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Published by MarineConstructionMagazine, 2018-03-20 10:20:59

Marine Construction Magazine 2018


ISSUE #1 - 2018

Copyright 2018 - J.J. Smith & Company, LLC

In This Issue:
Let’s Talk Safety
The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive Bid (parts 1 & 2)
Eight Hazards Common to Cranes
Spud Barge Safety
General Marine Construction Safety Practices

Photo Courtesy of:
Boyer, Inc., Houston, TX, U.S.A.
Project Name: Galveston Causeway
RR Bridge Water Line Relocation
Location: Galveston, TX

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Copyright 2018 - J.J. Smith & Company, LLC

Marine Construction® Magazine
J.J. Smith & Company Inc.
P.O. Box 1915
Naples, FL U.S.A. 34106

Advertising & Subscription Information
Call: (786) 510-1002 Anytime -
Days, Evenings or Weekends.

PUBLISHER Photo Courtesy of:
Jennifer J. Smith Boyer, Inc., Houston, TX, U.S.A.
Project Name: Galveston Causeway
EDITOR RR Bridge Water Line Relocation
Christopher S. Smoot Location: Galveston, TX

[email protected]
Let’s Talk Safety.........................................................................................................6
GRAPHICS/LAYOUT/PRINTING The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive Bid (part 1)...........................................................10
Presstige Printing The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive Bid (part 2)...........................................................20
Eight Hazards Common to Cranes........................................................................32
CARTOONIST/ARTIST Spud Barge Safety..................................................................................................48
Theresa M. McCracken General Marine Construction Safety Practices................................................52 ShibataFenderTeam involved in transformation of Panama Intl. Terminal...84
ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee Wins “Supplier of the Year”.........................86
CONTRIBUTING WRITER Crane Sells First Kobelco Crane Under New Dealer Agreement...................88
S.S. Saucerman 28 SPC 1600 Cone Fender systems and 52 T Head Bollards delivered to the
Freelance Writer for the APM Terminal at Port of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico..........................................90
Building & Construction Industry Link-Belt names new Managers..........................................................................92
ShibataFenderTeam delivers Hydropneumatic Fenders..................................94
Marine Construction® magazine is published every 2-months. ALL Family of Companies Adds Eight Units from Manitowoc.........................96
All material with all contents are all the property of Marine Marathon Marina: An Irma Survival Story.........................................................98
Construction® magazine. Marine Construction® magazine, web Ocean Eye, Inc. is Verified as a Certified Veteran Owned Small Business....102
site All information SFT participates at Mauritius Maritime Week.................................................104
is protected, without limitation, pursuant to U.S. and foreign Advanced new rubber compound mixing and fender production facility for
copyright and trademark laws. Contents may not be reproduced Shibata Industrial in Malaysia............................................................................108
without prior written permission of the publisher, © 2015, 2016, Technical Seminar in Singapore “Design, Manufacturing and Testing of
2017, 2018 J.J. Smith & Company; D.B.A. Marine Construction® Fender Systems”...................................................................................................110
Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Disclaimer: Bryan Nicholls reelected as President of the Association of Diving
The opinions expressed by the authors and/or editorials Contractors International....................................................................................112
contained are those of the of the respective parties and do not
necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher. Departments

Cartoons.............................................................................. 12, 64, 102

|4 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

Section Width Height Thickness Pile Wall Section Moment
in in in Weight Weight Modulus of Inertia
NZ 14 lb/ft2
NZ 19 30.31 13.39 0.375 lb/ft in3/ft in4/ft
NZ 20 27.56 16.14 0.375 21.77
NZ 21 27.56 16.16 0.394 55 24.05 25.65 171.7
NZ 26 27.56 16.20 0.433 55 24.82 35.08 283.1
NZ 28 27.56 17.32 0.500 57 26.56 36.24 292.8
27.56 17.38 0.560 61 30.99 38.69 313.4
71 33.96 48.50 419.9
78 52.62 457.4

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“FLroemt’sTtahlek ESdafietotyr”...

At Marine Construction magazine we Employee #1 fell 23 1/2 feet onto the barge. plate was used to bridge the gap from the
routinely receive emails/correspondence He sustained multiple injuries to his head seawall to the barge. Employee #1 elevated
with regard to issues surrounding safety in and body and died approximately 15 hours the barge side end of the metal plate with
Marine Construction. With this in mind, we later of cardiopulmonary arrest. There were the scraper blade of a CAT 966 loader
thought it only fitting that we would share indications that welds connecting the top bucket. The metal plate was not secured
in upcoming issues of Marine Construction rail’s two corner anchoring posts to the mid- to the scraper blade, but was secured to
magazine a current or past “safety story” that rail had previously been broken. shore-side mooring bits and seawall, lashed
may in some way, shape or form, prevent the At approximately 1:00 p.m. on June 1, 2012, by chain/shackles/hooks. The surface of the
same unfortunate incident from happening an employee was working on a construction dock area was composed of compacted fill,
to another. If this information causes any of project, building a navigational lock and while the seawall consisted of driven sheet
us to rethink a certain assigned job, duty or dam on the Ohio River. The task involved pile. The metal plate was resting on the
task, then maybe in some small way, we hope using a towboat connected to the sand surface of dock. When the metal plate was
this information may contribute in a positive barges to push them against the current, elevated, the edge of the plate contacted
manner. We hope so. then to connect and moor with another to the surface of the dock and acted like
In the spring of 2005 concrete piles were stationary barge that had been spudded in a hinge. Employee #1 set the brake on the
being placed, and driven in the construction the middle of the Ohio River. The employee, loader, went from the cab to underneath
of a new bridge, with a barge-mounted a deck men and Coworker #1 were on the of the elevated plate, and began removing
Manitowoc 4100-W, Series-3, Ringer Crane. sand barges. Coworker #2, the towboat “B” rock to level the plate on the deck of
The first 55-ft section of the concrete pile operator, maneuvered the sand barges the barge. While he was under the elevated
had been driven, and the second 110-ft to the point where the front of the barges plate, the plate detached from the scraper
concrete section of the pile had been set were close enough to attach a head line blade of the loader bucket and fell on him.
in place and secured to the first concrete to the spudded barge. Once this line was A coworker saw Employee #1 and quickly
section of the pile. The pile driving leads connected, Coworker #2 was moving the engaged the loader and re-elevated the
were adjusted and the hammer was rear of the barges to attach the rear line plate. The coworker went for help. When
positioned on top of the second concrete to the spudded barge. During this time, the emergency services arrived, Employee #1
section of the pile in preparation to drive employee walked on the south side of the was pronounced dead at the scene.
the pile. The concrete pile broke and started sand barge between the north side of the
collapsing. As the pile collapsed and fell, the stationary barge. With the towboat pushing At approximately 3:15 p.m. on July 27, 1994,
leads were pushed to the right of the crane the rear southward, this was an ever Employee #1 and a coworker were told by
boom. This caused severe s ide loading to decreasing pinch point hazard between the their supervisor to shear steel plates and
the crane and the entire crane was flipped two barges. The employee slipped on the take the plates onto a barge to be welded
onto its right side. The falling concrete pile loose sand on the edge of the sand barge and later. The plates weighed approximately 17
and falling portions of the crane crushed fell between the two barges. Coworker #2 lbs. each and the employees had between
and killed Employee #1, the crane operator, saw the employee fall, however, the inertia 20 and 30 to load onto the barge. The
and Employee #2, another worker at the site, of the towboat and the sand barges, plus coworker decided to use a high lift. On the
was injured by falling objects. Employee #2 the delay whenever the towboat propellers high lift was a basket intended for personnel;
was hospitalized for treatment of fractures. are changed from forward to reverse, made weight was not to exceed 500 lbs. The
In October of 2005, an Employee #1 had been stopping impossible before the barges employees got in the basket, and added at
on a barge operating a Manitowoc 3900 closed the gap. The employee was crushed least 17 steel plates, making the total weight
crawler crane with elevated cab. He had and killed between the barges. Although the approximately 694 lbs. The coworker used
just finished work for the day and was using employee was wearing a protective helmet, the controls inside the basket to raise it
a rope to lower his lunch container to the safety shoes, safety glasses, high visibility to a height of 11 feet when he noticed the
barge’s deck. He was standing on a 25 inch vest and a personal flotation device, the tires were bouncing and lifting up off the
wide by 6 foot long expanded metal work employee received crushing injuries to his concrete work area. Neither employee was
platform next to the elevated operator’s chest and head. wearing a safety belt. As a result, Employee
cab, and was leaning against a 3/4 inch On June 11, 2007, Employee #1 was #1 was ejected from the basket and fell and
pipe that was being used as the top rail. The performing longshoring operations. A metal landed on a large electrical control box. He
pipe broke out of an elbow connection and died from head injuries. u

