Regular Access Hatch Examinations

When performing a maintenance check on access hatches, hatch beams and coamings (raised rim around opening), you must look into corrosion, cracks, distortion, drainage, slip resistance, packaging, cleanliness, and well greased equipment around an access hatch.  Have you checked the following on a regular basis?

  • Corrosion
    • Check with your classification society for corrosion allowances
    • Make sure the welded connections are not corroding
    • Adding a galvanized surface may be a good non-corrosive option
  • Distortion
    • Look for local buckling of the top plate, cracks in main structural joints, significant indentation and other mechanical damage
  • Drainage
    • Keep hatch coaming tops clean and the double drainage channels free of obstructions
  • Slip Resistance
    • Metal access hatch covers may benefit from an added slip resistant surface
    • SLIPNOT carries corrosion resistant alloys such as aluminum, stainless steel and galvanized steel which would be appropriate for marine applications
  • Rubber Packaging
    • Make sure rubber packaging is not ruined by rectifying any steel to steel faults
    • Replace missing or damaged rubber packaging immediately
  • Cleanliness
    • Keep cleats and wedges in serviceable condition and correctly adjusted
    • Keep hauling wires and chains adjusted correctly
    • Clean up any oil spills, contain the oil and empty it regularly
  • Well Oiled Equipment
    • Keep wheels, cleats, hinge pins, haul wires and chain tension equipment well greased
    • Test hydraulic oil regularly for contamination and deterioration
    • Ensure the oil tank of the hydraulic systems is kept filled to the operating level with the correct oil

Regular maintenance of your ship’s access hatches is more effective and less expensive than sporadic inspection and major repair.  Not only will it save on cost, but will keep employees safe on the wet and oily ship.

Maryono, Odi. “MG Hatch Cover Maintenance.” N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2012. <>.

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