San Francisco: US west coast ports may have endured lengthy industrial relations turmoil but worker safety has never been better at the 29 ports along that seaboard.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced its annual safety report on Thursday and the numbers revealed that lost-time injury incidents numbered 108, a reduction of 50% on the worst year of 2002, when there 202. And notably, there were no fatalities in the ports during 2014.
Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll praised the results in a statement, saying: “We thank all of our maritime partners for maintaining the highest standards of safety along the Oakland waterfront and at ports up and down the West Coast. We are very excited to see this significant drop in injury incidents.”
The non-profit PMA, based in San Francisco, represents employers in the shipping industry – mainly terminal operators and shipping lines – and this report is derived from data supplied by the organisation’s members to the PMA Accident Prevention Department.
The good news about safety is tempered by depressing throughput figures at three of the major western ports in February. The Port of Los Angeles saw a decline of 10.2% compared to the same period last year, while Long Beach and Oakland reported falls of 20.1% and 36.7% respectively. The decline was due to terminal congestion and supply chain challenges during labour negotiations.