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PEMA, TT Club and ICHCA International publish recommendations for safety specifications for quay container cranes

07.06.2011 – In a joint initiative to improve safety at the world’s ports, the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA), the TT Club and ICHCA International are to announce recommendations for minimum requirements for the operation of quay container cranes. Details of the recommendations will be provided at a workshop at TOC Europe 2011 on Thursday June 9.

“The primary objective of our joint initiative is to provide reliable data for the industry to improve safety standards. Furthermore, it seeks to reduce damages and delay to port and terminal operations worldwide,” says PEMA President Ottonel Popesco.

The initiative is the result of an agreement reached between by PEMA, the TT Club and ICHCA International in 2010. While existing technologies significantly improve the safe performance of quay container cranes, and help address some of the most common causes of accidents and claims, many of these features are not currently included as standard on new cranes.

The three organisations therefore set out to identify and recommend a baseline specification for quay container cranes regarding safety features for inclusion in specifications, tenders and quotations for new quay container cranes.

The document is intended for use both by buyers and suppliers of quay container cranes.

The recommendations are not legally binding, and are independent of local, national and international regulatory regimes on the safe design, manufacture, specification and operation of cranes, which must also be satisfied.

The hope of all three parties, however, is that buyers and suppliers will embrace the safety features outlined in the document as a voluntary industry standard.

With more than 2,000 insured operations, including more than 400 ports and terminals globally, the claims data gathered by the TT Club provides a genuine perspective of accident types and causes. An analysis of global asset-related claims by TT Club found that 34 per cent of the costs of global asset claims are related to quay container cranes.

The TT Club’s research showed that, although human factors were the major cause of accidents, existing systems and technologies could be included in the design of equipment to help operators avoid accidents. Laurence Jones, Director Global Risk Assessment of the TT Club called for continuing development of new technology to improve the safety of personnel and equipment, citing the example of quay-crane booms colliding with ships – a frequent accident that is easily prevented by the installation of a simple boom anti-collision electronic sensor.

“For about Euro 10,000 per crane this alone can save millions of dollars in damage as well as injuries and downtime”, says Jones. “Due to price sensitivity, crane manufacturers often do not provide boom anti-collision as standard or offer a low-cost trip wire mechanism that does not provide adequate protection. My aim is to encourage all terminals to specify electronic boom anti-collision sensors and to have all manufacturers include these sensors as standard and not optional in their quotations.”

The scope of the report extends to issues such as wind damage, hoist, spreaders and ropes, as well as structural and operational issues.

Mike Compton, the Chairman of the ICHCA International Safety Panel hailed this joint initiative which has brought together manufacturers, insurance interests and users as a great success in setting a standard for greater collaboration in the future on the important topic of safety. This is the first safety publication of a series that the three organisations envisage jointly developing and publishing in the future.

For more information, please contact:

Rachael White, Secretary General, PEMA

Tel: +44 (0)20 8279 9403

www.pema.org  

Emma Chalmers, Marketing Manager, TT Club

Tel: +44 (0)20 7204 2635

www.ttclub.com

Mike Compton, Chairman International Safety Panel (ISP), ICHCA International

Tel: +44 (0)1708 734831

www.ichca.com

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