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Maritime Safety Security and Piracy

CHAPTER 8 PORT SAFETY AND WORKERS 1. INTRODUCTION From ocean shipping’s early origins to the present, daily operations at seaports represent potentially dangerous worksites. In an industry where time equates to money, port management forfeited safety protocols in favour of faster operations to improve profit margins. The result yielded work environments that placed dockworkers at risk for respiratory disease, occupational injury and in extreme cases, death. Today’s terminal operations depend more upon the synchronisation of complex cargo stowage manoeuvres coupled with the simultaneous use of oversized handling equipment. Although worker safety has always been a cornerstone of domestic and international union platforms, port authorities, governmental agencies, and member-state organisations reactively have created safety programmes in response to maritime tragedies.

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