Briefing Pamphlets

The ICHCA Briefing Pamphlets provide information on safe systems of work and guidance on the role of related regulatory organisations such as the IMO, ILO and UNECE.

Briefing Pamphlets are free to download for ICHCA members or can be purchased individually by non-members by contacting Helen Coffey: helen.coffey@ichca.com

BP1: ILO Convention 152

BP1: ILO Convention 152


The International Labour Organization is the UN agency dealing with employment and social justice and works through adopting Conventions which are ratified by member nations and incorporated into national laws. As such, it has adopted Conventions on health and safety in dock work since 1929 and, in June 1979, adopted Convention 152. This is the current Convention and is the basis for national dock safety laws. The newer Convention updated the safety measures contained in the previous Convention 32...




BP2: Ships

BP2: Ships' Lifting Plant


Ships’ lifting plant comprises lifting appliances and lifting gear carried on board a ship and used for the discharge and loading of cargo. Many ports still rely on lifting plant to carry out this work. Where port personnel are required to drive/operate such equipment, a check should be made of the gear register and of the gear itself, regarding whether the lifting plant is safe to use before operations commence. The use of unsuitable or unsafe lifting plant has resulted in the death and injuries...




BP3: The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

BP3: The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the specialised United Nations agency with responsibility for international maritime affairs. As such, it is responsible for the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). The Code deals with packaged dangerous goods and this briefing pamphlet gives a concise summary of the most important aspects of the IMDG Code and how to use it. Since January 2004, the IMDG Code has been mandatory and all member states who are signatories to the IMO’s...




BP4: Classification Societies

BP4: Classification Societies


A Classification Society makes comprehensive Classification Rules for vessel hull structural design and essential shipboard engineering systems and applies them by means of appraisal of the design and survey of the ship and its systems. Compliance with the rules entitles a ship to be “classed”. A Classification Society’s main purpose is to ensure the continued seaworthiness of all ships “classed” under its rules. BP4 informs the reader about the many aspects pertaining to Classification...




BP5: Container Terminal Safety

BP5: Container Terminal Safety


This Briefing Pamphlet is intended to give general guidance for use within all container terminals. The majority of serious accidents in container terminals are due to the mixing of people and heavy machinery, the drivers of which often have restricted visibility. As a general basic principle the aim should be to avoid such mixing. When this cannot be done, exposure should be minimised and controlled. BP5 gives advice on entering and leaving terminals, container reception, road systems, lighting...




BP6: Emergency Plans

BP6: Emergency Plans


This provides guidance on the preparation and implementation of emergency plans and procedures for port and harbour areas, as well as terminals. It is based upon the experience and knowledge of various members of ICHCA’s ISP Technical Panel and the results of a survey conducted for the Panel. Emergency plans will be concerned with three factors: The hazard, nature and extent of the possible event The risk and probability of occurrence The consequences and the possible effect on people and the...




BP7: Safe Cleaning of Freight Containers

BP7: Safe Cleaning of Freight Containers


The internal cleanliness of freight containers is very important if hazards are to be avoided. This pamphlet considers the requirements for the safe cleaning of general purpose, insulated and refrigerated (reefer) containers. The specialised requirements for tank containers are not covered. This publication covers: residues, the identification of residues, cleaning operations, IICL / ICS “General Guide for Container Cleaning,” cleaning methods, and conclusions. Date: 2006 (2nd edition) | ISBN:...




BP8: Safe Working On Container Ships

BP8: Safe Working On Container Ships


BP8 is written as general guidance for use in connection with stevedoring operations on container ships. The pamphlet covers general responsibilities, access and egress from places of work, starting and finishing work, container top working, use of fall prevention or fall arrest systems, semi-automatic twistlocks, working in adverse conditions and emergencies. This publication is currently under review. Date: 1994 (1st edition) | ISBN: 978-1-85330-114-8 ...




BP9: Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers

BP9: Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers


This booklet has been prepared to serve as a general guide to the safe use of flexible intermediate bulk containers manufactured from woven fabric. Typical examples are illustrated in the pamphlet. Guidance is provided on many general aspects of FIBCs. including special considerations concerning the use of FIBCs for the transport of dangerous goods, selection of FIBCs, safety checks, filling and emptying, transport of FIBCs and stacking and storage of filled FIBCs. Written in conjunction with the...




