New regulations on davits used in the offshore industry on both sides of the Atlantic are driving a step change in safe davit design. In the USA API 2 and in Norway NORSOK R002 regulations will come into force from 2015.
Both sets of regulations apply to davits and lifting appliances used on offshore installations and specify many new design features and safety systems. In Norwegian waters, NORSOK R002 will be retrospective, requiring every davit on offshore platforms in Norwegian waters to be inspected and updated to the new standards.
Although strictly applying only to fixed installations, the new standards are already being seen as raising the bar for offshore boat handling systems on ships serving in the offshore industry. It is likely that the majority of offshore contractors and labour organisations will demand the same standards of safety on ships as on fixed rigs.
Key elements of both sets of regulations are requirements for a dual independent winch brake system, reinforced davit structure, and hydraulic power pack and electrical cabinet built in compliance with EX zone regulations. Most modern offshore davits are already fitted with required safety features like self tensioners and SOLAS emergency systems.