The club would like to thank Captain Purnendu Shorey, Director of Offing Marine & Offshore Consultants, for his invaluable contribution to this article. Offing Marine specializes in a range of maritime activities including surveying, towing permits and casualty investigations.
Both the club and the entire maritime industry have seen an increase in incidents related to cranes, with both the number and cost of incidents contributing to the increase. The main causes of many of these incidents are largely due to inadequate maintenance. On-board procedures, on-board practices and crew training have evolved from generic to equipment-specific procedures over the years. with the widespread introduction of ship-specific process systems. Despite these improved systems, crane incidents continue to occur which are often severe and affect numerous types of ships and cranes.
What are some of the most common issues with inspection and maintenance of cranes and associated hoists?
In Offing Marine’s experience, inadequate inspections and maintenance are a possible factor in crane failures. Unlike other machinery such as main engines, auxiliary and air purifiers, crane inspections can be infrequent, depending largely on the type, use, and scope of the ship’s operation. Another common factor involves monitoring the manual and / or the manufacturer’s instructions when performing routine inspections or maintenance. In addition, there may be a tendency to rely too heavily on regulatory inspections by outside inspectors and entries in the register of lifting equipment, which can give a false sense of confidence in the condition of the equipment, especially over a long period of time since the last inspection past.
Advice on how to carry out effective inspection and maintenance of cranes
While a comprehensive inspection checklist is an effective tool in ensuring that ships’ cranes are well maintained, maintaining and replacing parts based on hours of use is also key to properly maintaining this equipment. It is equally important that the crew knows the common indicators of increased risk. Examples could be: corrosion, small hairline cracks, indicators of the condition of the lubrication or whether the device used is properly certified.
Knowing the members and their crew with the ship’s crane (s), associated equipment and parts is key to ensuring proper inspection and maintenance. Frequent visual inspections can provide early warning signals for defective hoists which, if fixed quickly, can prevent further damage to equipment and cargo, as well as the risk of potentially expensive claims. Routine maintenance not only increases safety, but also extends the life of this important on-board device.
Points to Consider When Performing On-Board Crane Inspections and Maintenance
Source: The Shipowners Club