Hong Kong dockyards and terminals should carry out open-up inspections to the stress-bearing parts of dock arms every four years says the region’s Marine department following an investigation the fatality of a worker on a floating dock.
A dock arm is a lifting appliance used for conveying workers to the vicinity of hull plates of a vessel under repair to carry out grit-blasting or painting in dockyards. On the extremity of the arm, there is a rotating work platform which remains horizontal at different angles of inclination. Four-yearly inspections are required by the Code of Practice for Competent Examiners on the Examination of Lifting Appliances and Lifting Gear on Local Vessels issued by Marine Department.
A worker was grit-blasting the hull of an ocean-going vessel on the work platform of an elevated dock arm of a floating dock when the dock arm collapsed. He fell down together with the dock arm to the bottom of the dock and sustained fatal injuries. The investigation into the accident revealed that the stress-bearing parts in the upper coupling and lower support bushes of the dock arm failed; and a thorough examination of the dock arm had not been carried out.