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Safety


Safety

A port's navigational safety policy underpins the Harbour Master's responsibility for the safety of navigation. The navigational safety policy, which should be approved by the highest level of management within a port, usually a board of directors, is a publicly available document which states what the board holds itself responsible for in respect of the safety of navigation within its area of jurisdiction.

The reputation of a port is dependent on its safety record and efficiency. Any damage to a port’s safety record may impact on its reputation and by extension, its trade.

The Harbour Master plays a key role in the development and implementation of a safety management system which manages the hazards and risks associated with port operations along with any preparations for emergencies. This should be operated effectively and revised periodically.

Some countries provide guidance to their ports on port safety. An example of this is the UK’s Port Marine Safety Code and its accompanying Good Practice Guide can be found here.

Port Safety

Safety Management and Risk Assessment

To achieve a safe port, a Harbour Master must identify the hazards which present in the port and then assess the risks associated with those hazards. The risks must then be managed down to an acceptable level usually identified as the ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principle. This is the underlying principle of risk assessment – a practice that will not only lead to a safer port but may also help to reduce insurance premiums, a commercial benefit to the port company. Thorough risk assessments can be used not only in the formulation of better operating procedures but also in the formulation of effective emergency plans.

Port By-laws

Navigational safety and care for the environment are governed by numerous international, national and local laws and regulations. Harbour Masters have to not only obey local by-laws but also enforce them. They may also be authorised to draft by-laws for their own ports. Port by-laws and admission policies set the conditions under which vessels may enter and leave the port and where they berth.

Rotterdam Port by-laws: https://www.portofrotterdam.com/en/files/rotterdam-port-management-bye-laws

Admission to Port

Harbour Masters rely on reliable and accurate information to inform decision-making concerning the entry and departure of commercial shipping. The geographical configurations of the port, prevailing weather conditions, port water depths, and the height and strength of the local tides are some of the factors that a Harbour Master considers. This information and other factors will inform a port's navigational safety policy and at operational level affect the decisions concerning the arrival and departure of shipping. Harbour masters specify their entry requirements in great detail. These include safest approaches to a port, pilot boarding ground and details of advance notifications to be given to the port prior to arrival.  

The arrival of a commercial vessel into a port is always a planned event. Notification of the vessel’s arrival sometimes begins weeks before the actual arrival. The vessel normally gives 72-48-24 hour notices to all the parties concerned and corrects the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) with every notice so as to be as close to their declared ETA as possible when arriving at a pilot station.

Pilot boarding and communication between the ship, pilot and port authority shipping control office or VTS are critical to the safe arrival of a ship as it proceeds to its intended berth.

Various agencies including the vessel’s designated Agents, the Harbour Master or his representative, the Pilot company, towage company and the stevedores working the vessel are involved with the arrival of a commercial ship into a port.

Points of notification are predesignated positions set by the Harbour Master when the vessel calls Marine Control on a pre-agreed VHF Channel and informs them of the vessel’s actual position. This information warns other vessels in the area of the incoming vessel’s progress and allows the Marine Controller or VTS to alert ancillary services, such as tugs and lines-boats.

Pilotage

The task of the pilot is to advise the ship’s master on passage through the port and its approaches. The pilot brings knowledge of the local maritime conditions and operational practices that have been gained through extensive experience of navigating ships in the restricted waters of the port and its approaches. Use of a pilot is compulsory in many territorial waters.

In most Member States legislation provides the possibility of some form of exemption from pilotage, either in the form of exemptions in the regulations for compulsory pilotage or by issuing Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC).

Tugs and Towage

Many ports deal with big ships in confined or restricted areas and in many cases the risk of contact (allision) with port infrastructure and the risk of grounding is managed by the use of tugs. The use of tugs may be compulsory in some ports for some ships and this is one of the decisions the Harbour Master will make when considering safety of navigation. The Harbour Master may also monitor the competence and qualifications of tug personnel and the performance of tug operations.

High-speed craft

High speed craft in port waters may pose potential risks to safe navigation, channel / bank erosion and danger to persons working under or around wharf structures. It may be necessary to manage the speed of high-speed craft in areas of risk. Engagement with high-speed craft associations will ensure that key risk areas are identified and managed appropriately. Use of AIS on commercial high-speed craft will allow monitoring by VTS / Port control.

Mooring Operations

Safe and efficient mooring processes are vital for ports and terminals. A ship breaking loose from its moorings is a hazard to other vessels and to port infrastructure. A drifting vessel may cause serious damage to cranes, cargo manifolds and fenders and injuries to staff ashore and afloat.

Appropriately trained shore-based berthing crews will work with ship crews to bring ropes or wires from the ship ashore and put them on the shore bollards by hand or with the use of winch trucks. This is a specialised activity involving significant safety issues.

