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Acclaimed port health and safety app expands to Latin America and the Caribbean

14 July 2023
For immediate release

A tool for port workers designed to improve safety for themselves and visiting seafarers is being launched to a second region with three new languages. 

The ITF Seafarers’ Trust (ITFST) today marked the official launch of its OSH Ports occupational safety and health app and online training course for the Latin America and Caribbean region. Workers will now be able to access the app’s powerful OSH knowledge in Portuguese, Spanish and English. 

Written by industry experts, with contributions from ITF Dockers unions and the International Labour Organization’s International Training Centre (ILO-ITC), the OSH Ports course covers the fundamentals of occupational safety and health specific to the ports sector.  

Ports are notoriously dangerous working environments where ensuring workers’ safety must be a priority for all concerned. This innovative course was developed in response to union requests to equip workers with the essential knowledge to actively engage with management and all stakeholders in safety and health improvements in ports.   

The course has been designed for users to understand occupational health and safety risks in their own workplace whilst considering the national, regional and international context. Originally developed for the Arab speaking world, the Trust is delighted to be expanding the reach of this accessible but authoritative tool in English, Portuguese and Spanish for Latin America and the Caribbean.   

OSH Ports introduces the fundamentals of occupational safety and health specific to the ports sector, including an overview of regulation, how and why things go wrong, identifying hazards and risks, managing risk and how to contribute to accident investigations.   

The course will be promoted through ITF affiliated unions and on successful completion participants can take an assessment within the app or website and receive a certificate of course completion supported by the ILO-ITC.   

Workers can study independently or use the course as part of group training in their workplace. A trainer’s manual is also available, along with promotional materials for the course.  

Paddy Crumlin, ITFST trustee, ITF President and Chair of the ITF Dockers’ Section said “Port safety is an issue for everyone – port workers, seafarers, employers, cargo owners, unions. It’s a collective issue and an issue for Latin American ports in particular, where there can be absolutely shocking safety outcomes. Workers need training on the hazards, and they need to know they can speak up about risks and accidents. While a port can be a dangerous place, it’s our workplace. It’s our collective workplace. Let’s make it safe.”   

Jose Adilson, Vice- President CONTTMAF, Brazil said “Dockers work hard in a dangerous environment keeping world trade moving. Better knowledge of best practice in occupational safety and health is a strong tool in ensuring their safety throughout their working lives.”  

Edgar Diaz, Regional Secretary, ITF Americas said “Occupational safety and health and the prevention of accidents is the responsibility of all employers. However, dockers need training on best practice in occupational safety and health to keep themselves safe, contribute to good practice and speak up when necessary. The OSH Ports app aims to assist dockers in helping make their workplace a safer place.”   

Katie Higginbottom, Head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust said “Too many accidents still occur in ports – we're proud to support unions taking the initiative to sensitise workers to the dangers of OSH issues. We hope that this app will give confidence to the participants and get them more involved in workplace safety and health.”  

More information can be found on the course website:  


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