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Andrew Ryan, Patrick Stevedoring Pty Ltd

Category four - Best individual contribution to work health and safety

Andrew Ryan is a crane operator and safety facilitator at Patrick Stevedoring Pty Ltd. Andrew developed an engineering solution—a fork-like device called the Ryan Key—to reduce the risks for stevedores dealing with faulty twist locks (mechanisms that lock shipping containers to each other, or to deck fixtures on a cargo ship).

Prior to the Ryan Key, stevedores would need to enter restricted work zones to unlock and hold faulty twist locks in the open position while the container was lifted. This put workers in danger, as they would be interacting with a crane that would be carrying up to fifty tonnes overhead.

Patrick's senior management supported Andrew to develop the Ryan Key, and the device has now been implemented throughout Patrick's wharves in Australia and Asciano in New Zealand. Andrew is also working to share the solution with the broader stevedoring industry.

Andrew Ryan, Patrick Port Logistics
Andrew Ryan holding the Ryan Key

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Film – Patrick Stevedoring Pty Ltd

On Screen Text

Andrew Ryan, Crane Operator, Patrick Stevedoring Pty Ltd

My names Andrew Ryan, I work for Patrick, at the Patrick automated terminal at Fisherman Islands.

The Ryan Key was developed through necessity to mitigate the risks for stevedores whilst dealing with problematic twist locks. Twist locks are mechanisms that lock the containers to containers or deck fixtures on the ship. For years, stevedores have dealt with twist locks in a range of different ways. We never had any designated tool to address the problem. Many times stevedores have to physically go in to this high risk environments and hold the twist locks open, so they're interacting with a crane that's potentially taking a 20, 30 or a 50 tonne lift. If things go wrong it's not a safe environment to be in.

So it was a matter of sitting down and identifying all of these risks, putting them together and coming up with a solution, and that was the Ryan Key.

Through the application of the Ryan Key, we're actually controlling that environment now. It enables the guys to fit the key in place, then retreat from the area. They're no longer in that high risk environment.

To come up with the solution of the Ryan Key, I followed the hierarchy of controls. To eliminate the twist locks was something we just couldn't do. They're owned by the shipping company and are an integral part of the operation and containers wouldn't stay on board vessels without twist locks. Could we substitute them? No, they needed to be there. So, the next step was to have an engineering control.

When I initially came up with the concept of the Ryan Key I approached Patrick management and spoke with them about the risk and coming up with a solution. I then engaged with my senior leaders, the guys that have been here longer than anybody, and discussed with them the idea and the concept of the key. They were more than supportive. The Ryan Key has been implemented throughout Australia for Patrick and also Asciano with their stevedoring companies in New Zealand.

Feedback I've received from the industry, from the guys on the job and in the workplace, is that just how simple and how easy it is for them to use. Once they were familiar with what the issues really are and how simple it is to address them, the benefits through safety and productivity has been huge for all of them.

I would definitely say I'm proud of what I've achieved with the Ryan Key, through the reduction in risk that people face on their job day to day. Knowing that people are going to go home safely, yeah, it's definitely very rewarding.

On Screen Text

RUN TIME: 2 min 38 sec