Thorough examination and Inspection of offshore cranes

The UK HSE issued a Safety Notice titled "The thorough examination and inspection of offshore cranes", which complements NOPSEMA's National Lifting Program. The issues raised in the notice are relevant to all cranes equipped with winches with two independent brakes and not just to those which may be used in personnel lifting operations.

What happened?

An incident on a mobile offshore drilling unit in the UK North Sea sector has demonstrated the need to establish and implement an inspection, maintenance and testing regime which would allow for the integrity of the primary and secondary braking systems to be verified independently of each other.

Key lessons

To ensure ongoing safe operation of their cranes it is important that the operators:

  • Review their inspection, maintenance and testing routines for cranes equipped in winches with two independent brake systems, in particular those intended for personnel lifting operations.

  • If necessary, amend the existing inspection, maintenance and testing routines to ensure that the integrity of each (primary and secondary) braking system is verified and maintained independently of each other.

  • If in doubt, verify the integrity of each braking system independently of each other

        - for cranes which may be used for lifting of personnel, before the next personnel lifting operation is conducted

        - for other cranes at the next scheduled routine inspection or testing, or sooner if practicable.

Please note: NOPSEMA periodically reviews safety alerts from other jurisdictions and, where appropriate, highlights timely lessons with supporting commentary on selected topics drawn from these identified sources. Safety Alerts issued by NOPSEMA are listed separately.