Research Papers

The ICHCA Research Papers document detailed research on health and safety matters affecting cargo handling operations.

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

RP2: Fumes in Ships Holds

RP2: Fumes in Ships Holds


Disquiet had been expressed for some time in the private and public sectors about the possible health effects arising from employees working in the holds of ships where vehicle exhaust fumes were regularly found. Various research projects had been carried out in a number of countries and some work had been developed by the IMO. In addition, various countries had introduced laws or guidance aimed at controlling exposure of individuals to fumes in holds and, reflecting wider environmental considerations,...




RP3: Health & Safety Assessments in Ports

RP3: Health & Safety Assessments in Ports


This Research Paper was developed in the light of experience with modern techniques and assessments of occupational health and safety performance in the industry. Some new elements have been included in this revised edition, taking into consideration developments in safety management systems. The assessment emphasises the systematic work of analysing and it is intended for persons who work with health and safety matters in ports. ICHCA’s ISP Technical Panel hopes that the publication of this booklet...




RP5: Port and Terminal Accident Statistics

RP5: Port and Terminal Accident Statistics


This Research Paper reviews the collation of work accidental statistics and methodologies used by enforcement authorities and ports and terminals around the world. It highlights the lack of common standards. As a direct result of this Research Paper, the ISP introduced its confidential annual International Container Terminal Accident Benchmark Scheme. Date: 2008 (2nd edition) | ISBN: 978-1-85330-101-8 ...




RP6: Safe Handling of Radioactive Materials

RP6: Safe Handling of Radioactive Materials


This Research Paper was written as a review of the subject of receiving and handling class 7 cargoes and gives guidance on the actions that should be taken to ensure safety and health in their handling. Date: 2001 | ISBN: 978-1-85330-102-5 ...




RP7: Ship Design Considerations for Stevedore Safety

RP7: Ship Design Considerations for Stevedore Safety


This Research Paper is concerned with design and construction aspects of ships so as to provide a safe place of work for stevedores and crew when lashing and handling cargo. The planning and design of a ship is the critical stage, as it is difficult to make substantial amendments after the ship has been built. RP7 is based on ILO Convention 152 “Occupational Safety and Health in Dock Work“ and ILO Code of Practice “Safety and Health in Ports.” It has now been substantially replaced by BP34...




RP8: Safe Walkways in Port & Terminal Areas

RP8: Safe Walkways in Port & Terminal Areas


It has long been recognised that safe means of access and egress for persons working in, or passing through, ports and terminals are essential. Following the introduction of modern, mechanised methods of cargo handling and fatal and serious accidents, it became obvious that there was a need to separate persons from vehicles. The provision of suitably designated and signed walkways is one way of achieving this separation. Persons using walkways include stevedores and other port and terminal employees,...




RP9: Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing

RP9: Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing


While accident prevention covers a wide variety of actions to ensure that the person at work is safe, there is a specific need for personal protective equipment (PPE). This is concerned with protecting the individual in situations where a safe method of work would benefit from the individual being protected or highlighted. Wherever possible, a safe place strategy is preferable to a safe person strategy. The provision of personal protection such as safety boots and ear defenders should be seen as...




RP10: Back Pain

RP10: Back Pain


In 2002 the stevedoring company Hesse – Noord Natie (HNN), based in Antwerp, Belgium was confronted with a serious shortage of container crane drivers due to a very high level of absenteeism. The main reasons for this absenteeism were physical neck and back conditions of the drivers. The company and its Service for Industrial Medicine were looking for ways to tackle the situation, with the aim of reducing the causal conditions and decreasing this absenteeism. It was decided to develop a project...




RP11: Lifting People at Work for Cargo Handling Purposes

RP11: Lifting People at Work for Cargo Handling Purposes


With the introduction of new techniques of cargo movements and cargo handling, it has become increasingly necessary for people to work at height. Getting them up there, providing a safe platform to work from, and getting them down again safely is crucial. Traditional methods, such as portable ladders, are now recognised as unsafe over certain heights and increasingly mechanical means, such as hoists, are being used. Some of this equipment is primarily intended for cargo handling rather than lifting...




RP12: Whole Body Vibration

RP12: Whole Body Vibration


A high incidence of lower back pain among plant operators has been recognised for some time. Lower back pain can be attributed to a number of factors, but one of these is exposure to whole body vibration. With the advent of a European Directive and national legislation in Europe to control whole body vibration as a physical agent capable of causing or exacerbating injury, the port industry needs to understand the stressor itself, how to assess the risks, how to recognise its effects, how to comply...




RP13: Lifting Containers by Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes

RP13: Lifting Containers by Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes


Following a number of reports of accidents involving container lifting operations by rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), the ISP Technical Panel decided to ascertain whether this was an international issue or one confined to a few terminals. The issue concerned lifting containers from road vehicles by RTGs such that the road vehicle was inadvertently lifted as well. Damage to the RTG, spreader, road vehicle, and bodily injury are all potential outcomes of such an incident. The aim of this research...




RP14: Lashing of Containers

RP14: Lashing of Containers


This report was produced to enable a summary to be made of the feedback from a survey conducted in the latter part of 2006 and was submitted to IMO to aid its work on this subject. It did not cover the full findings but included information that was most likely to be of interest. As all statistics are not included in this report the data should not be taken in isolation. The survey questionnaire was developed in conjunction with Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. It was circulated to...




RP15: Terminal Operations in High Wind Conditions

RP15: Terminal Operations in High Wind Conditions


The International Safety Panel (ISP) decided that research was necessary before embarking on the development of a publication on the subject of high winds, their impact on terminal operations and practical measures that can and should be taken to minimise their effects. Whilst this was being prepared TT Club developed a publication called “Windstorm” arising from experience of a number of severe high wind damages. Once the ISP research had been completed and analysed it was decided that ICHCA...




RP16: Crane Driver Ergonomics

RP16: Crane Driver Ergonomics


Together with crane drivers, management of container ports and scientific institutes, Merford Cabins, which has been a supplier for 40 years, is continuously studying the working circumstances of crane drivers to develop better solutions. This Research Paper shows the results of different practical studies and biomechanical analyses of crane drivers’ postures done by Merford and TNO Work and Employment as a scientific institute. It details the problem, development solutions, specific crane characteristics,...