Examination of Witnesses (Questions 700
WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 2001
700. And casual employees?
(Mr Gray) We do not have any casual employees.
(Mr Mordaunt) We have absolutely no casual employees
701. What is your situation so far as safety
(Mr Mordaunt) We have a training school with seven
permanent people and the trainers and are our safety officers
as well. We have taken it extremely seriously. It is a dangerous
environment, no one can getaway from that. I can only tell you
that our record is better since privatisation than before, but
better is never good enough, it has certainly got better since
702. It may be getting better but the fact is
that it is still extremely dangerous in relation to what else
is happening in other industries. Every industry is looking at
safety far more seriously than they ever have, therefore there
is a driving down of the figure, yet you still remain at the top
of the dangerous league.
(Mr Mordaunt) I keep coming back to the European Port
Services Directive but that, in my view, will make things significantly
703. For the moment we are asking about the
523 people you employ. These are all permanent you say.
(Mr Mordaunt) Everyone is permanent.
704. What about the other 500 you referred to?
(Mr Mordaunt) They are not employed by us.
705. Is the safety record worse amongst those
people, are they non-permanent employees?
(Mr Mordaunt) Basically they are the employees of
companies, they are tenants on our estate. When somebody has a
lease we have no ability to tell them what to do and how to run
706. Are we to assume that the 523 people are
in a part of the port where the safety record is getting much
(Mr Mordaunt) Correct.
707.and, therefore, the problems are
all with the other 500 that you do not control?
(Mr Mordaunt) I am not aware there is a problem with
the other 500.
708. You know that the port industry has been
designated by the Health and Safety Executive as being one of
the most dangerous. You tell us that it is getting much better,
has done since privatisation? Where is the problem?
(Mr Mordaunt) I am saying that our own record is better,
I cannot talk for the other ports.
709. Your own record is better.
710. Is it better compared to the Health and
Safety Executive average for the industry?
(Mr Mordaunt) I cannot answer that question, I can
certainly find out for you and come back to you. I sincerely hope
that it is.
711. Are you not in favour of self-regulating
as far as safety is concerned?
(Mr Mordaunt) I am very happy to be as deeply involved
in safety as can be, anywhere where you give us the power to enforce
712. Give us a practical example?
(Mr Mordaunt) Because in Bristol we run the stevedoring,
we control the pilotswe do not own the tug companywe
virtually control the whole operation. My view is that it is much
safer to have one management controlling the whole operation and
have our safety officers police the whole thing.
713. Why then are there two separate bodies
dealing with the safety and training in ports?
(Mr Mordaunt) I guess it is historic, we have a close
relationship with one, we actually pioneered the Port Apprenticeship
Scheme. We have no problem with the other one. It is a good question
why there are two, but I cannot answer it.
714. Would you not make representations to say
that there should only be one. I am asking you all of the questions,
if anybody else thinks any different?
Chairman: Which of you are members of BPIT?
715. Are you all members of both organisations?
(Mr Gray) We are members of PSO.
(Mr Mordaunt) We are BPIT.
(Mr Jones) We are PSO, but not BPIT.
716. Let Mr Donohoe ask you, Mr Jones.
(Mr Jones) We have a substantial training activity
ourselves within the port of Liverpool.
717. You do not need anybody else.
(Mr Jones) We do not believe that we would gain anything
from membership of BPIT.
718. Do you not see a case for putting the two
(Mr Jones) I think in our view the more important
need for a national organisation is on the port safety front,
where clearly experiences can be shared and risks can be notified
to other port operators and appropriate action can be disseminated
throughout the industry. We do not feet that BPIT necessarily
has a similar role to play in relation to training.
719. You do not agree with the Government, who
say, "BPIT's role is undermined by the fact that some major
ports do not contribute properly to the management and cost".
(Mr Jones) We do not feel that we would gain significantly
from being a member of BPIT, no.