General Policy Statement


The objectives of this policy are:

  1. To conduct activities in the Port in accordance with relevant national and international laws and regulations on occupational health and safety. This includes the Labour Act, (Act651-2003), the MARPOL Convention 73/78, ILO Conventions 152, 155, and 160.
  2. To establish a regulatory and organizational framework for the efficient and effective management of occupational health, safety, and environmental issues in the Port.
  3. To maintain safe plant, machinery, and equipment in the port.
  4. To maintain a safe and healthy workplace for all port workers and port users
  5. To maintain an incident and injury-free working environment in the port
  6. To prevent occupational-related diseases/illnesses among port workers/users
  7. To promote and maintain a clean, healthy, and hygienic environment in the port
 1.2 General Guidelines

These general policy guidelines cover issues relating to fire and safety, alcohol and drug, environment, health administration, licensed port operators, vessel owners and truck drivers, contractors, and visitors to the port

 1.2. 1 Fire and Safety Policy

The Authority shall endeavor to protect all persons and property from the dangers and hazards of fire and explosion within the port environment. It shall discharge its corporate responsibility as far as is practicable within strict compliance with all relevant national legislation and international conventions and protocols

The Authority shall also institute the following measures:

  1. Declare certain high-fire risk areas within the port premises “NO SMOKING” areas.
  2. Control the use of fires and lights in the port areas by strict application of regulations with respect to fires, lights, and prevention of accidents by fire.
  3. Provide portable fire extinguishers and other equipment as necessary, to further safeguard personnel and property from the dangers and hazards of fire and explosion.
  4. Provide information, training, and education in basic fire prevention, fire protection, and fire fighting to all port workers
  5. Require all port workers, and users to observe all regulations and procedures regarding fire prevention.
  6. Require that handling, storage, and transportation of all dangerous goods shall be in strict compliance with the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and other national regulations of the Authority.
  7. Require that all hot works undertaken in the port are covered by a “Hot Work Permit” issued by the Authority
1.2.2 Alcohol and Drug Policy

The Gambia Port Authority recognizes that the misuse of alcohol and drugs may affect health, safety performance, and relationships at work and at home. The Authority shall institute appropriate actions and measures;

  1. Promote the health and well-being of port workers and minimize problems at work arising from the effects of alcohol or drugs.
  2. Prevent persons who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs from entering the port. Such persons, if they are employed by any of the port operators shall be sanctioned.
1.2.3 Environment Policy

The Authority recognizes that its operations have the potential to adversely impact the physical environment. It is therefore committed to engaging in environmentally conscious practices in the development and operation of the port. The Authority shall, as much as possible, comply with all relevant conventions and legislations on the use and protection of the environment aimed at achieving sustainable port development and environmentally safe port operations. The Authority shall therefore ensure that:

  1. Every effort is made to reduce waste generated from port operations.
  2. All waste generated is collected and disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner and in compliance with appropriate national legislation and international conventions.
  3. All port operators and contractors working in the port undertake their operations in full compliance with appropriate national legislation and international conventions on the protection and sustainable use of the environment.
  4. Good housekeeping practices are observed by all port users in its facilities and workplaces to minimize spillages of substances that are hazardous to the environment.
  5. No form of waste or pollution is disposed of in the harbor basin.
  6. The emission of dust and hazardous chemical into the atmosphere is monitored and controlled to prevent any environmental emergencies.
  7. The cost of polluting the environment is transferred and directly recovered from the polluter. Consequently, all port operators and contractors shall be responsible for cleaning the terminals and place of work after operations.
  8. Port operators and contractors practice responsible and environmentally friendly port operations.
  9. Industries located in the precincts of the port adopt and practice sound environmental management practices.
1.2.4 Occupational Health Administration Policy

The Authority will lead the drive for improvement in the occupational health of all port users, whether or not they are employees of the Authority. It will institute measures that make it mandatory for all port users to comply with occupational health and safety regulations and standards on its premises. In this regard, the Authority shall institute appropriate measures to:

  1. Mobilise port workers for active involvement and participation in occupational health education programs and activities.
  2. Reduce or eliminate occupational-related diseases and personal accidents through education, training, and enforcement of rules and regulations.
  3. Conduct medical examinations on every one of its own employees at the time of entry into employment to determine their medical condition and fitness.
  4. Avail every one of its own employees during employment with the opportunity for medical treatment in the port or private clinics.
1.2.5 Port Operations Policy

All port users shall be required to observe and comply with the provisions of this policy.  All port users shall:

  1. Provide all the prescribed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It would be an offense for any person without being properly clothed in PPE.
  2. Shall provide appropriate gear and equipment in cargo handling operations.
  3. Shall maintain all gears, plant, and equipment used in cargo handling operations in top performance condition.
  4. Appoint a safety Liaison Officer to be responsible for all safety matters during all cargo handling operations.
  5. Institute adequate precautionary measures whenever dangerous goods, heavy lifts, and cargoes which require special attention are being handled.
  6. Fix safety nets under tackles and between the quay and the ship when working conventional and dry bulk cargoes.
  7. Fix safety tarpaulins under tackles and between the quay and the ship when working dry bulk cargoes.
  8. Report all accidents, near-miss accidents, and dangerous occurrences to the Safety Manager within 24 hours of their occurrence, and to fully cooperate during investigation of such accidents.
  9. Take adequate steps to reduce oil spillage and discharge of other pollutants into the environment, at their workshops, gear stores, and other areas of operations.
  10. Avoid the use of cargo handling equipment and vehicles that leak oils or emit heavy smoke and fumes in the port.
  11. Clean and remove all waste generated from their operations at the close of every shift. Receipt-Delivery Services Providers shall be responsible for the environmental cleanliness and hygiene of the facilities leased to them.
1.2.6 Vessel Owners and Operators Policy

These guidelines shall apply to all vessel owners and operators whose vessels call at the port whether or not they carry cargo for reward.

