Increasing safety in porto: investment or cost?

  • 04/03/2021
  • 8 minutes

Port security is one of the strategic elements of maritime management. Paying due attention to both the goods and the people that make up the surroundings of the port areas is central to the achiever of an operation.

The care related to climate issues, which can affect the performance and well-being of everyone involved, is another decisive factor when investing in safety.

To realize more about port security and to know if the investment is necessary or if it is merely an extra cost, we talked to a specialist on the subject, the SMS manager at Tecon Rio Grande, Cleiton Lages.

Check the information right now! 

Why increase security at the port?

Investment in security at the port is essential due to several factors, which can achieve the preservation of life, including care to avoid material losses and an adequate preparation according to the risks offered by bad weather. Follow in detail the reasons for increasing security in port areas below.

Avoid damage

Preparation of the professionals involved, and constant maintenance of the equipment are indispensable to ensure that damage to cargo transported in the port environment will be minimized. Investing in safe behavior and in structures that reduce the risks of everyone’s work allows accidents to be avoided. Thus, in addition to preventing material losses, the image of the companies involved is also conserved.

Naturally, items are protected by international cargo insurance. Nevertheless, being careful to avoid losses and damaged products is essential so that there are no delays in delivery and other losses that are hard to calculate financially.

Preserving lives

When it comes to port security, yet we are talking about more than being cautious with goods and other material goods. While avoiding loss and theft is important, there are even more fundamental motivators such as saving lives. 

Giving all due attention to this issue is equivalent to being careful with people working in the port area and in neighboring communities. “The social costs of not investing in security are very high,” says Lages.

Among the day-to-day lives of a port are those of different professionals and those of other individuals who circulate in the region, which include:

● direct and outsourced workers.

● conveyors.

● service providers.

● public agents.

● users of the port system.

● customers.

● students.

● residents of the surrounding communities.

Protect people and cargo from natural disasters

Another reason to invest in port security is to minimize risks and losses caused by external factors of a natural nature, such as wind, tide, rain, and other adverse weather conditions.

In the case of high tide, ports that do not have a deep draft need to be attentive to ensure that vessels will have full security conditions to dock and un berth. For days of gale and heavy rain, the schedule of breaks in activities – with protocols and clear communication – must be planned.

What are the risks of not having good security?

The port activity is quite complex due to a series of factors, ranging from the size of the equipment to the need to maintain high productivity, including the number of people involved (in the activity and the surroundings) and the variety of products that pass through the ports.

The risks are considerably varied, with a strong potential to generate a high number of occupational diseases, disability and even deaths. Even the type of product transported, such as chemicals, can be a factor that increases the risk, due to the consequences that accidents involving them can cause. Therefore, having highly trained teams is essential.

Port areas have the following main risks:

● crushing.

● pedestrian accidents.

● explosions.

● falls.

● electric shocks.

● poisonings.

● asphyxiation.

● drowning.

In addition to all these issues focused on the preservation of the physical integrity of the people involved in the port processes, it is also necessary to consider any losses that can be generated to companies that use maritime transport services. Theft, loss, poor cargo control, ease of fraud and other crimes can occur under these conditions.

Although not as common, situations like injuries caused by attempts to steal cargo can also occur. In this care, the ports rely on the ISPS Code, which addresses issues related to terrorism and international traffic, providing the ports with security systems that always monitor cargo and people throughout the port area, reinforcing the barriers that contribute to reducing the possibilities illicit practices.

In addition, the Federal Police and other institutions carry out actions to combat and control this type of criminal activity in the main Brazilian ports. 

“The risk ratio is huge and, therefore, investment in security is necessary”, explains the manager. “Ports also have the potential to generate major environmental accidents that can be prevented with investments in safety,” he adds.