BP10: Safe Working at Ro-Ro Terminals

BP10: Safe Working at Ro-Ro Terminals


This Briefing Pamphlet is written as a general guide for use within all types of roll-on, roll-off terminals. The majority of serious accidents in ro-ro terminals are due to the mixing of people with heavy mobile machinery, the drivers of which often have restricted visibility. In view of the mixed nature of groups working on ro-ro decks (seamen, lashers, cargo handlers, etc.), close cooperation between all parties is essential. This publication concentrates on general responsibilities, terminal...




BP11: International Convention for Safe Containers

BP11: International Convention for Safe Containers


Following the rapid increase of the use of freight containers for the transport of goods by sea in the 1960s, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the 1972 Convention for Safe Containers (CSC 1972). The Convention was amended in 1981, 1983 and 1991 and these amendments are fully in force. This Briefing Pamphlet details: The history, objectives, scope, approval and testing of containers Safety approval plates Maintenance and inspection Control disputes One-way trip containers One...




BP12: Safety Audit Systems for Ports

BP12: Safety Audit Systems for Ports


There are many reasons why the management of a port company should carry out a safety audit of a part, or all, of its organisation. The purpose of an audit is to highlight the risks that are present and to identify their underlying causes. This Briefing Pamphlet illustrates how to do this. It also indicates the organisational and procedural measures that need to be taken to deal with the risks. The contents of this briefing pamphlet detail the management of safety, what is a safety audit, why audit,...




BP13: The Loading and Unloading of Solid Bulk Cargoes

BP13: The Loading and Unloading of Solid Bulk Cargoes


Every year some six billion tonnes of solid bulk cargoes pass through the world’s ports. In the last twenty years there has been increasing concern at the number of bulk carriers that have been lost at sea and the associated loss of life. The IMO Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (the BLU Code) was approved by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and adopted by the 20th Assembly of IMO in November 1997. The Code emphasises the need for co-operation between...




BP14: The Role of the Independent Marine Surveyor

BP14: The Role of the Independent Marine Surveyor


This booklet deals with surveyors and companies that operate generally in private practice, without ties to a parent company or an organisation, and are in position to accept instructions from any party on a first-come-first-served basis. The pamphlet gives general guidance and covers: Definitions The role of the surveyor Survey reports The claim and the claim process The role of P&I (Protection and Indemnity) clubs Specific involvement with hazardous substances and dangerous cargoes Date:...




BP15: Substance Abuse in the Workplace

BP15: Substance Abuse in the Workplace


Substance abuse is defined as the use of mind-altering or mood-changing substances. The use of illegal drugs or the misuse of legal drugs or alcohol can significantly affect the safe performance of workers. Substance abuse by workers in the cargo handling world can lead to potentially catastrophic consequences, with sophisticated equipment such as container gantry cranes, straddle carriers, top loaders, terminal tractors and lift trucks requiring alert and skilled operators who must be able to focus...




BP16: Safe Use of Textile Slings

BP16: Safe Use of Textile Slings


The last twenty years have seen a massive increase in the use of textile slings, particularly when used for ‘pre-slinging’ cargo, as shippers, receivers, charterers and port handling organisations strive to achieve the lowest possible operating costs. In the same period the use of slings made from natural fibres has reduced to a very low figure, with their place being taken by products made from man-made fibres. This pamphlet takes into account the changes over the last twenty years and the new...




BP17: Linkspans and Walkways

BP17: Linkspans and Walkways


This Briefing Pamphlet is intended to provide an introduction to the safety issues that arise from the operation and maintenance of shore ramps and walkways, which are unique structures designed and provided by the shoreside but used extensively by shipping. Incidents have occurred and guidance is given on typical incidents, the purchase process for shore ramps and walkways, operational practices, and maintenance systems. Date: 2011 (2nd edition) | ISBN: 978-1-85330-105-6 ...




BP18: Port State Control

BP18: Port State Control


Port State Control (PSC) is the international system for the inspection of cargo ships in national ports, for the purpose of verifying that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of certain international maritime conventions and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with applicable national laws. There are now PSC agreements covering all the major sea areas of the world and BP18 gives guidance on topics including: Flag state responsibility vs. port...




BP20: Unseen Dangers in Freight Containers

BP20: Unseen Dangers in Freight Containers


This Briefing Pamphlet is intended to raise awareness of the dangers for personnel that may exist inside freight containers. Workers should be aware not only of the danger of poorly stowed cargo inside a container, that can fall as the containers doors are opened, but also the potential of being overwhelmed by toxic fumes from fumigants or other gases inside the container. BP20 gives guidance on experiences, why cargo is fumigated in freight containers, how and where fumigation is carried out and...




