PSA International, formerly called the Port of Singapore Authority, is one of the biggest maritime companies in the world and operates terminals around the world. Longshoremen and other workers in PSA terminals face several risks and can get hurt or even killed on the job if something goes wrong. These workers, like those who work on seagoing vessels, have rights when injured on the job.
PSA is a large port operations company providing terminal space and services at ports worldwide. Operations for PSA include terminals at such ports as:
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- Guangzhou and Tianjin in China
- Genoa and Venice in Italy
- Mumbai and Chennai in India
- Damman in Saudi Arabia
- Busan in South Korea
- Jakarta in Indonesia
PSA’s primary operations are split between Antwerp and Singapore.
As a port operator, PSA provides services for loading and unloading all kinds of cargo from various ships. It may also offer warehousing at ports.
Across all its terminals, PSA handled 64 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo in 2015, used over 2,000 cargo cranes in its operations, employed about 30,000 people, and handled 180,000 containers.
PSA Marine, a subsidiary of the parent company, offers towage and piloting services with a fleet of tug and pilot vessels.
The history of PSA dates back to 1863. The leading Chinese merchant in Singapore at the time, Tan Kim Ching, used approximately $120,000 to start Tanjong Pagar Dock Company and purchase two steamships.
This early company was the forerunner of the Port of Singapore Authority and today, PSA International.
The Port of Singapore Authority was officially established in 1964 as an entity responsible for all the area harbor board assets, liabilities, and functions.
PSA became an official corporation in 1997 and restructured in 2003 as the leading company under the PSA group of companies.
The PSA Mission
PSA states that it has a multi-pronged mission and value set devoted to being the best port operator in the world. The company aims to be the world’s gateway hub and the world’s port of call.
It also claims to have a mission to put customers first and to focus on people, providing excellent services and embracing diversity and safety in its workforce.
Safety Policies and Track Record
The safety philosophy used at PSA has several essential points that help the company maintain a good safety record. These include the ideas that:
- All accidents can be prevented
- Everyone is responsible for safety
- Working safely is a condition of being employed by PSA
- Improving safety is proactive
- Safety and productivity go hand in hand
- People must be trained and equipped to work safely
PSA strives to use these points and three real strategies to keep workers safe. These strategies include having strong leadership within the company, monitoring and giving feedback constantly, and providing enough financial support in the budget to dedicate to safety measures.
PSA can demonstrate that its dedication to safety pays off. Over the last decade, it has handled more cargo and containers each year, while the number of accidents has either gone down or remained the same each year.
Despite a committed philosophy of safety, accidents happen. The port and terminal industry that PSA operates in is inherently dangerous for workers.
Port workers move cargo and large containers, operate machinery, handle electrical equipment and hazardous chemicals, and do it all while on the water and on or near large ships.
Any failure in equipment or machinery, communications, training, or maintenance, an accident can happen, and a worker can be injured or killed.
Port of Chennai Strikes
Consider the strikes that have occurred at India’s Port of Chennai in recent years as an example of the inherent danger and the multiple possibilities for ways that workers can get hurt.
Workers there have gone on strike after fatal accidents illustrated how dangerous their conditions are. In 2011, for instance, a truck loaded with containers from cargo ships ran into another vehicle. The port worker in that second vehicle died from the resulting injuries. PSA operates the Chennai terminal.
PSA offers piloting services, which is also dangerous port work. Pilots board ships coming into ports and take them to dock while guiding vessels out of port.
In 2002 a PSA pilot in Singapore was injured as he disembarked from a ship he was piloting. Something went wrong with the gangway, and he was thrown into the water.
Longshoremen and Port Workers’ Rights
These are just a few examples of how dangerous port and terminal work can be for a maritime company worker. Ports are busy places, and no matter how seriously companies like PSA take safety, accidents are bound to happen.
Accidents occur both in the busy terminals, on land, and in the busy waterways as large ships navigate in and out of ports.
If you were injured as a longshoreman, pilot, or terminal worker, you can seek compensation and get money to cover medical and other expenses.
A maritime lawyer can be a helpful ally when you must sue your employer and demand the compensation you are owed. Never agree to any settlement until you have talked to this professional for guidance and advice.