UK Port Industry Launches Leadership, Worker Engagement Guidance

UK port employers, led by Port Skills and Safety (PSS), have joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive and Unite the Union to develop leadership and worker engagement guidance for the port industry.

As explained, this voluntary guidance recognizes that achieving an effective health and safety culture is as much about human factors, relationships, trust, communication and behaviors as it is about risk assessments, procedures and controls.

“Leadership and worker engagement are vital parts of a health and safety culture that protects workers and promotes good business,” Richard Judge, Chief Executive, Health and Safety Executive, explained.

“Excellent leadership and employee engagement are the foundation of an effective health and safety culture. Proactive leadership behaviours and highly engaged people deliver better quality, increased efficiency and a sustainable business,” Tim Clarke, Chairman of Port Skills and Safety, stated.

“The guidance provides a clear direction for our industry, sharing learning from those already underway and helping those who are looking beyond compliance to successfully embed health and safety as a core value,” Clarke added.

The launch was hosted by Britain’s largest container port, the Port of Felixstowe.

“Ports can be dangerous places to work – keeping all our employees, contractors and visitors safe is our number one priority. We need to be relentless in addressing health & safety issues. This collaborative effort helps maintain a sharp focus on the importance of strong safety leadership, at all levels of the business, to ensure that we work safely at all times,” Stephen Abraham, Chief Operating Officer, the Port of Felixstowe, said.

Representatives from Unite the Union also commented:“Unite welcomes the publication of jointly agreed guidance on Health and Safety Leadership and Worker Engagement in the Ports Industry, an initiative prompted by the HSE research report ‘Leadership and Worker Engagement in the ports industry’.

“We are also marking forty years since the creation of trade union safety representatives under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977. Trade union safety representatives exercise their legal functions and powers effectively to help make our ports workplaces safer and healthier. Of crucial importance is the ports employers’ support for our trade union safety representatives.”

The guidance is freely available to download from PSS.

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