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Ports and docks FAQs

Freight containers

How do I apply for ACEP/PES accreditation?

In the first instance, please read and consider the guidance on container examination, that explains the process and what you will be required to do.

If you would like to continue with your application, then please contact us at docks@hse.gov.uk to request approval of your examination scheme.

I am applying for ACEP/PES accreditation - can you provide technical and legal advice?

No. If you require technical or legal advice on your proposed testing methodology or procedures, you should contact your own specialist technical consultants/insurers.

The companies appointed by HSE to approve container designs may also be able to assist. Contact details for these companies can be found in HSE's container design and manufacture approval guidance.

I have ACEP/PES accreditation, but need replacement paperwork. How can I get a new certificate?

HSE can provide replacement certificates and updated scheme documentation on request. Please contact us at docks@hse.gov.uk , including your ACEP/PES registration code, company name and contact details in order that we can process your request.

I have ACEP/PES accreditation, but my details have changed. Who do I inform of this?

Please contact us on docks@hse.gov.uk with details of your old and new details. We will then amend our records accordingly and send you confirmation.

I have a new or modified container design. How can I get it approved, and who do I need to contact?

Approval can be obtained through those companies appointed by HSE for the purpose of approval either for a design type or for individual containers.

For manufacturers and owners who wish to apply for approval, the companies currently appointed to approve containers can be found in HSE's container design and manufacture approval guidance.

How can I apply for an exemption from the Freight Container (Safety Convention) Regulations (Regulation 8)?

In the first instance, please seek technical and legal advice from your own specialists. HSE cannot provide this assistance.

If, on the basis of the specialist advice received, you would like to request an exemption from the Regulations under Regulation 8, please contact us at docks@hse.hsi.gov.uk with your proposal and detailed background information to back up the request. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible, but may require further information from you as we consider your request.

Please note that application does not guarantee granting of an exemption. If granted, an exemption does not run in perpetuity and may be revoked by a further certificate in writing at any time.

I use old freight containers for storage. Do I have any obligations under the Freight Container (Safety Convention) Regulations? Do I have any other obligations or responsibilities?

No, you do not have any obligations under the Freight Container (Safety Convention) Regulations, although you will still have to ensure the containers are maintained in a safe and suitable condition for their intended use.

If you intend to stack containers, you must ensure that they are structurally sound and able to take the weight you intend to store in them, including the weight of the container itself and any equipment you may use in the container during the course of your work, eg forklift trucks or storage racking.

If you are in any doubt about the suitability or integrity of any containers repurposed for storage, you should seek specialist advice.

If you intend to move the containers at any point, then you will have obligations under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). Further information is available:

I have modified old freight containers for workers rest and welfare facilities. Do I have any obligations under the Freight Container (Safety Convention) Regulations? Do I have any other obligations or responsibilities?

No, you do not have any obligations under the Freight Container (Safety Convention) Regulations although you should ensure that any modifications you make do not compromise the structural integrity of the container, particularly if you intend to move it.

If you intend that the facilities are movable from site to site – eg between construction sites – then you will have obligations under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) Further information is available:

You should also ensure that facilities you provide are suitable and sufficient for the purpose. More detailed guidance is available:

Legal requirements

Does the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act) apply to a ship’s Master?

The HSW Act and its relevant statutory provisions cover the safety of anyone at work while they are in Great Britain, or engaged in certain other activities in the territorial sea. Regulations under the HSW Act do not generally apply to the master and crew of a ship carrying out shipboard activities. However masters do have duties under the HSW Act when ships’ crews work alongside shore-based personnel on the ship; when ships’ plant, eg a lift truck, is used ashore; or when ship’s crew are put ashore to perform their own tasks (for example loading ships’ stores or carrying out maintenance work on their ship).

Does the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act) apply on board a ship?

The HSW Act applies on board a ship when shore based workers are engaged in cargo handling or other tasks on board. The HSW Act also applies to the Master and ships’ crew when working with shore-based personnel on board ship.

Do the Docks Regulations 1988 still apply?

No, the Dock Regulations 1988 were revoked on 6th April 2014. Parts of the Docks Regulations 1998 had already been revoked prior to this by more recent goal setting legislation and it was identified that the remaining parts of the Docks Regulations had also been superseded by more modern legislation. The revocation of the Docks Regulations will simplify the legislation that relates to dock work while maintaining the same standards of protection for those affected by dock activities. Following the revocation of the Docks Regulations, the supporting ACOP (COP25) was also withdrawn. HSE has replaced COP25 with a shorter, simplified version of the ACOP, Safety in Docks (L148)

LOLER

Does LOLER apply to ships’ lifting equipment?

Although LOLER has a wide application, ships' lifting equipment is generally excluded because there are other provisions for the safety of this equipment under merchant shipping legislation

If shore-based workers are using ships’ lifting equipment, do their employers need to do anything?

Yes, operations which include the use of ships’ lifting equipment must be planned and executed safely. Before any employer of shore workers authorises their employees to use ships’ equipment, they should arrange for it to be checked before use and check any associated certificates of test or thorough examination.

Updated 2014-06-02