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Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist - A Fundamental Guide

Operating a vessel is not a small task, and it must be taken seriously. Use our Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist to guarantee safety for you and your crewmates on and off the water.

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4 Main Concerns Addressed in an Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist


An offshore vessel inspection checklist ensures that the correct inspection protocol is offered to offshore vessels while in operation, before and after. Read this article to find out what to look for while inspecting offshore vessels.



What Is an Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist?


An offshore vessel inspection checklist is a document that inspectors use when inspecting offshore vessels before they are used for any operation, construction, or support activity. It contains basic safety/emergency rules and regulations that inspectors should follow when inspecting an offshore vessel so as to avert any potential hazards that might occur at high sea beds.


Without proper inspection of these ships, safety and emergency protocols can be compromised, leading to an unsuccessful or unsafe operation for the ship and its crew. Given this, a checklist's essence is to provide knowledge to inspectors on the basic and most important things to look out for before a particular vessel is granted seaworthiness.


Ordinarily, the daily threat to offshore vessels while at work is bad weather or sea conditions. However, these elements only become lethal with the help of bad equipment and failure to implement safety and emergency protocols. Safety and emergency protocols ensure that offshore workers know what to do to stay safe while working and in case of emergencies.


The most lethal offshore rig accident, which happened at Piper Alpha oil platform on the British North Sea in 1988, claimed 167 lives. And the remote cause of the incident was a gas leak that was most likely not detected. Thankfully, greater awareness of safety and better knowledge of risks have been made. In return, it has contributed to less severe and less common offshore disasters.


Due to the incidence of various offshore hazards while undergoing activities like oil exploration, drilling, construction, e.t.c., stricter rules and regulations have been made for conducting offshore vessel inspections. Using an offshore vessel inspection checklist will help you take control of inspection duties and prevent incurring losses or penalties due to hazards.



In this article, you will learn about the following:


1. What to be concerned about while conducting offshore vessel inspection


2. Common questions in an offshore vessel inspection questionnaire


3. How using an offshore vessel inspection checklist contribute to offshore vessel maintenance



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What are the Main Concerns Addressed by an Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist?


Below are 4 common concerns labeled in an offshore vessel inspection checklist. These concerns were referenced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), and Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


Insurance & Delivery Survey


An insurance check is conducted on offshore vessels to determine the value and condition. The main purpose of an insurance survey on vessels is to ensure that all issues that could lead to an imminent claim are noticed. This helps to properly set the value of an offshore vessel and the right policy on which the company should use it.


Delivery Survey happens before collecting a boat from a dealer or manufacturer. It ensures that the vessel has been delivered with the agreed specifications during the time of order.


Vessel Assurance & Condition


This involves the overall assessment of offshore vessels' suitability for various operations. The vessel must meet the minimum standard for safe operation and station keeping before offshore operations. In the assessment process, the inspector should be keen on the following the following rules:



The following areas should undergo surgery during an offshore vessel inspection:


  • The main deck which contains the air vents, railings, deck plating, etc.
  • The equipment room for navigation and communication.
  • The cargo tanks, deck store rooms, ballast tanks, and safety and fire equipment.
  • The vessel's hull, which contains the propeller, draught marks, bow thrusters, and plates.

Suitability Inspection


The purpose of a suitability inspection to determine how suitable each vessel type and part are for different operations. The internal structure of the vessel and the condition of every part is assessed and prepared to function properly. Signs of defects or possible deficiencies are noted and worked on before using the offshore vessel.


Each vessel chosen must be suitable for its selected operation. According to the activities or operations specified, there are four main types of offshore vessels. They are:


  • Oil exploration and drilling vessels with examples like DrillShips, Floating platforms, Jack-Up Vessels, Tenders, e.t c.
  • Offshore Support Vessels like Anchor Handling Tug Vessel (ATHV), Seismic Vessels, Platform Supply Vessels, e.t.c.
  • Offshore Production Vessels like FPSOs, Tension Log Platform (TLP) Shuttle Tankers, e.t.c.
  • Construction/Special Purpose Vessels like Crane Vessels, Diving Support Vessels, and Pipe Laying Vessels.

