Data sharing vital to advance port safety

Bristol's David Brown delivers his safety message Bristol's David Brown delivers his safety message
Industry Database

Ports must share safety data and incidences, The Bristol Port Company chief executive David Brown has urged.

Speaking at the British Ports Association Conference, Mr Brown said that only when data and incidences are shared will ports be able to move past the current “safety plateau”.

He conceded that data sharing on safety has improved, but more needs to be done to really drive safety improvements.

“If you share data, you’re going to get trends … moving forward,” he said.

To try and prevent safety incidents, The Bristol Port Company has undertaken behavioural training; engaged with unions, the Health and Safety Executive and others; and encouraged stakeholder involvement.

As part of the behavioural training, Mr Brown explained that around 95% of the port’s staff have now undertaken comprehensive safety training. Since the trainers were engaged in April, the incident rate at The Bristol Port Company has dropped by a quarter.

However, the rate improvement has now plateaued, Mr Brown explained, adding that he needed to think of something else “to get it to the next stage”.

All stakeholders must be involved in safety training, he argued, and ports must try and find a mechanism different from a bland PowerPoint presentation to get the safety message across. Mr Brown said he believed stakeholders are now more receptive, but while safety-related scripts and instruments exist, they are not always in tune.

Further, he described safety as “a fundamental culture”, and noted that “as we start to think about the culture of what we require, that’s when you start to become in tune and play as a band”.


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