The current State Ports and Merchant Navy Law establishes the main aim of the port services, which is to ensure the transfer of goods between sea and road means of transport, in efficient, economic, quick and safe conditions.
This law also states that one of the tasks of the Port Authorities is to control in the port area, the fulfilment of the Dangerous Goods Regulations and of Safety and Hygiene, as well as the Fire Prevention and Safety Systems, without affecting the authority of other administrative bodies.
The port of Cartagena has a long experience in Security, in the loading/unloading operations and in the handling of dangerous goods, given the large volume of traffic of this type of goods, found mainly in the Escombreras basin. The liquid bulk and methane terminals are located in this basin, where hydrocarbons, liquefied petroleum gases, natural gas and bulk chemical products are handled.
All of the port premises have a perimeter closure with restricted access, at different security levels depending on the terminal, and controlled by the Surveillance and Port Police Service. There is a CCTV installation equipped with 43 cameras and is connected through a fibre optic network that covers the entire port service area. Each access control has a CCTV of its influence area, centralizing the system in the Control Centre. There is a permanent digital recording of the entire CCTV system.
The Port Authority of Cartagena was one of the pioneers in installing the Emergency Control Centre as established in the Royal Decree 145/89. This Control Centre is equipped with computer management systems for alarms, dangerous goods, emergencies, communications, accesses, surveillance camera, recording, etc.. Recently it has moved to a new building, more modern and operational including advanced integration and communication management systems. The Control Centre operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by 6 qualified operators. This Centro also holds the Local Rescue Coordination Centre (C.L.C.S.) of the Spanish Marine Agency (Sasemar) whose operators share the same room with the Port Authority staff, with the aim of incorporating and coordinating all shipping-port matters from the Control Centre, independently of the legal authority that the law grants each entity.
The Interior Emergency Plan, which was introduced in 1992, and which is constantly updated (last revision: 4 June 2005), continues in operation, carrying out dissemination campaigns for the entire Port Community. This Plan (P.E.I.) is in coordination with the Emergency Plans of all the Concessions, and offers port users its resources and installations.
At present we are in a re-evaluation phase of the safety conditions of the port of Cartagena that will allow us to adapt ourselves to the important changes that it has undergone in a short period of time. These changes concern both the physical conditions as well as the volume of goods currently transported, bearing in mind the future prospects. This will cause the drawing up of the Safety Study and of a new Interior Emergency Plan, adapted to the new physical, operational and organizational realities of the port and of the Port Authority of Cartagena.
In regards to this matter, a Collaboration Agreement was signed between the City Hall and the Port Authority of Cartagena for fire prevention and extinction in the port service area, making the Fire Extinction and Rescue Service (S.E.I.S.), the members of the intervention team of P.E.I., among other agreed preventive tasks of inspection and maintenance. Within this Agreement, the Port Authority of Cartagena has purchased and given the S.E.I.S. two fire engine vehicles for fire extinction and special operations, equipped with the most modern extinction and intervention systems, a fire prevention trailer to pump sea water, as well as financing the fire-fighters training of on board vessels fire extinctions, sending them to the "Jovellanos" Centre from Sasemar in Veranes (Gijón). This Agreement will be in effect until the year 2010, for which reason new actions will be carried out.
The Port Safety Committee is established, and made up of representatives from the Port Authority, Stevedoring Society, Stevedoring Companies and Shipping Agents, and trade union representatives, that make the effort to increase the safety levels in the port area, the prevention of labour risks and the coordination of activities in the Port Community.
In October 2005, the Procedure for Coordination of Employers' Activities in labour risk prevention was drawn up, with the purpose of establishing the method to be followed by the Port Authority of Cartagena in order to coordinate and control the aspects related to the labour risk prevention in the port service area. This Procedure was approved by the Board of the Directors of the Port Authority during its ordinary session of 30 November 2005.