DEME’s draghead access platform nominated for the safety awards

DEME’s removable draghead access platform is the latest nomination for the IADC Safety Awards 2021 that will be announced on 16 September.


Access to the draghead for maintenance or repair purposes is usually done by climbing a steep ladder with no attachment point for a fall harness.

DEME’s simply and effective custom-made, lightweight platform attaches to the side of the draghead, providing easy access. The platform, made from aluminium for easy manipulation and assembly, is designed with collective protection to improve the work area.

Climbing on a draghead to carry out maintenance or repairs carries many risks when working on heights. Dragheads usually have lots of (jet)pipes, cables and other obstacles that need to be navigated.

After investigating and trying several different possibilities, DEME came up with the design of an access platform that provides a safe working space during maintenance and repair works.

To access the platform, a tailor-made ladder attached to the platform is used instead of a steep ladder. When working on heights, a fall harness is worn. However, with this platform that isn’t necessary. The platform provides a safe area in which to work with increased maneuverability and workability of crew.

The designed platform is lightweight, easy to manipulate and removable when not in use. Additionally, it is within reach of the onboard crane, which allows storage within one movement of the crane.

An extra layer of safety has been added by locking the mounting points with a teflon ring and locking pin. On the side of the draghead, two dedicated mounting points have to be foreseen to set up the platform. On the rear side of a storage container, the same mounting points have been foreseen for easy storage after use.

Benefits of the access platform include reduced risk of falling from heights, enhanced workspace when working on the draghead, reduced risk of dropping objects (hand tools), better workability, stable workplace and easier access.

Furthermore, use of the platform ensures fewer incidents as well as lower repair/maintenance time.