Because of their highly operational nature, ports are potentially hazardous places - both on the land side, where cargo handling takes place, and on the marine side, where vessels have to manoeuvre, often in shallow water, in close proximity to the coast and other vessels. UKMPG is dedicated to continually improving safety in ports. In 2002, together with the British Ports Association, UKMPG set up Port Skills and Safety as an independent body to provide advice and support on safety and training matters across the industry. As a result of ongoing efforts, the landside accident rate in ports has reduced by 50% over the last decade.
The industry also collaborates with the Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in producing the Port Marine Safety Code, which gives comprehensive guidance to harbour authorities, and with DfT's Marine Accident Investigation Branch in implementing recommendations to avoid future accidents.