Gard today hosted a conference for a wide-range of industry participants to raise awareness of the safety issues around watertight doors on board ships and offshore units, and to suggest improvements in design and maintenance that will reduce the risks.
Over 50 participants from leading door manufacturers, and selected representatives of flag states, class societies, ship and offshore owners gathered at Gard's headquarters in Arendal, Norway to discuss the dangers and risks associated with the operation of watertight doors.
Alf Martin Sandberg, Senior Technical Adviser at Gard, said "Over the years we have seen that a number of high profile casualties have resulted from watertight doors, fitted below the bulkhead deck, either being left open or not well maintained when the hull is breached. There has also been a number of cases where this has resulted in death or serious injury when crew are passing through power operated watertight doors.
"This is clearly a serious problem, and Gard has worked hard over the last several years to highlight the issues, spotlight some of the cases where problems have arisen, and now we feel it is time to take more active steps to seek solutions. At the core of today's conference will be the presentation of suggested improvements for the safety of power operated watertight doors. We are keen to get a discussion going and to build a consensus for a way forward.
"We believe that the best solutions will be where regulators, ship designers and door manufacturers work hand in hand to find the optimal answer."
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