SIPTU representatives, in conjunction with the International Transport Workers' Federation, held a meeting with Minister of State in the Department of Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen, this afternoon (Tuesday, 10th September) to discuss the need for urgent measures to improve safety at our ports and docks. SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Greg Ennis, said: “Our constructive meeting with the minister and officials from the Health and Safety Authority focused on the need for urgent measures to improve safety at ports and docks across the country. It follows a tragic sequence of seven deaths due to workplace accidents at ports and docks over the last three years.“This is a completely unacceptable situation which we strongly believe would not have occurred if an adequate standardised safety regime was in place in shared workspaces within the environs of Irish ports and docks.”SIPTU Ports, Docks and Harbour Organiser, Jerry Brennan, said: “At the meeting, our delegation directly called on the Minister to heed our longstanding call for safety training schemes, similar to those within the construction industry, to be introduced at our ports and docks.“These include the national safe pass certificate and Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). Both schemes focus on ensuring high levels of compliance with health and safety. In the case of the CSCS it involves training in safety measures around the use of heavy machinery of a type which is present in ports and docks throughout the country.”SIPTU Transport Sector Organiser, John Murphy, said: “We will now formalise our position in writing to the Minister and we expect his Department to take our views onboard and move swiftly to introduce safety schemes for dock workers and seafarers. We believe that such a move can ensure a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries occurring at ports and docks in Ireland.”