the engine compartment.  Efficient servicing and cleaning procedures, the use of only good quality hydraulic hoses and fittings and the installation of effective fire suppression systems can almost eradicate these occurrences.   An effective fire suppression system costing from USD1,000 to 5,000 could prevent the write-off of the equipment – such as a lift truck valued up to USD500,000 – and the risk of serious injury.”

International, national and local regulations are mandatory, and these Recommendations are voluntary and recognise that technology solutions will not preclude all claims. The TT Club has repeatedly identified that the human factor is dominant in its claims analyses. Technology can support good practice and prevent certain accidents, but effective and continuing training of all personnel accessing a facility using these types of equipment is paramount.

By producing this paper the hope is that these minimum recommended safety features will be adopted generally by equipment suppliers and buyers both on new and existing equipment to improve safety levels at the world’s ports. By TT Club, PEMA and ICHCA International we have produced a document that we feel offers unique value to the global container handling industry to define where and how safety levels could be increased”. 

*The analysis was based on a total of over 4000 claims valued above USD10,000 received over a six year period from operators of container terminals, yards and other container handling facilities; with a total cost of USD341 million.


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