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There could not be more emphasis on the importance of safety when operating heavy lifting equipment; and the same holds true when handling deck lifting equipment to lift heavy loads or cargo on board ships. With the number of heavy loads and continuous loading, deck lifting equipment such as gantry cranes, general cargo crane, provision crane, derrick, etc. are subjected to a much faster rate of wear and tear. As such, it is important that regular maintenance are scheduled to ensure the equipment are intact and safe to use to mitigate potential accidents and risk that can occur such as system failures, which can lead to loss of lives and property. With that, we have compiled top 6 checks that would be helpful to keep in mind when operating any deck lifting equipment.

  1. Maintain the load below Safe Working Load value (SWL)
    • It is only during load testing of a heavy lifting equipment that the SWL is allowed to exceed its limit for any heavy lifting equipment.
    • Hence, operate all heavy lifting equipment below its SWL marking on the equipment body.
  2. Ensure valid certification
    • Certification by a competent shore body for each heavy lifting equipment is required to ensure that all are in good condition to operate and in accordance to official standards set by the competent shore body.
  3. Qualified operators only
    • As we have shown in several accident videos, most accidents occur because of under-qualified and untrained personnel with limited knowledge and skills trying to operate the machinery – often resulting in deaths. Hence, only allow qualified operators to operate the heavy lifting equipment and ensure there are sufficient number of personnel assisting with the lifting operation.
  4. Familiarise with the equipment
    • Do not operate an equipment that you are not familiar with. At least until you have familiarised yourself with the switches and automation involved as well as studying the radius and height covered by the swinging arm and boom. Furthermore, taking note of the maximum load capacity of the equipment is just as crucial.
  5. Maintenance of equipment
    • Are all parts of the lifting equipment well lubricated? Is the hydraulic oil at its minimum marked level? Are wires of the lifting appliances tested and changed during regular maintenance schedule? Are there any wire deformations, corrosion, stranding etc.? Do these defected wires require repair? If so, has been changed before any lifting? Are there cracks at the base/foundation of the lifting equipment?
  6. Plan load shifting path
    • A clear and well-lit load shifting path is important to ensure that there are no hindrance or obstruction when lifting begins. Therefore, it is essential to clear the planned path and that light fittings at the work site should not impair the vision of the crane operator or the signal man throughout the lifting operation.

Have more important points to share? Join in our discussion at PETROGAS ASIA on LinkedIn. Source: Marine Insight