Updated Oct 3, 2023

Log in →

HSE safety alert on risk of damage to offshore grating systems

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert for grating-systems used on walkways and deck areas on offshore installations that can be damaged or dislodged during rig moving operations.

People may be harmed if walkways and emergency access and egress routes are damaged during rig moves. The risk of damage to these systems may increase during adverse weather or sea states.

Outline of the problem

The HSE is aware of incidents or damaged and dislodged gratings that have presented risks of harm to personnel on offshore installations operating on and outside of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The grating-systems can be damaged by adverse weather conditions such as wave impact. Damage can occur when moving rigs, including:

  • towing;
  • moving semi-submersibles;
  • jacking; or
  • manoeuvring jack-up rigs.

The condition of grating systems may also deteriorate over time.

Action required

Duty holders, including operators and owners of offshore installations, should carry out a risk assessment of the types of grating system used on their installation, and the potential for it to be dislodged or damaged during rig moving operations, by adverse weather and sea state.

Once you identify any hazards you should eliminate or control the risks, so far as is reasonably practicable, by:

  • assessing risks for all modes of operation, as operational hazards and risk profiles are likely to change when an installation enters a different mode of operation;
  • considering the suitability and design of your grating systems to determine areas where the installation may be more susceptible to damage during different modes of operation, such as jacking or wet tow activities;
  • having your operational policies and procedures, such as your adverse weather policy, consider what actions may be necessary if weather conditions or sea state change and impact on the safe undertaking of any activity;
  • ensuring that in the event of a missing person or person overboard, those involved in rig move operations must make sure that effective emergency response arrangements are in place.

For more information on this subject, see:

View all stories