Puertos del Estado draws up and uploads pilotage, stowage and port community back-up documents
- Toledo: "These recommendations and good practice guides seek to improve employee safety, secure logistics and alleviate the economic pressure suffered by enterprises in line with the transportation policy led by MITMA"
- These four documents may be freely accessed at www.puertos.es
04-16-2020 (MITMA). Puertos del Estado (PE) has drafted four documents further to the global outburst of COVID-19 to back up essential port services, such as pilotage and stowage, in addition to gathering current regulations on available economic aid for the port community. "This enormous but necessary task has been completed by our institution, in these currently difficult circumstances, explaining why it is relevant for the system", indicated the president of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo.
These documents have been uploaded under the heading "Port community measures to fight COVID-19", in the central menu of the www.puertos.es website, drafted by the Exploitation Directorate and General Secretariat of PE: Good practices on prevention measures and action to take against COVID-19 in port services related to the handling of cargo; Good practices on prevention measures and action to take against COVID-19 in pilotage port services; Recommendations for ship operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak (based on a technical study completed by the port of London); and Recommended action for Port Authorities in the COVID-19 crisis and measures supported by Puertos del Estado.
Toledo has explained that "these recommendations and good practice guides seek to increase employee safety, secure logistics and alleviate the economic pressure suffered by enterprises in line with the sector policy led by the Ministry of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) and following indications from the Ministry of Health".
This is why the documents have been circulated in the last few weeks amongst affected sectors, through the Port Authorities, and are now available to any Puertos del Estado website visitor.
These documents establish safe working conditions with respect to the virus. For example, permanent work teams are recommended to control possible infections if someone tests positive. It also specifies those operations where pilots and stevedores need to use face masks and gloves, and others where this is not a safety requirement, in addition to self-protection protocols in cases where a worker needs to interact directly with the ship's crew.
The recommendation is to complete documentary transactions using technological tools, thus avoiding the handling of hard copies. Another important point foreseen is a thorough cleansing of all machinery with disinfectants at the end of each shift (wheelbarrows, ship cabins, etc.). Finally, changing rooms and other meeting areas should be closed down to avoid the disease spreading amongst different work teams.
Finally, "Recommended action for Port Authorities in the COVID-19 crisis and measures supported by Puertos del Estado"·gathers all current back-up regulations in each applicable forum of competencies, ranging from port authorities to Puertos del Estado or a combination of both, continuing with the policies approved by the Spanish Government and MITMA to help mitigate the economic consequences of curbing the pandemic.
Its literal wording is as follows: "The object of these recommendations, issued pursuant to Article 18.1.n) Consolidated Version of the Act on State-Owned Ports and the Merchant Navy (TRLPEMM), is to clarify and establish the most relevant steps to secure economic liquidity whilst guaranteeing the activity of simultaneous port operators, mitigating any negative effects attributable to the COVID-19 health crisis; to cover new procurement issues; and to extend measures related to Port Authority staff".
Many of the measures gathered in this Puertos del Estado document have already been adopted by most Port Authorities to back up their local community, or intend to apply them.