Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum by the Transport and General Workers' Union (P 38A)

ACCIDENTS IN THE DOCKS

  Further examination of our statistics on accidents in the ports did not reveal the scale of the different types of accidents. Between 1 January 1999 and 22 March 2001, 180 injury claims were registered with the Union. Of these eight were withdrawn, 40 were successful and 132 are still outstanding. The average settlement for the successful claims was £5,590, the largest settlement was for £26,214 and the smallest was settled for £800. Of the 40 successful claims 35 per cent of the claims were against Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company.

  However we have been able to get statistics from the Health and Safety Executive which illustrate the problems within the ports—see Table 1—compared with construction and all employees.

Table 1

INJURIES TO EMPLOYEES AS REPORTED TO THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE 1999

  
Injuries
Rate per 100,000 Employees
SIC
Fatal
Major Injury
Over 3 Days
Grand Total
Fatal
Major Injury
Over 3 Days
Grand Total
63:22
4
133
558
695
16.9
561.2
2,344.4
2,932.5
45:21
29
3,095
6,613
9,737
5.7
603.4
1,289.3
1,898.4
All Employees
161
28,299
132,307
160,767
0.7
120.1
561.5
682.3

Source:  Health and Safety Executive

SIC 6322—Other Supporting Water Transport Activities

SIC 4521—Construction of Buildings and Civil Engineering Works

  Although the actual rates for injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive are greater for construction of buildings and civil engineering works than for other supporting water transport activities, the standardised rate per 100,000 employees shows a completely different picture—see Table 2.

Table 2

RATIO COMPARED WITH NATIONAL AVERAGE

SIC
Fatal
Major Injury
Over 3 Days
Grand Total
6322
24.1
4.7
4.2
4.3
4521
8.1
5.0
2.3
2.8


  Compared with the national average a person employed in other supporting water transport activities is 24 times more likely to be killed, and three times more likely to be killed than someone employed in the construction of buildings and civil engineering works. The likelihood of having a major injury is similar to that of somebody working in the constructions of buildings and civil engineering works. However, a person employed in other supporting water transport activities is nearly twice as likely to be off work for more than three days than those employed in the construction of buildings and civil engineering works. Overall a person working in supporting water transport activities is 4.3 times more likely to be injured than the average worker.

  In the light of these statistics the T&G would like to see the following measures adopted:

  1.  That nobody should work within a port area unless they have received a nationally recognised minimum level of safety training.

  2.  That a full-time officer of the majority union in the port area has a mandatory right to sit on the Port Safety Organisation.

  We would also welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with British Ports Industry Training in greater detail.

STATE FUNDING FOR PORTS

  We were asked if we could supply further information on state funding for ports in Europe. This evidence is proving very difficult to obtain. As a interim measure we are able to supply figures from a European Commission staff working paper[36]

Investment Category
1995
million
1996
million
1997
million
Split per Investment Category
Percentage Growth 1995-97
Land purchase
29.0
19.0
69.4
4%
139%
Maritime Access
107.7
89.0
77.1
5%
-28%
Port Infrastructure
327.0
379.0
507.6
32%
55%
Port Superstructure
338.0
280.5
358.4
22%
6%
Infrastructure links
45.5
40.0
24.1
2%
-47%
Port maintenance work
169.1
211.1
219.1
14%
30%
Port services
233.7
328.2
305.2
19%
31%
Other port activities
38.2
43.2
35.7
2%
-7%
Total public financing
1,288.2
1,389.9
1,596.6
100%
24%


  According to the report on public monies invested in the Community ports as reported by Member States seem grossly under-reported. In fact, when cross-checking the data submitted with other sources of information available, considerable inconsistencies were discovered, and there are strong indicators that public support was much more important that the 1.6 billion

registered for 1997. The unreliability factor in this figure is very high and indeed a prudent estimate of 2 to 3 times this level of public financing would appear to be realistic. Having said this, it is again recognised that to retrace all public financial streams flowing into extremely heterogeneous economic conglomerate like a port area, implying in many cases divided responsibilities for the different types of investment (eg rail, road, port specific hinterland), is obviously not an easy task.

May 2001


36   European Commission Staff Working paper on Public Financing and Charging Practices in the Community Practices in the Community Sea Port Sector. Back


 
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