ITF Urges Hutchison Ports to Improve Health and Safety Ops

Port Botany terminalIllustration; Image Courtesy: Hutchison Ports Australia

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has urged Hutchison Ports to address health and safety incidents across their global operations, after a dockworker suffered multiple injuries in a fall at the company’s Port Botany terminal.

The ITF’s Executive Board met in London on April 20 and passed a resolution in which it said that the company “must correct its safety record and mitigate any further risk to its workforce and ensure involvement of union representatives.”

The 55-year-old dockworker fell seven metres from her cabin to the concrete below. She remains in an induced coma after undergoing emergency brain surgery at a Sydney hospital. The incident occurred shortly after midday on April 19 when two port shuttle carriers collided at the port.

“It appears the company has failed its obligations under the NSW Workplace Health and Safety Act due to a lack of consultation with Health and Safety Representatives in the workplace in the lead-up to this tragic accident,” Cross said.

“This is the latest case in a pattern of serious health and safety incidents that have occurred recently in Hutchison terminals. In the past 18 months in the Asia Pacific region alone, there have been four fatal incidents at Hutchison’s JICT terminal in Jakarta,” Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) National Secretary, said.

“Reports that MUA officials were not allowed on site, and that Hutchison has failed its obligations under local laws due to a lack of consultation with Health and Safety Representatives in the lead-up to this tragic accident, are highly concerning.”

The ITF, and affiliate unions, are calling on Hutchison to correct its safety record and mitigate any further risk to its workforce.

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