Union warns of accident risk at port
CASUAL labourers could be a safety and security risk at Ipswich Port, a trade unionist claimed today.Port worker David Gammell is still seriously injured in hospital after failling between two container stacks in an accident two weeks ago.
CASUAL labourers could be a safety and security risk at Ipswich Port, a trade unionist claimed today.
Port worker David Gammell is still seriously injured in hospital after failling between two container stacks in an accident two weeks ago.
And union representative Victor Brazkiewicz fears other accidents could happen if the use of casual labour continues.
Mr Brazkiewicz also voiced
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concerns about terrorist threats to British ports and questioned screening procedures for casual labourers.
He said: "It's a concern throughout the port industry."
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The Ipswich Transport and General Workers' Union representative said his organisation would like to see a
permanent workforce at all ports.
He said: "Clearly, a permanent
production workforce is far preferable because of familiarity with the working environment.
"You need continuous risk assessments where you have a casual
workforce, but when there is a
permanent workforce the risks are already known."
Mr Brazkiewicz said the dangerous nature of port work meant all workers had to know and trust their colleagues.
And casual labourers not only
endanger themselves, but also others around them.
He said: "The situation requires working together. It will do more to prevent accidents happening.
"Using casual labour is something we have always opposed wherever we can and would like to see eliminated from the workplace. It gives more risk from a health and safety perspective."
A spokesman for ABP defended the company's safety policy.
"ABP, which owns and operates the Port of Ipswich, takes its responsibility for the safety of its workers, whether permanent employees or agency staff, extremely seriously," he said.
"Agency staff are given training appropriate to the work they will be undertaking in accordance with the UK port industry's code of practice."