|6 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

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|8 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive Bid (Part 1)

By S. S. Saucerman, Freelance Writer for the Building & Construction Industry

If you’ve been in construction contracting experienced some of these yourselve. truly understood the benefits offered by
awhile, you’re no doubt familiar with Does this sound familiar? these alternate methods, then slowly we
competitive bid (CB). CB is everywhere ‘I give up. No matter how much I champion could build a large enough voice to foster
in the construction industry. In fact, the the benefit of ‘quality over cost’ to my a sincere catalyst for change.
majority of us who earn our livings in building clients, my words just seem to But I’m getting ahead of myself. They say the
easily-accessible, highly-competitive local fall on deaf ears. In the end, all the client first rule of war is to know your antagonist,
markets have come to realize that CB is ever wants is the lowest cost and there just so perhaps we should take a moment to
the primary – if not only - award vehicle isn’t anything I can do to convince them see what we’re up against. Let’s explore
available to us as we go about trying to otherwise. It’s hopeless’. some key elements of CB and (hopefully)
fill our construction schedules. So I don’t A Call to Arms by better understanding the motive force
think it’s exaggerating to state that CB is Well don’t give up yet. If history has taught behind these components that make up the
absolutely vital in maintaining our very us anything, it’s that that fact that an process, come away better equipped to
business existence. This is what makes the ideology is accepted doesn’t necessarily address - and remedy - the problem as a
subject is so important. make it right. There are alternatives to CB whole. As for me, I’ve been in this industry
But there’s a problem - a big problem. You (which we’ll discuss later on) and there are for over 40 years now - working primarily
see, this popular and universally-wielded communities in other locales around the as a commercial construction estimator
award system is also chocked full of world who are using alternate construction and project manager. In this time, I’ve come
contradictory and opposing objectives that award methods with notable success - and to realize (what I call) the ‘Holy Trinity of
can prove frustrating for those who rely (soapbox alert!) I do believe if more people
on it so heavily. I’m even guessing you’ve (continued on page 12}

|10 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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(Continued from Page 10) Now I need to get one caveat out of the Pitfall #1: The System Isn’t One System
way. Admittedly, I will be generalizing quite You don’t have to be a hunter to know it’s a
Pitsfalls (pt.1) a bit as we move forward. It’s unfortunate lot easier hitting a target using a shot-gun
but unavoidable given the limited amount than with a rifle. It also helps when the
Construction’, the three key players involved of information one can fit onto a handful quarry is standing still. Well as we set out to
in virtually every commercial construction of magazine pages. Still, I believe we combat CB, we’re holding our dad’s old 1953
arrangement. They include: can include enough material to convey a Sears bolt-action, single-shot 22 with a bent
coherent message in the end. Also, please barrel and CB is a crazed, caffeine-addicted
1. The client - the person or organization in bear in mind that this is the subject as I rabbit darting in and out of thickets like a
need of construction services. see it. It’s my own, unique perspective and neutrino. It’s a tough, tough shot. One of the
opinion based on my experiences. I have no reasons it’s so hard is because CB isn’t just
2. The architectural/engineering (A/E) – the doubt that someone in – say – the design one, easily-definable, consistently-applied
architects, engineers and specification profession would form a different take on project award system. Rather, it exists in
writers who create the building/bid the subject - and that’s perfectly fine. The ever-changing and unpredictable ‘versions’.
packages which generally consist of important thing is not so much about who’s Take just one aspect of the CB process,
working drawings, specification manuals right as it is about getting a dialog opened method of award. With few exceptions,
and relevant project correspondence up to address the problem. the CB proposals I’ve created over the
such as addenda. So, with this confession and constraint in years have been decided via the following
mind, let’s examine what I consider to be methods:
3. The contractor – most often a general The 10 Greatest Pitfalls of Competitive Bid: • Open bid lettings (no restrictions) – bids
contractor (GC) but could be any discipline
of contractor, construction manager (CM) are read aloud for all to hear. Pretty
or sub-contractor (SC) depending on the much anybody with a pickup truck can
project being constructed. submit a proposal and (the vast majority
of the time) the lowest bid is awarded the
work. The client and builder may or may
not have previous experience working

• Open bid lettings (some restrictions) -
bids are read aloud for all to hear but this
time the field of bidders was previously
‘short-listed’ to include only (as deemed
by the screeners) ‘reputable and reliable
participants’. More on this later. This time,
it’s a more likely the client and builder
have had some previous experience

• Closed bid lettings - bids are opened in
private. Secrecy abounds and the results
may or may not be disclosed to the
participants at a later time. The low bid
(and for that matter, the best contractor)
may or may not be awarded the work. No
one really knows.

