Port marine safety code

Preface by Keith Hill MP, Minister for Shipping

This Code heralds a new approach to the management of safety in ports. It has been developed with the help of a wide range of interests in the ports and shipping industries. I welcome the practical support so many people have given.

The Port Marine Safety Code introduces a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety. It aims to improve safety for those who use or work in ports, their ships, passengers and cargoes, and the environment.

It establishes a measure by which harbour authorities can be accountable for the legal powers and duties which they have to run their harbours safely.

Our ports and harbours generally have a good safety record, and serious incidents are rare.

This is a tribute to the professionalism of those who undertake and oversee port operations. The Code underpins this achievement. Its object is the widest possible adoption of good practice.

Marine operations in ports are hazardous, but they can be conducted safely, provided the hazards and risks have been properly assessed and appropriate systems are in place. Hazards in ports can create a risk to life and property. Port marine operations bring a risk of environmental damage. Managing safety costs money.

Overlooking risk to save money in the short term ultimately costs more and will lose business in the long run.

The Code is intended to apply to all harbour authorities, to the extent that they have duties and powers relating to marine safety. It applies to port marine operations the well-established principles of risk assessment and safety management systems.

Harbour authorities must apply these principles if they are to discharge their legal duties and statutory powers to the national standard that the Code establishes.

The Government will work with the industry to implement this Code. Our common aim is to make prevailing standards higher and ports even safer.

Keith Hill

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