TT Talk - Crane Safety - towards a baseline standard
In a concerted effort to reduce injuries and equipment damage in port operations, the TT Club, the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) and ICHCA International have announced a joint initiative to establish minimum safety standards for quayside container cranes. There are many features available for the design of quay container cranes which can dramatically improve safety, reducing exposure to injury, damage and disruption costs. The initiative aims to ensure that such features are included as standard and not optional in specifications tendered by equipment manufacturers.
TT Club has an established reputation for researching, assessing and nurturing technological advances that will enhance safety and performance in the operational port environment. In the past TT has recommended, for example, the installation of boom anti-collision sensors, which have proven benefits in preventing damage costs and business disruption, as well as improving safety for crane operators, terminal personnel and ships' crews.
Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) President, Ottonel Popesco said, 'The issue that the project seeks to address is developing a benchmarked minimum standard safety specification for quayside container cranes. This may include issues such as boom anti-collision sensors, appropriate interlocking and gate locks between the crane cabin and boom, safe stairway inclines and handrail heights, gantry drive and braking systems, storm brakes, storm pins and tie-downs. Just like seat belts in cars, critical safety features should be standard and not optional. As part of PEMA's mission to support and contribute to best practice initiatives, we hope that this project will make a valuable contribution to our industry and our customers by defining common guidelines for quay crane safety features.'
John Strang, the Chairman of ICHCA International, added his backing to the project, 'Inevitably, crane procurement is price sensitive and requires significant budget. However, buyers will not always be familiar with the most effective safety technologies. Furthermore, the process of specification is complex; any quote needs to be carefully assessed against the invitation to tender, and subsequent change requests can be costly. For all these reasons, there should be a standard safe baseline provided in every tender to ensure the industry has the safest cranes possible. This issue is not restricted to quay container cranes; it is equally relevant for other cranes and other terminal equipment. Our long term aim is to establish international and national baseline safety standards for all terminal equipment.'
Initial work will involve agreeing the list of safety features that should be standard. Thereafter. the partners will seek a commitment from all quayside container crane suppliers on the baseline standard specification in relation to safety that will be used in tendering.