Sihanoukville, Cambodia — As the sole deep water port in Cambodia, the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is a rising hub for trade and transportation not only in the country but also in the Gulf of Thailand region. The increasing importance of this international seaport has led to a commitment to improving its management practices that will ensure the health and safety of port personnel and reduce the impact of port operations to the environment.
PEMSEA, in collaboration with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and ASEAN Ports Association, conducts ongoing capacity-building in partnership with the Sihanoukville Port Authority for the implementation of the Port Safety, Health and Environmental Management System (PSHEMS), an integrated management approach consistent with the requirements of PEMSEA's PSHEM Code. Port authorities and operators who have decided to voluntarily apply the Code can use the PSHEMS as a tool to assess the quality, safety, health and environmental impacts of their operations and activities.
Last 12-16 August, facilitators from PEMSEA and GIZ conducted a training workshop on PSHEMS Internal Auditing for Sihanoukville Autonomous Port personnel. Internal Auditing, the Phase 5 of PSHEMS, aims to develop a core team of internal PSHEMS auditors who are capable of conducting an internal assessment of their PSHEMS to verify that it is properly implemented and is achieving the objectives defined by port authorities.
The workshop discussed the process of the internal audit cycle that enabled the participants to prepare their own audit plan, checklist and internal audit procedure. After conducting a live PSHEMS audit on the different departments of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, the participants presented their findings and identified areas of concern, such as the hazards and other environmental aspects that may be present in areas of port operation. The audit results enable ports to make informed adjustments and improvements of their PSHEMS.
With the success of the workshop, participants and the top management of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port expressed their commitment to plan and conduct an actual internal PSHEMS audit in October 2013 and to facilitate continual improvement of their PSHEMS.