BP21: Stow it Right!

BP21: Stow it Right!


The purpose of BP21 is to facilitate the proper loading and securing of cargo in freight containers. The information in this pamphlet will serve as a guide to planning the loading of cargo so that its shipment will be safe and its integrity maintained until it gets to the consignee. The pamphlet will also help in the prevention of damage to containers and their cargoes when travelling by road, rail and particularly by ship. It gives guidance on: Choosing the container Container constructions Forces...




BP23: Safe Handling of Forest Products

BP23: Safe Handling of Forest Products


Transporting forest products around the world is one of the major maritime trades and involves terminal handling, stevedoring, and carriage by sea. These functions, and the way they interact, are described in this Briefing Pamphlet. It sets down some general principles of safety and good practice in the handling of forest products, both onboard and ashore. Contents include: Terminal stacking Handling and safety Safe loading Stowing and discharging of lift on / lift off vessels Safe loading Stowing...




BP24: Safe Use of Road Vehicle Twistlocks

BP24: Safe Use of Road Vehicle Twistlocks


This pamphlet gives guidance on the safe use of road vehicle twistlocks, the different types available, their applications and minimum maintenance standards. It is the responsibility of the trailer or chassis manufacturer to ensure that the twistlocks fitted meet both the maximum load requirements and any operating requirements of the country that they will be operating in. The contents cover design features, categories, function, securement, safety checks before use, operation, special considerations...




BP25: An Illustrated Guide to Container Marking Codes

BP25: An Illustrated Guide to Container Marking Codes


A container type and size is depicted by the series of numbers in the upper right hand corner of the container’s right hand door. Of course if the container was right in front of you, the size and type could be ascertained by just walking around it. However, as most of the time there is only a manifest, other shipping document or EDI transmission, you need to know the ISO numbering system to understand what type of container you are dealing with. This Briefing Pamphlet details the status of codes,...




BP26: Safe Handling of Bulk Liquids and Gases at the Ship/Shore Interface

BP26: Safe Handling of Bulk Liquids and Gases at the Ship/Shore Interface


Statistics for incidents involving bulk liquids and gases in tankers show that these occur more frequently in port than at sea or in confined waters. This is a very significant statistic for tankers who spend only a small proportion of their time in port. So the risk of an incident occurring while a vessel is in port is greater than at any other time during its operational life. The purpose of this publication is to give a brief introduction and an appreciation of the subject to those who are not...




BP27: Safe Working with Pallets

BP27: Safe Working with Pallets


One of the first major changes in cargo handling came with the advent of the pallet. This pamphlet concentrates on the pre-use inspection, handling and maintenance routines which should be standard practice for those who own and handle pallets, including stevedore-owned pallets as well as shipper-owned multi-use and one-trip pallets. Risks come from a variety of causes such as poor pallet design and construction, unsuitable use, improper handling, use of a previously damaged pallet or use in an unsuitable...




BP28: Safe Slinging

BP28: Safe Slinging


This Briefing Pamphlet deals with correct methods for slinging loads. While containerisation has replaced much general cargo handling, there is still a considerable need for the knowledge and equipment to carry out slinging. BP28 covers regulations, slinging materials, slinging equipment, the general principles of slinging, including mode factors, and care and maintenance of slings. This BP is supplemented by Safety Guides IIL/5 and IIL/6. Date: 2009 (1st edition) | ISBN: 978-1- 85330-012-7 ...




BP29: Loading Logs from Water in British Columbia

BP29: Loading Logs from Water in British Columbia


Loading logs into ships is a stevedoring operation that has not changed significantly since timber became an export commodity. One fact has remained a constant over the years: log loading operations have a high rate of personal injury. However, due to the implementation of a systematic training programme and improved equipment, the rate of injury dramatically decreased in 2005 and 2006 in the region covered by this pamphlet. The purpose of this pamphlet is to provide guidelines on handling this cargo....




BP30: Safe Handling of Tank Containers

BP30: Safe Handling of Tank Containers


In the freight container industry the term “tank container” usually refers to a 20ft tank container consisting of a stainless steel pressure vessel supported and protected within a steel frame. Containers are often thought just to carry dangerous goods. This is far from the truth, as “tank containers” covers a number of containment designs suitable for a range of hazardous and non-hazardous iquid bulk commodities. Tank containers come in various sizes, can be pressurised or non-pressurised....




