Collaborative efforts to enhance the goals of Safety, Productivity and Professionalism gained momentum at the NYSA-ILA-PPGU Training Center in 2013. Training Center personnel continue to work alongside terminal operators in addressing the demands of a changing industry. NYSA assists terminals in developing strategies for training to meet equipment operator demands on existing and new equipment, enabling employers to hire competent labor. PPGU members receive classroom training in security awareness and others areas deemed appropriate. The state of the art Training Center also aids employers in meeting their OSHA, USCG and other government agency obligations in facilitating classroom training. The facility also serves as a base for industry organizations and government agencies to conduct meetings, seminars and specialized training. The state-of-the art Training Center is the cornerstone connecting our port partners throughout the region.
In 2013, there were 754 individuals that completed classroom training programs. In addition, there were 466 that received initial certification in equipment and 1,145 re-certifications.
In anticipation of hiring new port workers, NYSA has been involved in the administration of the Hiring Plan, as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the ILA. The recruiting and screening of candidates has been an ongoing effort in preparation for the hiring of qualified personnel, including 51% Veterans.
“Safety First” continues to be the common thread in initiatives aimed to insure the health and welfare of port workers. Consistent efforts focus on the importance of safety and each individual’s responsibility to ensure a safe workplace.
Noteworthy in 2013 were several initiatives to enhance the safety of workers on the waterfront. A reinvigorated port-wide awareness of the importance of proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on the job has been promoted. Additional efforts have been outlined to ensure that individuals returning to work after elongated periods are reintroduced to the workplace with refreshed general safety awareness. Analysis of accident statistics are regularly reviewed by an active Accident Review Committee, comprised of terminal management and labor representatives. Accident trends and opportunities for improvement are discussed and best practices are identified and shared.
Reinforcement of port safety initiatives and identification of areas for focus are affected collaboratively by two organized safety groups. The NYSA-ILA Joint Safety Committee, comprised of representatives from management and labor, and the NYSA Safety Committee, which includes management safety personnel representing direct employers in the port, are committed to promoting safety in the waterfront work environment. Sharing common safety goals, their efforts increase the ability for the port to be a safe and productive environment.
In 2013, NYSA continued to play a role in advising policymakers on initiatives to enhance safety for workers on the waterfront as an active member of NMSA (National Maritime Safety Association). With representatives on both the Board of Directors and the Technical Committee, NYSA collaborated with OSHA (U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and other national organizations to enhance safety for workers in the maritime industry through the review of industry standards and practices in order to prevent accidents and increase safety awareness on the waterfront. The NMSA Technical Committee continues to develop videos as educational tools to increase safety awareness.
Both the Joint NYSA-ILA Safety Committee Meetings and the NYSA Safety Committee Meetings serve as valuable forums for sharing key information presented at the quarterly NMSA meetings.
The Safety Awards Luncheon for 2013 was held on May 7, 2014 and recognized the employers and their employees with the best safety records in the port. The luncheon provides an opportunity for the port community to renew their commitment to “Safety First”.