Tønsberg, Norway based – Henriksen Hooks believes that the maritime world is becoming a little safer thanks to the take-up of its hook inspection training courses. In February, Henriksen introduced an on-line training course that enables customers to perform their own annual product inspections. Since then, the company has been surprised by the number of individuals who have completed the course, thereby ensuring that their Henriksen boat lifting hooks remain safe for use.
In what is believed to be a first for SOLAS regulated lifting gear, users of Henriksen Hooks have been able to undertake the on-line training course that teaches them how to inspect their products for safety-critical defects. They are then qualified to submit a completed check-list that details the condition of the various Henriksen products that they own. These may include any from the Henriksen range of off-load lifting hooks, towing hooks and painter hooks. When the inspection check-list has been received and approved by Henriksen the hook will deemed to comply with SOLAS regulations.
"We are very pleased with the way the industry has responded to the course," said Ole Rasmus Undrum, sales manager for Henriksen Hooks. "Although the numbers are not numerically large, they represent an important change of attitude towards equipment safety by ship operators. We have been getting an average of four or five people complete the course every month and this number is growing. We have even had five members of the French Navy qualify as inspectors.
"SOLAS rules require all of our hooks to be inspected every year and returned to the factory for testing every five years. Although most shipping and offshore companies would prefer to comply with the inspection requirements, we have always been aware that the cost and logistical complications of contracting a Henriksen inspector to perform the checks is a deterrent for many. The introduction of remote training for SOLAS certification inspector is now seen as a major cost saving and a way of overcoming the shortfall in the inspections that occur every year. Because of the lower costs, our monthly average of on-line courses now exceeds the total number of inspections that we would perform in a typical year," said Undrum.
The on-line course which costs $385 and qualifies the seafarer to submit the annual returns, combines clear graphics, animation and video clips with a straightforward English commentary that makes it interesting and easy to follow for non-native English speakers. It takes about two hours to complete and shows the student how to inspect any hook in the Henriksen range. This includes direction on what to look for during a visual inspection such as structural deformation, welding cracks and defective springs. If the student can submit a report to confirm that the hook is free of defects Henriksen will issue its annual approval. To renew their warranties all hooks must still be given an in-depth inspection in the Henriksen factory every five years but the course is a money-saving benefit until then.