News

NeoPanamax Safe Practices: Profits Before People

February 4th 2019

As these pictures indicate, working conditions on the newly expanded Panama Canal are a disgrace. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) spends thousands of dollars on public relations, but precious little on public safety. Mariners are dying as a result.

The first mariner to die in the newly expanded Panama Canal was a tug deckhand in November 2017. In April 2018 another tug deckhand was seriously injured in a line-handling accident and earlier this year on January 15, 2019 a third man, line-handler Adams Caballero, was killed when a line parted aboard ship in the expanded canal. Deeds and, indeed pictures, speak louder than words. How many more must die before the ACP establishes reasonable safety standards, working conditions and listens to the men and women who daily risk their lives moving the commerce of the world? Fatigue, stress, neglect of basic safety standards, inadequate equipment and intimidation of Panama Canal workers are costing lives.

Handling lines like the ones pictured above from the newly expanded Panama Canal will continue to kill. Stay clear and refuse to handle unsafe lines. More deaths will follow until the Panama Canal Authority wakes up.

Click here to learn more and see the ITF’s report entitled “Fatigue Among Panama Canal Tugboat Captains”.