Container yard equipment safety


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.



In a concerted effort to reduce injuries and loss of life, as well as to minimise equipment damages, costs and business disruption at port and terminal operations worldwide, the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA), the TT Club and ICHCA International agreed in 2010 to join forces in creating recommended minimum safety features for use on all quay container cranes.

The result of this first joint initiative was the June 2011 publication of the Recommended Minimum Safety Specifications for Quay Container Cranes, providing a baseline specification for quay container cranes in relation to safety features that should be included as standard, not optional, to reduce risks to people, cargo and equipment. 

Recognising the equal importance of safety in container yard operations, this second joint document, first published in June 2012 and further revised in this edition of December 2012, is the result of research and consultation over a 12 month period under the auspices of PEMA’s Safety Committee.

To achieve the aims of this project, all the relevant stakeholders have been involved. PEMA represents the yard equipment as well as technology suppliers. The TT Club and ICHCA International represent the container terminals.

Just as for quay cranes, there are many features and technologies that can dramatically improve equipment safety in container yards. However, many of these are not currently included on new or existing equipment.

Intended for use both by users and suppliers of yard equipment, this Recommended Minimum Safety Features for Container Yard Equipment therefore sets out to provide baseline recommendations for minimum safety features that should be included on the various types of container yard equipment, to help reduce injuries and damage and enable better risk management.

The document covers all of the major types of manual and automated container yard equipment, including RTGs (rubber tyred gantry cranes), RMGs (rail mounted gantry cranes), ASCs (automated stacking crane), AGVs (automated guided vehicles), lift trucks, reach stackers and terminal tractors/yard vehicles.

These recommendations do not carry any force of law, and are independent of the various local, national and international regulatory regimes on the safe design, manufacture, specification and operation of the various yard equipment types, which must also be satisfied. Adoption of equipment technologies to enhance safety, which is the primary focus of this document, must also go hand-in-hand with the development of robust operational safety processes. 

The hope of all three parties, however, is that the equipment safety features outlined here will be embraced both by buyers and suppliers as a minimum industry standard.


  • Recommended minimum safety features for container yard equipment 1 MB


    Download PDF

Staff Author

TT Club