This ILO code of practice on safety and health in ports
replaces two former ILO publications: Guide to safety and
health in dock work (1976) and Safety and health in dock
work, An ILO code of practice (second edition, 1977). The
text was adopted by a Meeting of Experts held in Geneva
from 8 to 17 December 2003. The Governing Body of the
ILO, at its 287th Session in June 2003, approved the composi-
tion of the meeting of experts. In accordance with this deci-
sion, the meeting was attended by 12 experts nominated by
Governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Ger-
many, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Spain, United King-
dom, United States), 12 experts nominated by the Employers
and 12 experts nominated by the Workers. Expert observers
from other governments, and observers from a number of
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations also
This code of practice is not a legally binding instrument.
It is not intended to replace national laws and regulations or
to affect the fundamental principles and rights of workers
provided by ILO instruments.
The practical recommendations in this code are intended
to provide relevant guidance to ILO constituents and all
those responsible for or involved in the management, oper-
ation, maintenance and development of ports.
It is hoped that this code will help to raise the profile of
safety and health issues in ports in all parts of the world, and
will encourage more countries to ratify the Occupational
Safety and Health (Dock Work) Convention, 1979 (No. 152),
or otherwise implement its provisions.