Port safety is a shared concern; a joint
enterprise which involves many players, with a cast that extends far beyond
the port operator and its customers. In a society that has become firmly risk
averse and intolerant of any accident, the science of risk management must be
widely practised and moreover capable of public demonstration in a
The management of risks in the port is a changing, widening field; one that
has moved from the marine risks of moving ships in shallow waters and the
health and safety of port workers, to take in many more issues and involve
many more interests. The public and political expectations of
"perfect" safety now take in many environmental aspects of the port
and its surrounds, while the local inhabitants, whether they work in port
related industry or not, can be expected to involve themselves fully in
discussions of risk and the quality of port operations. Those concerned with
local, regional or national port policy cannot ignore the presence of these
widening port "populations".
Every facet of the port and its operations now finds itself exposed to
critical scrutiny where issues of risk are concerned. The criteria
surrounding marine risks and their management will be minutely examined by
port management anxious to minimise risk of accident from ships which are
getting bigger and demanding more precise navigation and prompt service.
Health and safety also reflects a climate of risk aversity, with practices
thought acceptable in the past challenged , often demanding safer operating
procedures . Increased mechanisation, along with the use of more heavy
machinery , and the constant pressure on performance brings with it
additional risks, and requirements for their management.
Changing attitudes and political initiatives also bring with them
greatly increased liabilities that port operators and those who use ports
have had to take on board. The concept of strict liabilities under certain
regimes, with criminal sanctions under others permit no margins for error and
leave a port management no choice but to embark upon policies that will
manage these risks.
Environmental issues constantly intrude into the port and its surroundings,
notably where the port finds itself in areas where there the eco system is
fragile. To marine environmental risk will be added those of dust, emissions
or noise, while the port generated traffic outside the dock gates will itself
require to be environmentally "managed" if surrounding populations
are not to be alienated. The "risk" of angry neighbours preventing
port development, or even forcing the closure of a port's operations because
of their loss of amenity is not an abstract risk, but one that must be kept
The science of risk management is itself developing, and this conference will
review the latest techniques of risk mapping, risk assessment and the whole
concept of "integrated" risk management. The importance of
contingency planning, the necessity of a proper command structure are
themselves policy imperatives that even the smallest port will find itself
forced to comply with.
Then there is the way in which risks and their management and control
might be affected by the changes that are taking place to the commercial
background of a port. The privatisation of previously public structures - how
do these change the issues of risk with the sub-contracting, public-private
partnerships and possible fragmentation of an integrated management entity
all have clear implications for the management of safety, and the need for a
cohesive approach to risk management.
This conference will aim to provide to participants expert discussion on
these important issues, time for debate, along with opportunities to meet
port professionals who are concerned with the management of risk and major
insurers and those who underwrite in this fast-changing port environment .
The Conference Committee and the Conference
Sponsors look forward to welcoming you to the Port Risk Management
Forum, and wish you success during the conference.
Port of Rotterdam
Piraeus Port Authority S.A.
Rear Adm. Robert C. NORTH USCG(Ret.)
North Star Maritime, Ltd.
Ferry VAN DER LAAR
Chairman, Port Safety & Environment
Operations Committee (IAPH)
Head, Safety & Environment Department
Cees VAN DER SLIKKE
AON Marine Energy & Construction
Capt. Harry TABAK
European Maritime Pilots’ Association