  1. All vessels calling at the port shall comply with the provisions and requirements of the Port Regulation, MARPOL Convention 1973/78, SOLAS 1974, and the ISPS Code 2004 as amended.
  2. All vessels requesting the services of a pilot shall be equipped with a pilot ladder in accordance with the requirements of SOLAS 1974 as amended.
  3. All vessels above 1000 gross tonnage shall require the assistance of a pilot and tug.
  4. If an outbreak of fire occurs on board a vessel within the Port, the Master of the vessels shall:
  5. take immediate action by means of the ship’s firefighting equipment to put out the fire;
  6. report the fire to the DMHS/Harbour Master through the signal station;
  7. give warning by prolonged blasts on the vessel’s horn.
  8. The Master of a vessel berthed alongside a quay or lying at anchorage shall provide and maintain a safe, sufficient, and proper gangway, with safety nets for access and egress of all persons having a lawful business on the vessels; and shall during the hours of darkness provide sufficient lighting to illuminate the whole length of the gangway.
  9. All vessels calling to work cargo in the port shall have their cargo handling gear in safe and good working condition. The cargo handling gears shall be covered by appropriate inspection certificates issued by a recognized Inspection Agency.
  10. All vessels working cargo in the port shall provide adequate lighting to illuminate the holds and decks where cargo is being worked.
  11. The Master of a vessel working in the port shall ensure that all cargo work is conducted in a safe manner to protect life and property.
  12. No vessel in port shall discharge oil, garbage, sewage, and other pollutants into the water.
  13. All dangerous goods under IMDG Classes 1, 2, and 7 (i.e. Explosives, Gases, and Radioactive material) shall be removed from the port on arrival, i.e. delivered ex-ship.
  14. All documentation and declarations of dangerous goods shall, among others, indicate the scientific name of the substance (not the brand name), the IMDG Class, the UN number, and the EMS
1.2.7 Road Transport Vehicle Owners and Truck Drivers Policy  

The following policy guidelines shall apply to all Road Transport Vehicle Owners and Truck Drivers operating in the port, whether or not for reward.

  1. Vehicle owners and drivers shall be responsible for the safety and security of their vehicles and the cargo carried by them, while they are on the premises of the Authority, and shall be required to observe all Port Rules and Regulations and shall be required to carry a valid comprehensive insurance cover.
  2. Vehicles that emit excessive smoke and fumes, leak oil and lubricants, or those are mechanically and physically unsuitable to carry their loads may be denied access to the port by the relevant Government Agency.
  3. Vehicle owners and drivers shall be responsible for the cost of cleaning oil leakage from their vehicles.
  4. Vehicle owners and drivers shall ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and in good working condition before entering the port. Vehicle owners and drivers shall be held liable for the breakdown of their vehicles in the port and for obstructing traffic and interfering with other port activities.
  5. Owners and Drivers of vehicles carrying bulk cargoes to/from the port shall take adequate steps to prevent the leakage of/spillage of their cargoes in the port and its environs and shall be held responsible for the cost of any cleaning emanating from their vehicles.
  6. Owners and Drivers of vehicles carrying cargoes to/from the port shall ensure that their vehicles do not exceed weight and height requirements; and that cargoes are properly secured with securing devices like twist locks and other lashing materials.
1.2.8 Contractors and Suppliers Policy 

The Authority has a responsibility for ensuring the safety of the person(s) contracted to carry out works for, or on behalf of the Authority and its operators.

  1. Contractors and sub-contractors performing duties on the premises of the Authority shall be expected to give, as a condition of their contract, an undertaking that they will comply with this policy and any other relevant codes of practice and recommended guidelines applicable to the work being carried out.
  2. A contractor may be asked to supply a detailed method statement, details of relevant training, qualifications, and experience of those to be employed on the contract, and details of equipment, procedures, and other provisions related to safety that will be available for that contract.
  3. The Authority reserves the right to terminate the contract of a contractor or sub-contractor if the contractor or sub-contractor fails to comply with the provisions of Gambia Port Authority’s Safety Code for contractors and sub-contractors. The Authority further reserves the right to ask for the removal from the site any employee of a contractor and sub-contractor whose actions or conduct is found to be repugnant to the tenets of the Gambia Port Authority’s Safety Code for contractors and sub-contractors
1.2.9 Visitors Policy                            

The Authority recognizes that it has a responsibility for ensuring the safety of visitors. It will therefore ensure that person(s) visiting the port premises:

  1. Comply with all safety rules, procedures, and regulations.
  2. Be accompanied as far as is reasonably practicable to and from that area safely.
  3. Be provided restricted access to very hazardous and operational areas
  4. Be provided restricted appropriate PPE and other attire or marks that would help identify them as such.