Port Marine Safety Code

This is possibly one of the most important areas of the Dart Harbour website, and indeed this section governs a critical element of Dart Harbour’s ethos, namely maximising safety for all river users.

In 2009, the Port Marine Safety Code was published, reinforcing the Government’s commitment to marine safety. The code applies to all statutory harbour authorities, of which Dart Harbour is one. The code is primarily aimed at the ‘Duty Holder’, in this case the Dart Harbour board, and sets out some national standards for ports to adhere to. Whilst the Code is not in itself a statutory obligation, it is enshrined and intertwined with relevant related legislation associated with keeping ports safe, such as the Pilotage Act 1987, the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, the Health and Safety at Work Act and Dock regulations. It goes without saying that it is Dart Harbour’s inferred duty to comply with the Code and it’s supporting document, the ‘Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations’.

The Port Marine Safety Code can be found in the related documents section of this page.

In order to comply with the Code, the following high level items are required:

1. Board awareness of their existing powers and duties.
2. Appointment of an independent ‘Designated Person’ with direct access to the board.
3. Develop and effective Safety Management System, which employs formal Risk
Assessment techniques.
4. Publish a comprehensive Safety Plan, along with a regular assessment showing Dart
Harbour’s performance against the plan.

As part of a revitalised approach to safety since my arrival, Dart Harbour’s response to these items are as follows:

1. The board are updated at the monthly board meeting on safety items and compliance with the Code.

2. A Designated Person has been appointed, who has full access to all safety related documentation and issues at Dart Harbour. He submits a regular report to the board commentating on compliance, for discussion at board meetings.

3. Following a continuous audit process for the last five years by the Dart Harbour Designated Person (DP), I am pleased to state that DHNA is declared compliant with the Port Marine Safety Code to date, 1st April 2015.  This declaration will be reviewed in three years time.  Nothwithstanding this, the continuous audit process will continue throughout the ensuing period.

4.  Key safety elements to focus on between now and 1st April 2018 will include

(a)  improved accident reporting, investigation and trend analysis with regard to PMSC related incidents.

(b)  Embuing staff further with a top to bottom hands on approach to safety culture

(c)  Continuous review of safety documentation to make it relevant to, and accessible by, DHNA staff.