Supporting crane safety

Industry Database

COMMENT: An updated recommended minimum safety features for quay container cranes document, which incorporates the latest technologies, will soon be released, writes Laurence Jones.

First published in 2011, it has proved a very valuable document for terminals and manufacturers to help improve the safety of quay container cranes. Published jointly by the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA International), insurer TT Club and the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA), its aim is to help improve safety in ports and terminals.

Born out of TT Club's insurance claims experience, research for the document drew together a formidable group of operational and engineering experience from around the globe, through the ICHCA International Safety Panel and PEMA members.

While a range of technologies now exist that can significantly improve the performance of quay container cranes – as well as help to 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 in relation to safety features.

The intention is for suppliers to include as standard, not optional, the baseline of safety features on this list in all their quotations for container quay cranes. Terminals and buyers are also recommended to incorporate such requirements in their tender specifications. In many instances the safety features identified can and should also be retrofitted to existing equipment.

This document calls for a new approach to the crane procurement process in order to recognise safety as an integral part of operational decisions that will minimise exposure to injury, damage and disruption costs during the life of the equipment.

While many terminals now include these features in their technical specification, it is unfortunate that most manufacturers do not include them as standard. I encourage crane manufacturers to support this initiative and help improve the safety of the container terminal industry by including all the safety features identified in this joint publication.

The document will be available free from the websites of the tripartite group:, and

Laurence Jones is deputy chairman of ICHCA International.


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