UK Port Industry Launches Its First Ever Tripartite Guidance On Safety, Leadership And Worker Engagement

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. This voluntary guidance recognises that achieving an effective health and safety culture is as much about human factors, relationships, trust, communication and behaviours as it is about risk assessments, procedures and controls.

At the launch Dr Richard Judge, Chief Executive, Health and Safety Executive said that:

“Leadership and worker engagement are vital parts of a health and safety culture that protects workers and promotes good business. Acting together is very much in the spirit of #HelpGBWorkWell and I welcome this guidance jointly developed by the ports industry and Unite.”

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Tim Clarke, Chairman of Port Skills and Safety stated that:

“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.

We are delighted to launch this Leadership and Engagement guidance that has been jointly developed by members of Port Skills and Safety, Unite the Union and the Health and the Safety Executive. 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.”

The launch was hosted by Britain’s biggest and busiest container port, the Port of Felixstowe. Stephen Abraham, Chief Operating Officer said that:

“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.”

Representatives from Unite the Union commented that:

“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, and of joint working with Unite, and we look forward to taking this forward further with the support of the Health and Safety Executive and Port Skills and Safety.”

The guidance is freely available to download from PSS. It is intended to be used by organisations and individuals to refresh their knowledge of effective health and safety leadership and engagement, as well as encouraging reflection and challenge themselves to continuously improve.


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