IMO FAL.6/CIRC.11/Rev.1 GUIDELINES ON MINIMUM TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOR MOORING PERSONNEL

Lashing

Cargo needs to be lashed safely and effectively.  Lashing gangs may be dockworkers or authorised crew members (for instance on short sea RoRo (Roll-on/Roll-off) ferries). Deck cargo, containers and RoRo trailers on the weather deck are vulnerable because they can be hit by waves in bad weather and need special attention. For example, steel coils and other heavy cargo can shift during rolling and pitching when not properly stowed and lashed. When a ship arrives with a list due to shifted cargo, the harbour master is informed and will send a nautical expert on board to ensure that the ship will enter the port safely before providing a berth.

Latest News & Events

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This Marine Information Note (MIN) provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

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In this document the term ship owner is used in the sense that it is used in health and safety regulation, as the person responsible for the operation of the ship.

This is often the same organisation as the ‘company’ referred to in the ISM code.

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Security
Port Call Optimisation
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Vessel Traffic Services
Safety
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Emergency Management
Environment

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Andreas Mai

The IHMA is pleased to present the first in its series of monthly webinars.

 

Simply click HERE to access the presentation.

 

Topic: Casualty Management - Collapsed Container Stacks on Board a 19K TEU Ship 
Speaker: Captain Andreas Mai, Harbour Master (rtd)
Session Chair: IHMA President, Captain Yoss Leclerc

Speaker Bio

Andreas is a former Master Mariner and was appointed Harbour Master for the port of Bremerhaven in 1996. In 2000 he also took over the position of Harbour Master at the port of Bremen. During his active time as Harbour Master and Director of the Governmental Port Authority, he chaired the 2004 IHMA Congress in Bremen and, for a few years, the European Harbour Masters’ Committee (EHMC). He retired from his duties at the end of last year after 24 years of service.   

 

Delivered virtually
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Webinar 3

 

Delivered virtually: 30 Nov – 1 Dec 2020
Safety@SEa week 2020

INTERNATIONAL SAFETY@SEA 2020 WEBINAR SERIES

Join us at this year’s annual gathering of members of the international maritime community and top practitioners as we focus on the theme “Maritime Safety: New Normal, New Paradigms”.

Hear from keynote speakers from the International Maritime Organization,The Nautical Institute, BIMCO and the International Association of Classification Societies, as we discuss topics like seafarers’ mental health & wellness, ship safety and incidents, as well as ship management in the new normal across 4 sessions.

As part of MPA’s commitment to promoting safety at sea, registration for this event is free.

Delivered virtually: 5 – 10 October 2020 | 12 months access
IHMA Congress 2020

With the theme, "The Next Wave – Navigating Towards the Digital Future, the 12th biennial Congress will be delivered virtually from 5 - 10 October, 2020.

The Congress remains the key forum for IHMA members and the global ports sector to collaborate, network, share information, and provide updates on the latest industry technology and solutions.

This year, the IHMA Congress will be transformed into a virtual global community that regularly connects over 12months. All speakers, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors will have exclusive access to the Virtual IHMA Community for Global Port & Marine Operations.

The IHMA Congress Conference itself, including keynotes, technical presentations, panels and Q&A, will be broadcast via a premium event platform in October. The post-Congress Series Program, also to be hosted via the platform will the released shortly.

The 2020 IHMA Congress is an unparalleled opportunity for maritime businesses to showcase their services and for port marine professionals from around the world to network, share their experiences and update their professional knowledge.

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Join industry game changers who are altering the Baltic gas and LNG markets by providing greater energy security and meeting European climate change targets.

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Latest News & Events

Sealite White Paper Sealite White Paper

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) have evolved over time.

As new technology… FIND OUT MORE

long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing

On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) have evolved over time.

As new technology emerges, asset managers have a large range of options and features to consider. This document identifies how clever AtoN design and functionality can help authorities reduce operational costs and improve the visibility of their connected devices.

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) play a pivotal role in maritime safety and extend much further than being the traffic lights of the sea.

We are a long way from the days of a traditional lighthouse whose kerosene lamp served as a simple warning of danger ahead.

The navigational tools available to mariners today are vast and they continue to evolve as new technologies are realized.

Types of AtoN

Congestion within the world’s ports and shipping channels continues to grow, with the maritime industry relying on AtoN to ensure navigational safety and to manage traffic conditions.

On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing.

This Marine Information Note (MIN) provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

The document provides information on the potentially long-lasting and far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing. It provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

In this document the term ship owner is used in the sense that it is used in health and safety regulation, as the person responsible for the operation of the ship.

This is often the same organisation as the ‘company’ referred to in the ISM code.