Port Taranaki has consistently been a sector leader in health and safety and on 1 July it will again lead the way when the entire port goes smoke free.
Port Taranaki Chief Executive Guy Roper said all port staff, users and lessees have been advised of the new smoke-free-status and understand the reasons behind it. “We’re an oil and gas port, so it’s common sense really”, he said. “As New Zealand’s key export port for the country’s petrochemical industries, the move was inevitable at some stage.”
“It’s fundamentally a safety issue. We were the first port to introduce random drug and alcohol testing two years ago and now I believe we will be the first port in New Zealand to go completely smoke-free."
“We strive really hard to improve on our safety culture and we’re proud of our record,’’ he said.
Mr Roper said there were a number of companies operating within the port and they have all been notified of the change and the reasons behind it. “We expect them to notify their contractors about what’s expected for anyone entering the port. Signs have been put up at the entrances to the Port warning people that the change is coming.’’
Methanex is a major user of the port, and the company’s New Zealand Director of Manufacturing, Brian Ropitini, welcomed the move by Port Taranaki to go smoke free within its boundaries. “We support the Port’s commitment to go smoke free. This will make it a safer environment for all staff and contractors to work in.”
Those sentiments were endorsed by Road Transport Association Taranaki spokesman, Tom Cloke. Many of his members drive trucks on to the port on a regular basis. He said that most transport companies already have strong non-smoking policies in place. “I am sure they will support Port Taranaki’s new policy, without any negative reaction.”
“The Port, like many other companies, is likely to have many substances that are flammable, so it is going to take every opportunity to minimise the risk of serious harm. No-one wants to expose anyone else to risks like that. Port Taranaki are likely to get full support from our Industry.’’
What it means:
1) Port Taranaki will be designated a smoke free site on the 1 July 2016. From this date onwards there will be no smoking permitted on site.
2) All areas of the Port This includes indoor areas, outdoors areas, vehicles and above and below wharves.
3) All company motor vehicles (including the cabs of cranes and forklifts) operating in any location are designated non-smoking areas.
4) All areas of Port occupied buildings are designated non-smoking areas including the Port Taranaki Centre, the Port Civil and Engineering Workshops and the Gatehouse. This includes indoor and outdoor areas around these buildings.
5) All areas of Port owned floating plant are designated non-smoking areas.
6) Smoking restrictions do not apply to floating plant not owned by PTL however vessels berthed at the NKTT wharf must adhere to the NKTT Jetty Regulations smoking restrictions.