Pitfall #2: There is No Relationship
You can likely sense that we’re not off to a
good start. In pitfall #1, we can already see
that the rules of CB are ‘fluid’ - and thereby
subject to the individual and colloquial
whims, predispositions and prejudices of
the myriad assortment of personalities that
administer them. Given this unpredictable
environment – and also knowing that
all humans possess a certain amount of
skepticism and neurosis - it’s not a huge
leap to suppose that the subject of trust is

(continued on Page 14)

|12 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

ISSUE #1 - 2018 |Marine 13


(Continued from Page 12) the list suddenly pops back up to the acceptable 5 names (albeit of
greatly diluted overall quality). More time passes and before long
Pitsfalls (pt.1) the screening regimen that started out so nobly is nothing more
than an unstable stable of place-holders that satisfy the numbers
going to play a critical and recurring role as we delve deeper into but fall woefully short of delivering reliable and quality service to
the subject. the building client (remember them?).

But here we run into another problem: trust can only be earned, #4: All Bid Packages Are NOT Created Equal
not administrated. If no sincere effort has been made to build a But just for the sake of argument, let’s say we come up with 5
universally trusting atmosphere through genuine dedication and responsible, equally-qualified bidders for our project. The next
cooperation, then the very opportunity to create a real relationship hurdle we encounter regarding the CB process (and a huge
will be forever out of reach. Or to put it another way: as builders, we misconception to the man on the street) are the bid documents
understand the importance of a good foundation. With CB there is themselves. A warning here: I’m about to get a little hard on the
no foundation (because no one has made the effort to build it) so it design community but I assure you, I have a very good reason for
should come as no surprise that anything built upon CB it is doomed it: they deserve it. Yes, there are many excellent design firms out
to crumble in time. there but my personal observation over lo these many years is
#3: Who Invited You? that a primary obstacle to CB ever becoming a universally viable
I referred to ‘short-listing’ earlier. This is the practice of allowing project award system has to do with an almost epidemic lack of
only selected, pre-qualified contracting firms to submit proposals consistent quality in the architectural plans and specifications – the
on a project out for bid. On the surface this appears sound. One bid package - that form the basis for the process.
assumes this implies that only reputable, proven, and financially Yes, I fully admit my conviction is likely colored in that most of my
stable companies are invited to the party - and that all ne’er-do- construction experience has been as an estimator and project
wells are forced to the curb. It seems reasonable - and it would be a manager. I’m ok with that. I credit the reader with being intelligent
good system if this were actually the case but (do you see a theme enough to weigh this consideration as they draw their own
here?) this isn’t the case with CB. Once again, a laudable idea finds conclusion. But I can confidently attest that – in MY experience - I
itself twisted, warped and distorted according to the biases and have suffered through hundreds of bid packages and have come
agendas of those chosen to administer the process. to realize a tremendous disparity between the best and the worst
And in our case, this ‘short-listing’ responsibility (and all the of the architectural/engineering field. The problem is real. I cannot
partialities that go with it) most often falls on the A/E firms who act as relate how many times I’ve found myself hip-deep in the competitive
agents to the building client during the construction process. It can bid process only to realize that - due to the incoherent and/or
start innocently enough - and likely with good intentions. Contractor incomplete state of the bid documents - the only avenue available to
names are gathered, calls are made, references collected and me to arrive at a reasonably responsible projected cost for my work
before long a ‘short-list’ of 5 (why is it always 5?) clean, squeaky was through surmising the intended scope. In short, I was guessing.
contractors is compiled and sealed. All is well and everyone’s Yes, it was an educated guess, but still a guess – and I think we all
happy … right up until the next bid. know that’s not a good thing.
You see, there’s a little hitch with the latest client. Before signing I’ve also spoken with countless fellow contractors and estimators
the design agreement, he needed assurance that his brother-in- over the years who tell you similar tales so I know I’m not alone. I’ve
law’s construction company be allowed to bid on his project. So the even had occasion to discuss the subject with design professionals
list grows to 6. That same week, the owner of the A/E firm plays (yes believe it or not, I do have friends in the architectural/
poker with an influential, local bank president who just happens engineering community) and many have confessed to this dark side
to mention between hands that the bank will be building another of the industry. They blame economics, competition/market forces,
branch soon - and (wouldn’t-cha-knowit?) they’ll need a designer. government/regulations and even unrealistic client expectations. A
The next day a new name (coincidentally, one suggested by the few have even come out to decry a new generation of designer who
banker) makes its way onto the list. This makes 7. Now about this values self-aggrandizement and personal profit over professional
time a few of the list’s original members – the builders with actual purpose. Who knows? What I do know is that 25 years ago I rarely
pedigree and experience – notice the list growing larger and start - if ever - saw an A/E firm:
wondering if there’s favoritism going on. The next award (to one of • Omit mechanical/electrical pages/specs from architectural
the Johnny-come-lately’s) all but bear out their suspicions. These
‘good’ builders - who have plenty of other work because they’re, working drawings and then
well, good builders - start ignoring bid invites from this A/E. Time • Refer to those omitted responsibilities as ‘design/build’, thereby
goes on and soon the cream of short-list crop has left to pursue
more viable ventures. The list plummets to 3. imposing the concept, design and continuity onto the bidding
Here’s where the magic happens. To look good for the next client, contractors while (coincidence I’m sure) saving the A/E the cost
the A/E now hastily adds 2 more contractors (without nearly the of hiring outside mechanical/electrical engineering firms and/or
scrutiny and exclusivity of the original short-listing process) and adding in-house design staff.
Nowadays (at least where I’m from) this is common practice. But