Marine Incident and Damage Report


An assessment to determine the history of an accident a particular vessel has been in is essential in speculating the seaworthiness of a vessel. In fact, there have been cases where a ship wasn't used just because it had a recurring history of hazards. While it doesn't mean the vessel can't be used, a vessel's damage and incidence history must not be overlooked. With a proper recollection of damages it has experienced, experts might be able to find underlying faults from forgotten damages.


With adequate reports of previous marine incidents and damages a vessel has experienced, you can also tell how suitable a vessel is for a certain operation. For instance, Imagine drillship A has been used for drilling activities 30 times and has incurred occupational hazards only twice. In contrast, drillship B has seen six hazards in just ten operations. The average person would guess that drillship B is unsuitable for drilling operations, and they would be right. Drillship B will now most likely need assessment, evaluations, and improvements to perform better.



What are the common questions to encounter in an offshore vessel inspection questionnaire?


  • Has the vessel undergone proper risk assessment?
  • Risk assessment is basically contained in the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Ordinance.


  • Do relevant offshore personnel understand the collision risk and collision avoidance policies and procedures?
  • The right people who have suitable knowledge and experience must know of collision risk, and its policies are onboard before any offshore operation.


  • Is the OIM kept informed of planned vessel activity?
  • The Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) is the highest manager in an Offshore platform. He must be informed before any operation offshore.


  • Do the control measures include lines of communication, weather limitations, agreed-to stop points, and day/night operations?
  • For a safe operation, the listed control measures have to be in place.


  • Are other emergency scenarios such as abandonment and helicopter ditching covered by a different vessel?
  • There should be proper utilization of other vessels for different emergency cases.


  • Are procedures in place, and has there been sufficient training to ensure all additional activities are performed safely?
  • There should be enough safety protocols and competent workers to handle extra activities like offshore vessel maintenance.



Benefits of Using an Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist


From the light-duty activities to the heavy duties performed with offshore vessels, the safety and success of the operation are tied to the proper implementation of protocols. Using an offshore vessel inspection checklist ensures you don't miss out on important areas while investing in offshore vessels. This greatly contributes to offshore vessel maintenance in the following ways:


  • Memory Retention- With an offshore vessel inspection checklist, you can always stay up to date on what you need to do, when to do them and how to do them.
  • Statistics Update- An offshore vessel inspection checklist ensures that every inspection report can be recorded and kept in the stats for reference in any future offshore vessel maintenance.
  • Complete Vessel Check- With the assistance of an offshore vessel inspection checklist, a complete vessel check is made easier due to the availability of guides for inspection of offshore vessels.
  • Knowledge Reservoir- Offshore vessel checklist contains enough knowledge needed to contribute to offshore vessel maintenance.


  • vessel being safely operated by a crew

    Advantages of Digital Offshore Vessel Inspection Checklist


    Between heavy machinery, construction, and drilling mishaps, it goes without saying that working with and on offshore vessels is rife with danger. Risks to workers and vessels can be averted through strict enforcement of policies and good equipment but, what if there was a way to do all these with minimum resources. Although there's no way to completely alter the daily threat of an unforgiving sea and bad weather, there is a way to make offshore vessel inspection 40-50% faster.


    Offshore vessels can pass inspections by using new technologies. Lumiform, a powerful app and desktop software for inspections and audits, helps the workers fix defects and deficiencies abruptly, prove the seaworthiness of a vessel and comply with marine codes before going for any operation.


    With the Lumiform app, the following and more are possible. For example:


    • You can take photo evidence of faults and defects that you notice and corrective measures directly from the app
    • You can conduct offshore vessel inspection on the Lumiform mobile appanywhere and anytime
    • You can never miss any inspection duty because you'll always be notified of scheduled inspections on the dashboard in the mobile checklist app. You can also set reminders for upcoming inspections.
    • With the mobile app, you can create inspection reports instantly and send them directly to staff members.
    • There will be notifications regarding safety and maintenance of vessels on the mobile app. So you don't have to worry about the right time to do some maintenance



    • offshore vessel at a busy dock


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