TT Talk - "Ideas that work"

In their December 2004 bulletin, our friends at ICHCA International (the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association) reported on a recent meeting of its International Safety Panel (ISP) in New Jersey. There reference was made to the US National Maritime Safety Association's Technical Committee (TC), made up of invited safety professionals from the country's ports, which normally meets four times a year. A regular feature of these meetings is an agenda item called "Ideas that Work" and involves members giving details of various ideas that have been devised and implemented in their own areas to help prevent accidents occurring. The intention was to share this very practical information with others so that, if relevant, the same improvement could be made elsewhere.

Recently, the ISP adopted the same idea and it is now a regular feature on its agenda. At the last meeting, a paper was tabled summarising some 30 different ideas that had been mentioned at the TC meetings. Two of them are reported here and more will follow as they are published by ICHCA International.

Service vehicle flag pole

Small service vehicles that have to move about container terminals are often hidden by containers and may not be seen by another vehicle (eg a container stacker or a straddle carrier) approaching an intersection. Even if containers are only stacked one high, they can hide a car or a van. However, if the service vehicle is fitted with a tall pole with a small flag or some other colourful indicator attached to its top end, its presence will be more readily identified. The height of the pole should be determined by the height of the stacks at the intersection.

Painted tyres on lift trucks

Although the large mobile pieces of cargo handling equipment used on modern terminals are of a size and presence that it would seem inconceivable that a person could fail to see them, sad experience shows that people become so familiar with these huge vehicles working around the terminal that they really do fail to take adequate notice of them. The TC therefore suggests the tyres of large cargo-handling equipment should be painted with four or more white lines, radiating out from the hub. When the wheel is moving, it does become obvious and might help to make the vehicle's presence more noticeable.

More information on

Staff Author

TT Club