(continued on Page 16)

|14 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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(Continued from Page 14) Alright, so I got some shots in, but it’s to make a point: I think the
general public assumes that bidders in a typical competitive bid
Pitsfalls (pt.1) situation receive and bid off of complete, pristine, and professionally
drafted bid documents when the reality is that nothing could be
here’s the scary part: regardless of why the information is lacking, further from the truth. I’d personally estimate that 15% of the bid
what do you suppose the odds are that the design/build bidders and packages I price are clear and complete enough to genuinely offer
their estimators are interpreting this missing information the same the client fair competition among the bidders. 15% percent are
way? Ever heard of ‘apples and oranges’? And yes (before you say absolute folly and the remaining percentage makes up the middle
it), I am WELL aware that somewhere in the cacophony of Division 1 ground between the best and worst. This means that more often
in the specification it says that we should ‘notify the architect of any than we care to admit the low bid on a CB project is derived through
mistakes, omissions, or discrepancies we find in the bid documents’ a means other than a thorough and precise understanding of the
or something similar. I’m sure this passage sounded wonderful to construction documents. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t
the optimistic soul who created it, but the reality is that NONE of what the construction founding fathers had in mind.
us (the bidding contractor) has the budget or staff to address every
ambiguity or discrepancy in the documents. There are simply too #5: ‘On Your Mark … Get Set … We’re Enemies!’
many. And even when we do call (and we call a lot) with questions or But with all its variations and vagaries, rest assured there is one
request clarification, the odds are evenly spread that we’ll receive ever-present, rock-steady commonality in all CB arrangements and
any one of the following: that is:
1) The right answer to our question.
2) The wrong answer to our question. From the moment the ink dries on any contractual agreement
3) The architects voice mail (he/she will not call back). resulting from the CB process,
4) The receptionist - who relates that the architect is out today (the
bid is due at 2 PM). the dynamic between yourself, the architect/engineer and the
5) And lastly (my personal favorite) the right answer to our question client has changed forever.
but not before we are made well aware (by the nasal, condescending You are now adversaries.
tone at the other end of the line) that we are no-where-near qualified
and have nowhere near the credentials to question the hallowed, Sugar-coat it, corporate-speak it and dance around reality all you
sacred architectural tablets. want, but there’s no other way to describe it. In the nanosecond

(continued on Page 18)

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|16 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

Grouting Equipment (Continued from Page 14)

Heavy Building Infrastructure Pitsfalls (pt.1)
Construction from the‘Ground Up’
for over 50 years following a competitive bid deal being struck, an invisible but very real
Building ‘feeding trough’ filled with the designated, finite construction funds springs
Construction suddenly into existence - and remains evenly-spaced at arm’s length among
all the players throughout the construction process. Now it’s every man (and
Restoration woman) for themselves. In short time a natural incumbency falls on all the
Repair combatants to snatch and grab and (yes) steal the greatest share of the
treasured and limited booty for their given firms.
• Highways
Is this moral or justifiable? Nope. Is it good business? Not even close … but it
• Bridges is who we are. It’s instinctive, accepted and – frankly - a little embarrassing.
And just like the client who blindly clambers after the lowest dollar at bid
• Dams time (with little to no thought over future ramifications) the construction
‘team’ members revert to a group of self-righteous mercenaries whose only
• Tunnels interest includes improving their immediate situations. We’ve all read the
business books and if sacrificing a future relationship means gaining a little
• Mines extra profit right now, well we’ll call it ‘collateral damage’. We can repair it
later, right?
• Wells
Selective morality is a terrific weapon when it works in your favor. The trick
is to not think about it for too long.

Closing (part one)
So now that we’re half-way through, let’s take inventory of the competitive
bid process. So far we know:
1) The rules of the game are pretty much made up as we go along.
2) The persons administering these rules can often be less than suited to do

3) The contractors can range in quality from Einstein to Earnest Goes to

4) The very documents that CB proposals are based upon are often

incomplete and unreliable.
5) The players in a CB arrangement are automatically arch-enemies before

the first shovel of dirt is turned over.

Well, what could possibly go wrong? (Spoiler alert: plenty).
To find out the rest, continue reading part 2 of The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive
Bid. u

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|18 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive Bid (Part 2)

By S. S. Saucerman, Freelance Writer for the Building & Construction Industry

In part one of the ‘The 10 Pitfalls of Competitive Bid’, we discovered mind (which happens EVERY time) and before long the contractor is
that in regard to the competitive bid (CB) process, the following is earning more from change order profits than from the original base
true: contract. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. At some predictable
given point in time, doesn’t the client (perhaps with some goading
1) The rules of the game are made up as we go along. from the A/E who is trying to defend his turf) grow frustrated enough
2) The people administering the rules of CB can often be less than to push back?
Yes, but here’s what happens:
suited to do so. 1. Tense emails get exchanged. Tempers get exercised.
3) Contractors can range in quality from Einstein to Earnest Goes 2. Special meetings get held. Tables get pounded, fingers get

to Hollywood. pointed. Everyone vehemently stands their hallowed ground
4) The documents that CB proposals are based upon are often but deep down everyone realizes they’re dealing with imperfect
arguments and an imperfect system.
incomplete, incoherent and unreliable. 3. Everyone eventually grows weary of fighting and weak from the
5) All players in a CB arrangement are arch-enemies before the stress. The debacle limps and staggers to an unsatisfying finale
for all involved.
first shovel of dirt is turned over. 4. None of the parties speak to each other for six months to a year.
5. Time happens and memories soften. Animosity dissipates and a
Wow … at least it couldn’t get any worse, right? Well, you may want new project comes out for bid. The former antagonists realize
to hold onto that thought: they need each other and the whole thing starts all over again.
#7: Project Schedules are Longer with Competitive Bid
#6: Time for a Change (Order) This one is a little more straight-forward and only requires a little logic
Now that we as a society have gone out of our way to create a and fairly simple math to understand. A stark disadvantage of CB
wholly dysfunctional building construction environment through the (when compared to alternate award methods such as design/build
use of CB, does it really come as any surprise that change orders or negotiated work) is that the process is rigidly compartmentalized.
exist? Mercenary by definition, CB has reliably insured that a fixed, Each segment making up the CB concept-design-bid-award-build-
detrimental wedge now exists between all construction team closeout process must completely play out in chronological order
players - players whose true goal should have been to work together before the next step can begin. Because of this, the owner and
as a team to foster a successful and mutually-beneficial business building team are unable to take advantage of fast-tracking (where
transaction (the construction project). This knowledge alone should the construction ‘overlaps’ the design process with the goal of
be enough to cause any sane building client to run screaming away accelerating the overall building schedule) and all the cost-savings
from CB, but they don’t. Instead, the average, everyday building that come with it such as shorter interim construction financing,
customer (who is just as culpable as the contractor and designer in less down-time for the client’s business operations and better
this whole mess) remains transfixed on the bottom line, enticed by control over general requirement costs (for all parties) that always
the quickest/immediate buck and indoctrinated into a business and increase when a construction schedules grows prolonged.
commercial construction environment that values low cost over #8: The Client Ends Up Being the Biggest Loser
long-term quality and value. I don’t know about you, but I love what I do. I’m proud of my
occupation, proud of the skill I’ve obtained over the years, and
So the inevitable dance begins. The awarded contractor who proud that providence saw fit to land me in a position where I can
(contrary to popular belief) is no dummy has kept a running mental offer needed expertise to those who seek out my service. I’m also
inventory of all the mistakes, omissions and ambiguous information the type of person who likes to have a clear conscious when I go
in the plans and specifications and as the ground-breaking nears is to sleep at night. This is exactly why it can sometimes be a struggle
now locked and loaded with substantial change-order ammo. The to know the things that I know about our industry and still – on a
project starts, the anticipated snags manifest themselves in the field daily basis - promise my customers contentment and satisfaction as
and the ink begins to flow. Keep in mind now that the contractor they enter into (what may be for them) the largest single business
doesn’t actually have to do anything to cause these missteps to transaction of their lives. I have moments where it doesn’t settle well
occur. He only needs to sit back and watch it play out. And boy in my soul. I’ve even been in client meetings (perhaps to discuss a
does it play out – design and scope misses so glaringly stark and
obvious that not even the heavily-loaded language in the general (continued on Page 24)
requirements (the ‘responsible for complete system’ clauses that
attempt to hang the contractor with cost whether or not the work
is actually shown in the bid documents) can save the A/E. The first
RFP (Request for Proposal) is issued … and another … and another.

