Precautions to Take During Loading and Discharging of Heavy Lifts


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Loading and discharging heavy lifts require careful consideration and adherence to safety measures. Conducting a risk assessment prior to commencing operations helps identify potential hazards and ensures that risks are kept within acceptable and tolerable levels. In addition, several precautions should be taken to maintain stability, clear the area of unnecessary personnel, ensure competent winch drivers, secure additional rigging, inspect lifting tackles thoroughly, and create a safe working environment. This article outlines the key precautions to be taken during the loading and discharging of heavy lifts.

1. Conduct a Risk Assessment:

Perform a comprehensive risk assessment before starting the operation to identify and address all potential hazards. Ensure that all risks are kept at an acceptable and tolerable level.

2. Manage Free Surface Effects:

Minimize or eliminate free surface effects to maintain a positive value of GM (metacentric height) throughout the operation. This helps enhance stability.

3. Anticipate Angle of Heel:

Verify that the vessel’s stability is sufficient to compensate for the anticipated angle of heel that may occur when the load reaches its maximum angle of outreach.

4. Clear the Area:

Ensure that the work area is clear of all unnecessary personnel. This reduces the risk of accidents and maintains a safe working environment.

5. Competent Winch Drivers:

Ensure that winch drivers are competent and capable of operating the winches correctly. Double gear should be engaged to facilitate slow and controlled movements.

6. Secure Additional Rigging:

Follow the ship’s rigging plan and properly secure any additional rigging required for the heavy lift operation. This ensures the safe and efficient handling of the load.

7. Thoroughly Inspect Lifting Tackles:

Conduct a full inspection of all lifting tackles, blocks, shackles, guys, and wires before commencing the operation. Ensure that they are in good condition and capable of handling the load safely.

8. Consider Weight and Purchase:

Take into account the weight of the load being lifted, as well as the weight of the purchase (lifting equipment). This ensures that the lifting capacity of the equipment is not exceeded.

9. Avoid Shock:

Take precautions to prevent shocks caused by slipping or sudden starts. Implement smooth and controlled movements during the loading and discharging process.

10. Clear Deck Area and Use Dunnage:

Ensure that the deck area where the load is to be loaded or discharged is clear of any obstructions. Use timber barriers (heavy dunnage) to spread the weight of the load evenly and protect the deck.

By following these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with loading and discharging heavy lifts. Prioritizing safety and maintaining a well-managed operation will help ensure the smooth and secure handling of heavy cargo.

Remember, it’s always advisable to consult relevant guidelines, regulations, and industry best practices specific to your vessel and operation to ensure compliance and safety.

The Impact of Heavy Lift on Vessel Seaworthiness


When handling heavy lift cargoes, it is crucial to recognize the significant effect they can have on the seaworthiness of a vessel. Proper securing of heavy lifts is essential to maintain stability and prevent potential hazards. This article explores the importance of securing heavy lift cargoes in accordance with established guidelines and the potential consequences of inadequate securing.

  1. Cargo Securing Manual:
    To ensure the safe transport of heavy lift cargoes, it is imperative to follow the guidelines provided in the vessel’s “Cargo Securing Manual.” This manual outlines specific procedures and requirements for securing different types of cargo, including heavy lifts. Adhering to these guidelines is essential for maintaining the vessel’s stability and preventing cargo movement during transit.
  2. Code for Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing:
    Another critical reference is the “Code for Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing.” This code provides industry-recognized standards and best practices for the stowage and securing of various types of cargo. It offers valuable guidance on the proper arrangement and securing methods for heavy lift cargoes to ensure their safe carriage.
  3. Consequences of Improper Securing:
    If heavy lift cargoes are not adequately secured, they can pose serious risks to the vessel’s seaworthiness. During heavy weather conditions, the unsecured cargo may shift, leading to a sudden and significant list (tilt) of the vessel. This list can compromise the vessel’s stability and potentially result in capsizing, endangering the crew, cargo, and the vessel itself.
  4. Structural Damage:
    Improperly secured heavy lift cargoes can also cause damage to the vessel’s structure. The excessive forces exerted by the shifting cargo may exceed the structural limits of the vessel, leading to structural failures or deformations. This can weaken the vessel’s overall integrity and potentially compromise its watertight compartments.
  5. Loss of Watertight Integrity:
    Inadequate securing of heavy lift cargoes can compromise the vessel’s watertight integrity. Structural damage caused by unsecured cargo may result in breaches or openings in the hull, allowing water to enter the vessel. This can lead to flooding or progressive flooding, jeopardizing the vessel’s stability, buoyancy, and ultimately the safety of everyone on board.

Conclusion:
The proper securing of heavy lift cargoes is of utmost importance to maintain the seaworthiness of a vessel. Adhering to the guidelines outlined in the Cargo Securing Manual and the Code for Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing is crucial to prevent cargo movement, list, structural damage, and loss of watertight integrity. By ensuring that heavy lift cargoes are securely fastened, vessel operators can mitigate the risks associated with these challenging operations and ensure the safety of the crew, cargo, and the vessel itself during transit.

Read more of semester 5 topics

  1. IMDG Code
  2. Heavy lifts and precautions
  3. Precautions to Take During Loading and Discharging of Heavy Lifts

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