Out With the Old, In With the New

We saw this announcement on Cargo News last week: “Three promoters of safer cargo handling, the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association, TT Club and ICHCA International, have published recommendations on upgrading container yard equipment safety. Having already jointly campaigned for safer quay crane operations in the past, their attention focuses on container yard equipment, using insurance claims to back demands for safety upgrades.

“Analysis shows that 53 per cent of operational claim costs are caused by yard equipment, 5 per cent of injury claims result from yard accidents and 67 per cent of costs related to fires were also caused by yard equipment.

“Their publication, ‘Recommended Safety Features for Container Yard Equipment,’ is based on a global analysis of 4,000 TT Club insurance claims made over six years.

“‘These findings point to a heavy concentration of avoidable accidents … Analysis of the Club’s data shows that up to 1,600 claims amounting to $ US 130 million resulted from yard accidents,’ said TT Club risk director Laurence Jones.

“‘Changes to operational procedures, additional training and/or fitting safety equipment to machinery could significantly reduce these claims,’ he said.

“Mr. Jones said lift trucks were involved in 30 per cent of bodily injury claims, mostly caused by inattentive reversals of equipment. The simple installation of collision prevention devices could have saved $ 30 million and prevented 51 workers from being killed or suffering serious injury over the six-year period, said the joint statement.

“The document covers all major types of container yard crane and mobile equipment, including RTGs, RMGs, ASCs, straddle carriers, lift trucks, reach stackers, AGVs and terminal tractors. Recommendations deal with collisions, high winds and storms, overloaded or misdeclared container weights, people being caught under wheels or falling between movable parts of equipment, equipment fires, drivers being overcome by emissions and more. The three bodies say technology alone will not result in complete safety and that training, effective maintenance and good yard design and operations were also needed.

“PEMA safety committee chairman Stephan Stiehler said: ‘Working together, we have produced a document that offers unique value to the global container handling industry to define where and how safety levels could be increased.'” –

[But that “unique” document really says nothing. Our patented container handling systems require no RTGs, no RMGs, no ASCs, no straddle carriers, no reach stackers, no AGVs and no terminal tractors, and when these hazardous vehicles are replaced by our simple and efficient systems, those three risk underwriters producing this study will see a lot more black on their bottom lines.]