Add these to the changes resulting from the client changing their

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(Continued from Page 20) #9: CB is No Bargain for the Contractor Either
Despite what many people believe, we (builders) really have little
Pitfalls (pt. 2) competitive advantage over one another when it comes to cost. With
minor exceptions, we all purchase the same building materials, pay
disputed change order) where I’ve actually found myself rooting for the same labor rates (whether it be through prevailing wage or simple
the client as I simultaneously make my case for the extra cost. market competition) and expend similar proportionate amounts for
office overhead and equipment. There are no clandestine tricks, no
It’s an odd feeling and in retrospect it likely felt that way because warehouses filled with deep-discount materials and no mystical
deep down I knew something wasn’t right; something wasn’t fair. technical knowledge that materially distinguishes one builder from
Yes, I’ve read all the business books: ‘business is business and another.
profit is what keeps the doors open’. We’ve all drank the cool-aid. Given this parity, the difference between winning and losing a
But each of is also instilled with a basic moral alarm clock early in project out for bid often has less to do with the actual tinker-toys
life that alerts us when we begin to wander off the trail of natural (the direct costs) that make up the project itself and far more to
human decency … and I’m embarrassed to confess that there do with intangible (indirect) considerations such as work load,
have been times in my past business dealings (although perfectly cash flow, job continuity or (sometimes) just plain attraction to a
allowable and justified from a business standpoint) where I could particular project (example: it may be one of your company’s long-
hear this siren resonating in my head. And I didn’t like it. Maybe term goals top add more medical work to your portfolio, so you go
it’s idealistic (and a bit sappy) but in the end I really do want my after the latest hospital renovation a little harder than you normally
clients to be happy. It’s the world I want to live in. This is why it would). There can be a wide assortment of motivations for being
can sometimes be to represent my product (construction) to a both aggressive or conservative on any particular bid.
prospective CB customer when I know in my heart that the person But here’s the hitch when it comes to CB. Due to the level of
shaking my hand is going to: competition, the tendency for unknowns and the likelihood that
1. Spend more money the project will suffer a more adversarial atmosphere due to CB, a
2. Devote more time and energy company’s ‘normal’ and acceptable level of aggressiveness is used
3. Suffer more stress and anxiety up within the process the process. Competitive bid is risk enough
4. Receive a less-quality product
(continued on Page 26)
… than they otherwise would had they used an alternate project
delivery method (*see #10).

|24 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

(Continued from Page 24) but more in having the opportunity to use the process. You see,
as we stated earlier, trust isn’t handed to you. It’s earned. And
Pitfalls (pt. 2) arrangements like those above require trust. If you are a new building
contractor in a new market with little reputation or resume, you’re
all by itself. There’s no room for creativity and there’s no way any almost certainly going to have a tough time (for the first few years)
sensible contractor is going to add additional peril to an already finding building clients who will place enough trust in your abilities
perilous exercise. So, the competitors are forced into a status quo to enter into arrangements like those above. This doesn’t mean you
situation where one company has virtually no advantage over the don’t have the ability, mind you. It simply means that your company
other. And businesses who lack competitive advantage don’t last isn’t yet established enough for the client to feel comfortable risking
very long in any market. considerable finances and faith. But take heart, this privilege does
come in time – assuming you use that time delivering reliable,
#10: There ARE Alternatives to Competitive Bid honest, dedicated and quality service to your customers.
I’d be performing a dis-service to the reader if I were to spend this Inside: Bid Cost Averaging (and Other CB Variations)
entire time rallying against CB without offering up an alternative Now for a few award methods that you likely (particularly if you’re
in the end. Well we’re in luck, because there are other methods – from the United States) are less familiar with. Most of these are
proven, solid methods – utilized all over the world that replace blind variations of the CB method that have been or are currently being
competitive bid with notable success. For clarity, I’m going to break used in countries all around the world. Most of these fall into the
these down into two categories: ‘family’ of CB but include a few twists and turns – and most notably
don’t rely on the single criteria of low-cost when handing out
• Award methods falling outside traditional CB framework (i.e awards. The most popular of these alternative methods appears to
negotiated, design-build) be:
Average Bid Method (ABM)
• Award methods falling inside traditional CB framework (i.e. bid/ This award system is used in many locales within the EU, South
cost averaging) America and Asia. It works like this: instead of awarding to the
lowest bid, this time the winning proposal is the one which is closest
Outside: Negotiated and Design-build to the average of all of the proposals submitted. Here’s an example.
Let’s start with delivery methods you’ve likely already heard of: A letting has been held and there were five bid proposals. The
negotiated, partnering and design-build construction agreements. results were:
The process varies depending on the players and project type, but in
general these types of arrangements share similar attributes:

