Enforcing authorities at port and dock premises

Within ports, there are a number of different enforcement authorities involved depending on the type of work being carried out. Below is a list of the different agencies with a brief explanation of the areas they cover along with a link to their websites.

Health and Safety Executive

HSE is responsible for regulating work activities carried out by shore-based workers eg stevedores both on port premises and on-board ship..

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

MCA is responsible for shipboard activities carried out by ships' crew, marine/maritime safety and ship/navigational safety.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)

The MAIB investigates all types of marine accidents to or on board UK ships worldwide and other ships in UK territorial waters.

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) website

The roles of the HSE, MCA and MAIB are explained more fully in the Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies:

Memorandum of understanding
Explains the cooperation and demarcation between HSE/MCA/MAIB.

Local authority Environmental Health Inspectors

They are generally responsible for work activities in warehouses, shops, catering facilities and offices not on dock premises; leisure activities on or adjacent to inland navigations; and complaints regarding nuisance

Local councils (Directgov)

Environment Agency

They are responsible for railways on dock premises.

Environment Agency website

Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR)

They are responsible for railways on dock premises.

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Updated 2022-07-07