Joint notice from UK maritime industry on dangerously weighted heaving lines

The British Ports Association (BPA), British Tugowners Association, Port Skills and Safety, UK Chamber of Shipping, UK Major Ports Group, and UK Marine Pilots Association have issued a joint notice to raise awareness against the illegal use of dangerously weighted heaving lines (DWHLs) in UK ports and harbours.

Richard Steele, Chief Executive of Ports Skills and Safety, the UK’s  professional ports health and safety membership organization, said that “health and safety is a shared responsibility and I am delighted to be part of this joint commitment to raise standards and show real leadership on the issue of dangerously weighted heaving lines”.

The BPAS said that inappropriate and illegal use of DWHLs posed “significant risks to maritime workers both on vessels and on the quayside”.

Ship-owners, ship-managers, ship’s agents, port operators and pilots were asked to assist in eradicating the use of DWHLs through simple steps:

  • Informing all incoming vessels of their duty to follow the Code of Safe Working Practices (COSWP)
  • Issuing them with MCA Safety Bulletin No. 2 – Dangerous Weighted Heaving Lines
  • Stressing that fines, Port State Control Inspections and criminal prosecution are likely, especially should a vessel persist in using DWHLs.

Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, “For the UK Chamber Safety is front and centre of everything it does, and so I am delighted to see industry taking a joined-up collaborative approach in raising awareness of unsafe and dangerous practices and steps to prevent their reoccurrence.