Inspection of Maritime Structures
A technical inspection involves carrying out a general visual inspection of areas of the structure which will be agreed with the client. The inspection will not include exposure of any hidden components unless agreed with the client.
A technical report will be produced which will outline defects encountered during the inspection and make suitable recommendations. An inspection record drawing using approximate dimensions will also be produced to help communicate the location and extent of any defects present.
Recommendations may include further investigation where the scope of the inspection does not permit full understanding of the problem.
A technical inspection will typically be carried out on an inspection cycle of 1-3 years depending on the structure type, condition and usage.
A Chartered Civil / Structural Engineer will carry out the inspection and sign the professional appraisal report.
This is a comprehensive look at the structure and its history. An important aspect of the professional appraisal is the review of pertinent documentation relating to the structure e.g. previous inspections or original design information. This provides an overview of the structure combined with the professional insight of a Chartered Civil / Structural Engineer.
The professional appraisal report will make recommendations for the structure and an ongoing maintenance and inspection regime for the structure.
A professional appraisal is typically undertaken every 6 years but will depend on the structure type, condition and usage. It is complemented with technical inspections between these intervals, which will be recommended within the professional appraisal.
INSPECTION FOR ASSESSMENT
Inspections of this kind are usually a recommendation of a previous inspection report. This will seek to carry out sufficient investigation to permit a structural assessment. This will be a well-planned inspection and may be carried out over several stages using multiple forms of investigation.
The inspection will include a dimensional survey of primary structural members to inform the assessment. However this will not be a full dimensional survey. The assessment will usually be limited in its scope to address particular structural elements which are of concern.
The reason for carrying out an inspection for assessment may be the loss of original design information and where the owner needs to understand the safe loading they can apply to their structure. It may also be necessary due to the deterioration of the structure or certain elements.
A special inspection is called on to look at something specific or because of an event. This may be immediately after an accidental collision with a structure for example.
An underwater inspection will involve a commercial diving operation of structural elements and relevant details below the surface. For example this may be to look for potential defects to bridge abutments or localised scour.
It may be possible for an underwater inspection to be carried out by means of ROV but this will depend on the its objective.