TT Talk - Ship stack emissions - efforts to create a cleaner environment for quay crane drivers

Laurence Jones, Director Global Risk Assessment at the TT Club, reports on ship stackemissions:

Ship stack emissions have been on the agenda of regulatory authorities, shipping lines, port authorities and terminals globally for some time now. The main discussion point has been on how to reduce the emissions in ports. There are a number of options being looked at which include 'cold ironing' (shore based power supplies), lower emission fuels and even hoods which sit over the ship's stack and contains and 'collects' the emission. The aim is to ensure a safe and clean environment within ports and surrounds. More detailed information on air quality issues has recently been published by the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) entitled 'IAPH Tool Box for Port Clean Air Programs'. This is freely available on the IAPH website (

http://www.iaphworldports.org/

) and recommended for the development of appropriate strategies for cleaner air in ports.

For TT Club Members who have employees or contractors working in ports, the immediate issue is the potential exposure to these stack emissions and a safe and clean environment for the workers. The personnel mainly at risk of exposure are the quay crane operators. The quay crane operator cabins are normally air conditioned and designed to be air-tight or at least prevent emissions from entering, but in many cases they are not and a good deal of ship stack exhaust could be entering the cabins. At times crane operators can be less than 9 feet (3 metres) away from the top of a ship's stack.The TT Club recommends that Members' ensure quay crane cabins are properly risk assessed in relation to this potential hazard, to include air quality monitoring during operations, and that appropriate control measures are put in place to counter any exposure to emissions. Such measures might include ensuring air tight cabins, effective air conditioning units with the use of high quality filters to prevent the entry of harmful emissions from ship's stacks. Any control measures put in place (e.g. seals or A/C units) should be subject to a regular inspection and maintenance regime to ensure effective and ongoing management of the issue. Such steps will provide a cleaner and safer environment for workers.