• The client works directly with the building contractor from start Contractor A’s bid: $ 465,000
to finish, including the design and budgeting phases. Contractor B’s bid: $ 516,000
Contractor C’s bid: $ 503,500
• If the builder doesn’t already have in-house architectural/design Contractor D’s bid: $ 432,800
services (most don’t), an outside design firm can be brought in to Contractor E’s bid: $ 492,600
round out the team.
With conventional CB, there’s little drama: Contractor D’s lowest
• The relationship can branch into a number of different contract price of $432,500 would likely be awarded the work. With ABM,
structures including cost-plus percentage (or fixed-fee), all (in this case) five numbers are added up and divided by 5 (the
guaranteed maximum price (GMP), straight lump-sum, or any number of bidders) in order to find the average value of the group.
combination and variation of these or other parameters to which In this case that average is $481,980. Now at this point the methods
the parties agree. may vary slightly (depending on where you are in the world) but they
all revolve around a similar theme. The first ABM variation awards
• There is greater teamwork and comradery (and compromise) the project to whichever number is the closest (high OR low) to
among the construction team. The working atmosphere is less the average number. In our example, this would be Contractor E
adversarial. at $492,600 (net difference $10,620). A similar but different method
awards to the bidder who is closest – but under – the average
• Input is gathered from all sources during the critical design/ number. In our case this would be Contractor A at $465,000.
budgeting phase. With everyone on board throughout, the
chance for cost/schedule over-run after construction begins is Sometimes these ABM processes are simple and direct without a
greatly reduced. lot of stipulations. Other times (and places) there can be additional
factors that go into award. One example is the ‘weighted-factor
• There is mutual trust. Even the contractor’s books are available contractor scoring system’ (or similar name) where the bidding
to the owner as both a gesture of good faith and as an added contractors are previously assigned ‘points’ based on selected
level of project control. criteria such as experience, reputation, technical merit, after-sale
service and financial stability. These points are used to establish
Not bad, huh? The owner can feel content that he/she has struck a modifier/multiplier that is assigned to the bidder. This modifier is
a fair deal and the contractor and designer (whose percentages then applied to the final award numbers to increase/decrease a
generally rise and fall according to the direct costs for the project)
know that they will at least make their anticipated fee (with less risk (continued on Page 30
of something going wrong).
Is there any down-side? Well, not so much to the process itself

|26 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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(Continued from Page 26) Reverse Auction - where companies openly up in our day to day travails to launch
bid against one another in real time for a a collective and formidable response.
Pitfalls (pt. 2) project – and even systems that disqualify And that’s not how it should be. We’re
bidders (often to waylay potential corruption contractors. When something’s broke, we
particular contractor’s chance for award. or collusion) from – for example – receiving fix it. It’s what we do – and we can fix this
The equations used for this purpose can two bids in a row – 3 out of 5 within a given with the right amount if effort. I’m in. How
range from straight-forward to extremely time period. In the end, the variety of award about you? u
complex – some almost absurdly so. In fact, method is limited only by the imagination
if you ever have a moment, search out some and creativity of those making the rules.
of these award formulas online. Even if But regardless of makeup, one thing all of
you’re not deep into the subject, it still makes these methods have in common is that they
for a fascinating read. Some achieve a level don’t take the easy way out. The minds
of almost unfathomable sophistication behind these alternative methods realized
more akin to fractal algorithms than simple that the conventional low competitive
equations. Of course the problem with bid process was fatally flawed and had
anything when it becomes too inaccessibly the commitment to search out new and
complex is that the more complex something better ways. Competitive bid is simple but
is, the fewer people there are who actually deeply flawed – and turning a blind eye
understand what’s going on – and this can to something you know is wrong is just
(as we’ve seen throughout history) quickly being lazy. At some point in time, we in the
create a fertile environment for short- construction community were lulled into
cuts and corruption by those chosen to utilizing the lowest common denominator of
administer the process. construction project award methods and –
Closing even though we remain painfully aware of
There are other award methods as well like all of its shortcomings, the system remains
in place and we tag along for the ride too
complacent, too apathetic and too caught

|30 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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Eight Hazards Common to Cranes

As a Marine Contractor, working with later, so there usually is not enough time pre-job safety planning is done, so when the
cranes is common place. Unfortunately given by this type of de-energization to keep crane arrives at the worksite, the workers
what comes with this is the potential for someone from being shocked again. The are placed in a hurried set of circumstances
dangerous situations to arise. The following best hazard prevention method to avoid that burdens them with unreasonably
is a brief but hopefully useful synopsis on such an occurrence is to position the crane dangerous tasks.
eight hazards common to various cranes. to keep a 10-foot clearance so the boom or
Each analysis includes a definition, hoist line cannot reach the power lines. Preventive Measures
description, potential risks presented by the
hazard, reasons why the hazard may occur Risks Presented by Power Line Contact The key to avoiding power line contact is
and suggested preventive measures. Power line contact is the greatest risk to pre-job safety planning. Planning is one of
One should note: The lack of qualifications be found in craning operations. A single the greatest accident deterrents available
on the part of crane operators figures contact can result in multiple deaths and/or in the workplace. Because of the large
prominently into these hazards. The crane crippling injuries. Each year approximately number of employers involved in controlling
owner and job supervisor must ensure that 150 to 160 people are killed by power line the workplace—landowner, construction
their crane operators are qualified and contact, and about three times that number management, prime contractor,
competent, not only in machine operations are seriously injured. On an average, eight subcontractors crane rental firms, electric
but in load capacity calculations as well. out of 10 of the victims were guiding the load utilities—planning is necessary to establish
at the time of contact. the person in charge.
Power Line Contact
Why Crane Power Line Contacts Occur A single individual should have overall
Definition Power line contact usually occurs because supervision and coordination of the project
no one considered the need for specific and must initiate positive direction to ensure
Power line contact is the inadvertent hazard prevention measures to avoid using that pre-job safety planning is done before
contact of any metal part of a crane with a cranes near power lines. All too often no any cranes arrive at the worksite.
high-voltage power line.
(continued on Page 34)
Most power line contacts occur when
a crane is moving materials adjacent to
or under energized power lines and the
hoist line or boom touches a power line.
Contact also frequently occurs during
pick-and-carry operations when loads are
being transported under energized power
lines. On or off-loading a barge is a perfect
example while even a more precarious
condition is the construction or repair of a
dock, pier or seawall where power lines are
present along with large amounts of trees
and vegetation; whereby, obstructing the
crane operators view.
Sometimes the person who is electrocuted
is touching the crane or getting on or off of
it when the hoist line or boom inadvertently
comes into contact with an energized power
In some circumstances, when a crane
comes into contact with a power line
and sufficient ground fault is created,
the electric utility’s distribution system is
automatically de-energized by a re-closure
switch to avoid the blowing of intervening
fuses. Many times people assume that the
power line is de-energized when the sparks
stop at the point of contact. But this can
be very misleading, because the circuit is
automatically reenergized several seconds

