Jan 262010
Sheaves installed by Keppel Fels Shipyard in Singapore

Check the condition of your lifeboat brake release cable sheaves. A drilling rig in South East Asia has reported that sheaves installed and approved during the building of the rig were in a hazardous condition and required urgent replacement.

Says the report, made to Step Change In Safety:

“During planned maintenance routine to lifeboat davit, it was found that one of the plastic brake release cable sheaves had been cut through by the cable, due to the sheave wheel not turning freely.

”Cause: Poor quality plastic sheaves installed from rig build. Sheave not rotating freely, and hence wire cutting through sheave roller. No lubrication points on sheave. Sheave roller not designed for small 5mm diameter cable.

ABS approved the sheaves

The company has produced three recommendations:

  • Inspect all sheaves installed on davits.
  • If similar poor quality sheaves are found, install or replace with better quality, stainless steel , low maintenance brake cable guide sheaves.
  • Ensure sheave roller is designed for small diameter cable.

The rig was built by Keppel Fels in Singapore and ABS approved.

MAC notes that the sheaves were undoubtedly ‘compliant’ with regulatory requirements yet were still evidently not fit for purpose.

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