Background Occupational safety management includes awareness and prevention of risky situations, and maintenance of safe working environment. From an occupational safety perspective a seaport contains several critical interfaces because it is a shared workplace where employees represent many different organisations. An occupational safety risk in seaports and logistics operations is fumigants used in goods transported in containers. Reports of health impairments suffered among persons who have opened fumigated containers are reported from several countries.
Objective The use of fumigants is an appropriate way to protect goods during transport and storage. Problems arise when transport documents do not make any record of fumigation, the containers are not labelled with warnings, and the persons handling the containers are unaware of the health risks. It is thus critical to raise awareness of the health risks of fumigation and create preventive measures.
Results In our recent collaborative networks (“Work safety culture – port as a communal workplace”, “National operation model and work safety protocol for prevention of container gas risks”, “Cargo securing working group”) we have contributed to the aims of increasing awareness of occupational safety risks at seaports and the importance of shared safety culture by producing easy-to-access learning material and occupational safety guidelines; by inviting different authorities and stakeholder organisations to collaborative workshops to discuss the risks, prevention methods and best practices; and by enhancing international collaboration and information sharing.
Conclusions Sharing information about fumigation and cargo securing risks, and creation of a shared safety culture in collaboration between the different organisations that are involved in handling containers and the goods they contain are critical issues for safety in logistic operations.
- Occupational safety risks
- cargo safety
- container gases
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