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Eight Hazards and other objects have upon power lines.
Sometimes a crane operator cannot judge the clearance of the boom
Cranes and power lines should not occupy the same work area. In from the power Line because the boom blocks the operator’s view
too many instances, work areas encompass existing power lines to the right. Sole reliance upon the performance of crane operators,
that have clearances acceptable for normal roadway traffic but not riggers and signalers, without any planning to separate cranes from
for cranes. The crane operator, those guiding the load and those power lines has resulted in many deaths.
closely involved in the particular craning operation need visual Pick-and-carry operations with mobile cranes often result in power
guidance from the ground so they are made aware of the danger line contact, even though the same route had been taken previously.
zone and can conduct all of their work outside of this dangerous Cage-type boom guards, insulated links and proximity warning
area. The area within a radius of 10 feet in any direction from power devices provide safety backups for operators, but such devices are
lines is an unsafe work area and must be clearly marked off on the not substitutes for maintaining the 10-foot clearance, which is most
ground by marker tape, fences, barriers, etc. That way, everyone important. Use of these devices must be consistent with the product
at the worksite has the visual clues to ensure that the crane is manufacturer’s recommendations.
positioned so that the boom and hoist line cannot intrude into the Truck-mounted trolleys or articulated crane booms that utilize an
danger zone created by the power lines. Figure 1 shows how to map electrical remote control system to load or unload bricks, cement
this danger zone surrounding power lines so it is impossible for the block, trusses and other building supplies have also caused many
boom in any position or the hoist line to come closer than 10 feet and injuries and deaths. In the event the boom contacts a power line, the
intrude into the danger zone. If the danger zone can be penetrated individual holding the control box at the end of the electrical control
by a crane boom, the electric utility must be notified to de-energize, cable is usually electrocuted instantly. Such equipment should
relocate, bury or insulate the lines while the crane is operating in never be used near power lines. A safer purchase choice would
that location. be non-conductive, pneumatic-powered or remote radio control
It is extremely difficult for a crane operator to: systems. Controls for cranes that are located where they can be
operated by an individual standing on the ground (e.g. driving sheet
• Judge accurately clearances between a crane and power lines piling for a potential bulkhead/seawall project from the landward
side) leaves the operator vulnerable to the initial fault current path
simply through the use of vision. in the event the boom strikes a power line.

• See more than one visual target at a time. (continued on page 36)

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(Continued from Page 34)

Eight Hazards

Table 1 shows the safe working distance from power lines. Figure 2
illustrates the prohibited zone around a power line.

Overloading experience to determine whether the load is too heavy and may
Definition not respond fast enough when the crane begins to feel light.
Overloading occurs when the rated capacity of a crane is exceeded (Fundamental to a lift are pre-lift determinations of the weight of
while a load is being lifted and maneuvered, resulting in upset or the load and the net capacity of the crane.
structural failure. 7. All of these variables create conditions that lead to operators
inadvertently exceeding the rated capacity, tipping the load and
Description upsetting the crane. The variables may also lead to structural
Cranes can easily upset from overloading. On some models the failure of the crane. That is, under certain loads and at particular
weight of a boom without a load can create an imbalance and configurations, the crane may break before it tips.
cause some high-reach hydraulic cranes to upset when the boom Risks Presented by Overloading
is positioned at a low angle. This has occurred even with outriggers It is estimated that one crane upset occurs during every 10,000 hours
extended. of crane use. Approximately 3 percent of upsets result in death, 8
Today’s crane operator is confronted with a number of variables that percent in lost time, and 20 percent in damage to property other than
affect lifting capacity: the crane. Nearly 80 percent of these upsets can be attributed to
predictable human error when the operator inadvertently exceeds
1. The ability to lower a boom increases the radius and reduces its the crane’s lifting capacity. This is why employers must ensure their
capacity. operators’ competence (see table 2).

2. The ability to extend a hydraulic boom increases the radius and (continued on page 38)
reduces lifting capacity.

3. The ability to lower a boom while extending a boom quickly
reduces lifting capacity.

4. The crane’s tipping capacity can vary when the boom is
positioned at the various points of the compass or clock in
relation to its particular carrier frame.

5. The operator may neglect to extend the outriggers and affect the
crane’s stability.

6. The operator may mistakenly rely upon perception, instinct or

|36 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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(Continued from Page 36) crane is positioned on soft ground.
Eight Hazards As any coastal or marine contractor knows,
working along any shoreline not only can
Table 2 training in the use of the latest technologies one find oneself in some seriously confined
Analysis of 1,000 Crane Upset Occurrences such as load-measuring systems. areas, the soils can be extremely unstable,
During a 20-Year Period With the advent of solid-state micro- to say the least. That being said many cranes
Approximately processing electronics, load-measuring upset because the use of outriggers is left to
15% In travel mode systems evolved. Such systems can sense the discretion of the operator. For example,
39% Making swing with outriggers the actual load as related to boom angle and sometimes an opera- tor cannot extend the
length, warn the operator as rated capacity outriggers because of insufficient space or a
retracted 15% Making a pick is approached, and stop further movement. work circumstance that arises when planning
with outriggers retracted Load-measuring systems automatically is not done. Or outrigger pads may be too
14% Making a pick or swing with outriggers prevent exceeding the rated capacity at any small to support the crane even on hard
extended 6% Making a pick or boom angle, length or radius. Today most ground. However, the use of outriggers is not
swing; use of outriggers unknown 7% U.S. crane manufacturers are promoting the voluntary. Load capacity charts are based
Outrigger failure sale of load-measuring systems as standard either on the use of fully extended outriggers
equipment on new cranes. There are after- or on “rubber,” for rubber-tired cranes. If
4% Other activity Also reported: market suppliers of these devices for older circumstances are such that outriggers
3% Deaths model cranes. cannot be fully extended, then capacities in
8% Lost-time injuries For years, the only control to avoid upset the on-rubber chart must be used.
20% Significant property damage other from overload has been reliance upon an Outriggers have collapsed because they
operator’s performance and the use of load were overloaded, defective or located on
than the crane charts. However, such charts are complex. inadequate foundation. (When outriggers
Optimally, formal training should be provided are being used, carrier tires must not be
Why Overloading Occurs for all crane operators, to ensure a working supporting weight. They must be clear of the
Overloading occurs when poorly trained knowledge of crane load charts. However, ground. Outrigger pads must be positively
personnel are allowed to operate cranes. on-the-job training can be adequate if the attached to the connecting cylinder.)
The operator must always know the weight trainer is qualified.
of the load. Risks Presented by the Failure to Use
Failure to Use Outriggers; Soft Ground Outriggers
Preventive Measures and Structural Failure An analysis of some 1,000 crane accidents
During the last 30 years much progress has Definition (see table 2) has shown that half of the
been made in the availability of systems to Crane upset can occur when an operator incidents involving outriggers occurred
prevent crane upset due to over- loading. does not extend the outriggers or when a when the crane operator was either
Crane operation is no longer a “seat-of-the- swinging the cab or extending or lowering
pants” skill but requires both planning and a telescoping boom without out- riggers
extended. These actions rapidly increase
the lifting radius so upset occurs quickly.

