DEME’s design for manhole covers nominated for the IADC Safety Award

DEME’s simple but efficient design for manhole covers that keeps the crew safe and minimises the risk of falls during on-board maintenance and inspections is entering the race for IADC Safety Award 2022.


Over the last couple of weeks, IADC has been revealing two nominees each week and will continue to do so until 15th September 2022 when the winner will be announced.

DEME’s design for manhole covers is the eight nomination announced so far.


During maintenance and inspections on board of DEME’s vessels, manhole covers are often removed to ventilate the confined spaces below. During this ventilation process, there is a risk that crew falls into the opening. To mitigate this risk, a simple cover was created on board to deal once and for all with open manholes.

A grid cover is custom made on board and placed in the opening. By doing this personnel can no longer fall into an open manhole and injure themselves. At the same time, the space below can be ventilated. A fan can be placed on top of the cover.

The manhole cover was designed and developed by the crew on board of one of DEME’s vessels. The custom-made covers can be made in the workshop on board of any vessel. They are both inexpensive and easy to create, as well as easy to apply. A toolbox is available with points of attention regarding the design, manufacturing and handling of the grid covers.

After handing in the manhole covers as a “safety success story” during DEME’s campaign last year, these covers were implemented by vessels across the DEME fleet.