Improvements in occupational safety


Occupational safety at the Port of HaminaKotka has taken further steps forward. The port company obliges its personnel to wear a protective helmet whenever there is a risk of an impact on the head. As an example, when working on quays, a helmet must be used in all situations: when mooring, unmooring, moving and hauling a vessel, in the supply of water as well as in waste and crane services.

A helmet must also be worn in rail track and maintenance work as well as in all repair and service work. Moreover, a helmet must be used in those work duties and areas where the holder of the area requires the use of helmet.

Tapani Pasanen, Operative Manager responsible for occupational safety at Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, points out that by virtue of the Finnish Occupational Safety and Health Act, the employer not only has an obligation to provide the employees with protective equipment but also to supervise the use of the equipment. It does not constitute sufficient supervision if the same employee is repeatedly made an oral remark about the missing helmet.

Tapani Pasanen says that the use of helmet is already common practice in the companies operating at the port, even though Finnish ports have adopted the practice rather slowly. Elsewhere in the world, helmets have been used at seaports for decades.

“The personnel of Port of HaminaKotka have welcomed the helmet obligation very well. In fact, I expected some degree of opposition,” says Tapani Pasanen.

Throwing of the mooring line from the ship to the quay is a typical situation involving a risk. Tapani Pasanen can say from his personal experience that it really hurts when the heavy metal part at the end of the line hits you on the head.

Another improvement in occupational safety introduced at the end 2017 are the defibrillators acquired for the gates of both the Mussalo and Hamina Harbours. The semi-automatic devices can even be operated by laypersons. At the Port of HaminaKotka, the security guards in the gate buildings that are open at all times have also been trained in use of the devices.

“A few times a year we have had cases where a defibrillator would have been needed. Usually these cases have involved the resuscitation of a foreign truck driver.”

The Port of HaminaKotka is increasingly perceived as a single workplace where the port company exercises control in safety matters. Safety issues are discussed in occupational safety groups, where companies operating in different sectors have appointed their representatives. There is an occupational safety group in both Kotka and Hamina.

Safety within Port of HaminaKotka Ltd covers operations in the port environment: accidents, near miss situations, prevention and occupational safety. Security covers risks and threats coming from the outside, intentional damage and harassment, crime, piracy, terrorism and their prevention.

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