BP31: Safe Operation of Passenger Terminals

BP31: Safe Operation of Passenger Terminals


General safety considerations and a safe system of work are important issues at marine terminals that involve the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, bearing in mind that passengers are members of the public and will not be aware of the hazards of ports and harbours. This Briefing Pamphlet considers the basic requirements associated with the safe operation of such facilities. As each facility presents its own unique characteristics of design and operation, care should be exercised in adapting...




BP32: Safe Use of Cargo Strapping for Lifting Purposes

BP32: Safe Use of Cargo Strapping for Lifting Purposes


The trend towards unitisation and unit lifting methods has been driven by the need for better and simpler handling systems, improved productivity, damage free transportation and cost reduction generally. To compete with other handling systems such as containers, pallets, and lifting slings, many products are strapped together to form units such as aluminium ingots, bales of woodpulp, plywood, waste paper, steel tubes, billets etc. These units may then be handled individually by conventional methods...




BP33: Safe Working with Reefer Containers

BP33: Safe Working with Reefer Containers


Refrigerated containers (reefers) are used to transport goods at a constant temperature either above or below freezing and this is an increasing trade. Refrigerated goods are transported by land, sea and air through container terminals, loading and transfer stations, railway stations, ports, airports, warehouses and onboard ships. There is a wide variety of equipment to reduce the risks associated with plugging and unplugging reefer containers to electrical power supplies. Some include controls involving...




BP34: Container Top Safety

BP34: Container Top Safety


This Briefing Pamphlet has been developed in response to the IMO adopting and publishing its MSC 1/circ.1352 in 2010 on the safe lashing of deck containers. It therefore aims at dealing with the issues of container top working as referenced in that circular. In part it replaces RP4 Container Top Safety, but not completely: there are some aspects of that Research Paper that are still relevant and not dealt with in this publication. BP34 is intended to complement BP35 in giving guidance arising from...




BP35: Provisions for the Safe Lashing of Deck Containers

BP35: Provisions for the Safe Lashing of Deck Containers


BP35 is written to complement BP34. In a report to IMO in 2005, the United Kingdom included the following executive summary: “Although containerisation has greatly improved the safety of cargo handling, cargo related accidents to ships’ crews and dockworkers continue. Research in the United Kingdom has shown that some 40% of accidents to dockworkers occur onboard ships and the majority of these are related to lashing activities on container ships. In many cases the design layout of the lashing...




BP36: Safe Working with Straddle Carriers

BP36: Safe Working with Straddle Carriers


As of 2011, there were approximately 60 container terminals worldwide equipped with straddle carriers. Straddle carriers remain in use due to their mobility and flexibility, but they are much larger, heavier, higher and faster than other mobile machinery. They are therefore specialist items of equipment which require driving skills not found on any other equipment. This means that drivers have to separately learn to operate and control such machines and the implications for their safe operation have...




BP37: The Safe Use of General Freight Containers

BP37: The Safe Use of General Freight Containers


There have been many developments in connection with containerisation since 1972 and several different types of container have been developed for specialised purposes. However, the vast majority of the world fleet - over 17 million containers - continues to be the ubiquitous rectangular closed box general purpose containers. This pamphlet is intended to give simple guidance for the safe use of series 1 general purpose freight containers for the international carriage of goods by sea. References to...




BP38: Safe Handling of Flexitanks in General Purpose Freight Containers

BP38: Safe Handling of Flexitanks in General Purpose Freight Containers


This Briefing Pamphlet provides best practice guides for flexitank testing, container selection, flexitank manufacture and installation, flexitank / container combination (FCC) handling, stowage recommendations, cleaning and disposal. Date: 2011 (1st edition) | ISBN: 978-1-85330-035-6 ...




BP41: Safe Handling and Operation of Platform Flats and Flatrack Containers

BP41: Safe Handling and Operation of Platform Flats and Flatrack Containers


This Briefing Pamphlet provides detailed information concerning the loading and securing of cargoes on platform flats and flatrack containers, which are generally used to carry oversize or project cargoes that cannot be packed into standard box type ISO freight containers. It also details the various types of units that are available for this purpose and their key handling features. This pamphlet updates and replaces the former BP19, which covered the safe lifting of interlocked platform flats and...




BP42: Guidance on the safe use of container lifting lugs

BP42: Guidance on the safe use of container lifting lugs


This Briefing Pamphlet has been developed jointly with LEEA as means of offering a general guidance to the variety of container lifting lugs available and their safe use. Date: 2016 (1st edition) | ISBN: 978-1-85330-042-4 ...