MUA presses cargo safety overhaul

by 30 Mar 2010

The Maritime Union of Australia last week called for urgent reform to maritime safety following the recent death of Queensland dock worker Brad Gray.

“Stevedoring and freight transport are high risk occupations as demonstrated by the number of deaths and serious injuries,” Kevin Bracken, MUA national councilor said last week at the APAC Maritime Safety Conference in Melbourne.

IN February Gray had been working on the Pacific Explorer vessel for P&O Auto and General Stevadoring (POAGS) when he was struck and killed on the gangway by a waste-bin laden forklift.

Bracken credited Safe Work Australia’s effort in standardising waterfront safety for cargo handling practices, but he said more needed to be done.

“Although the Labor Government and Minister Albanese in particular have given a policy commitment to revitalise Australian shipping, there has been no concrete action to date,” he said.

Bracken said that the Australian Transport Union Federation had urged the National Ports Strategy to establish a Ports Safety Consultative Council, which would be funded by a levy on containers.