Why Outriggers Are Not Used
Supervisors and managers may unjustifiably
rely upon their operators’ knowledge of the
need for outriggers.
Management should assure itself that every
crane operator is competent. Determining
the load weight is generally viewed as the
responsibility of the site supervisor, who
must inform the operator before the lift
is made. The operator must still be able
to determine or estimate load weights, to
evaluate and verify the weight provided.
Based on the load weight, the opera- tor
knows if it is necessary to use outriggers.
Management may also fail to insist that
equipment brought onto the project be
equipped with available safeguards, such as
interlocks to restrict boom movement when
outriggers are retracted.

Preventive Measures
Since such a high proportion of accidents

(continued on Page 40)

|38 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

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(Continued from Page 38) blocking occurrences. Over the years, there have probably been
thousands of two-blocking occurrences that have broken the hoist
Eight Hazards line. Most occurrences probably went unrecorded because no one
was injured when the hoist line failed and dropped the hook and/
occur when outriggers are not extended, design changes to or load.
overcome this hazard are needed. The surest way to avoid an
accident is to make the machine inoperable until the operator Why Two-Blocking Occurs
activates necessary safeguards. Some aerial basket designs Two-blocking occurs because the crane operator is often visually
include limit switches to prevent boom movement until outriggers overtaxed. He or she is unable to watch the load and headache ball
are extended and in place to avert upset. The newer aerial basket or hook simultaneously.
trucks have hydraulic systems with interlocks that preclude boom
operation until outriggers are fully extended and fully supporting Preventive Measures
the crane, with wheels completely off the ground. Anti-two-blocking devices have long been available, but industry
Soil failure occurs because the ground is too soft or the outrigger acceptance of these devices as a preventive measure has
pads are not big enough. Soils range from wet sand that can only lagged. OSHA now requires an anti-two-blocking device or a two
support 2,000 pounds per square foot to dry hard clay that can block damage prevention feature where cranes are used to hoist
support 4,000 pounds per square foot to well- cemented hardpan personnel.
that can support as much as 10,000 pounds per square foot. When
poor soil is encountered, or the out- riggers have inadequate floats There are several ways to prevent two-blocking:
or pads, well-designed blocking or cribbing is needed under the 1. An anti-two-blocking device can be used. This device is a
outriggers. On all types of cranes where floats are used OSHA
requires that they be securely attached. It also requires that weighted ring around the hoist line that is suspended on a chain
blocking used to support outriggers be strong enough to prevent from a limit switch attached to the boom tip. When the hoist
crushing, be free of defects and be of sufficient width and length to block or headache ball touches the suspended, weighted ring,
prevent shifting or toppling under load. the limit switch opens and an alarm warns the operator. It can
also be wired to intercede and stop the hoisting. The circuitry is
Two-Blocking no more complex than an electric door bell.
2. On hydraulic cranes the hydraulic valving can be sequenced to
Definition pay out the hoist line when the boom is being extended, thus
Two-blocking occurs when the hoist block or hook assembly comes avoiding two-blocking.
into contact with the boom tip, causing the hoist line to break and 3. Adequate boom length can be ensured to accommodate
the hook and load to fall, endangering workers below. both the boom angle and sufficient space for rigging, such as
slings, spreader bars and straps. To avoid bringing the hook and
Description headache ball into contact with the boom tip, a boom length of
Both latticework and hydraulic boom cranes are prone to two- 150 percent of the intended lift is required for a boom angle of 45
blocking. When two-blocking occurs on latticework booms, the degrees or more.
hoist line picks up the weight of the boom and lets the pendant Anti-two-blocking devices should be standard equipment on all
guys go slack. Often a whip action is created when a crawler crane cranes. Currently, most new mobile hydraulic cranes are being
with a long boom without a load is “walking” and the headache ball equipped with these systems.
and empty chokers can drift up to the boom tip. Ordinarily, while
the operator is busy watching the pathway of travel to avoid any Pinchpoints
rough ground that can violently jerk the crane, he or she does not Definition
watch the boom tip. When a hoist line two-blocks, it assumes the There are two types of crane pinchpoints:
weight of the boom and relieves the pin-up guys of the load. Then, 1. Within the swinging radius of the rotating superstructure of a
if the crane crawler goes over a rock or bump, the flypole action
of a long boom is sufficient to break the hoist line. The weight of crane in areas in which people may be working, is a pinchpoint
the load plus the weight of the boom on a latticework boom (when where people can be crushed or squeezed between the carrier
combined with a little extra stress when lifting a load) can cause frame and the crane cab, or the crane cab and an adjacent wall
the hoist line to break if two-blocking occurs. or other structure.
The power of the hydraulic rams that extend hydraulic booms
is often sufficient to break the hoist line if the line two- blocks. 2. Many unguarded gears, belts, rotating shafts, etc., within the crane
An operator can forget to release (pay out) the load line when are pinchpoints to which employees may be exposed.
extending the boom. When this occurs, the hoist line can be
inadvertently broken. If the load line breaks while supporting a Description
worker on a boatswain’s chair or several work- ers on a floating A pinchpoint is created by the narrow clearance between the
scaffold or a load above people, a catastrophe can result. When an rotating superstructure (cab) of a crane and the stationary carrier
operator must use two controls, one for the hoist and one for the frame. When a crane must be used in a confined space, another
hydraulic boom extension, the chance of error is increased. dangerous pinchpoint is the close clearance between the rotating
In many circumstances, both latticework and hydraulic boom cab/counterweight and a wall, post or other stationary object. This
cranes will two-block when the hook is near the tip and the boom is hazard is inherent in rough terrain cranes, truck-mounted cranes,
lowered. Two-blocking incidents can also occur without resulting crawler cranes and other mobile cranes. Many people, especially
in actual failure, but causing damage which will result in failure at oilers, have been crushed by such pinchpoints.
a later time. Analysis of such occurrences shows that the victims usually

Risks Presented by Two-Blocking (continued on Page 42)
Hundreds of deaths and crippling injuries have resulted from two-

|40 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

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(Continued from Page 40) Workers have been crushed by the rotating cab because
management failed to ensure that the crane was adequately
Eight Hazards bar- ricaded and that all incentives to enter the swing zone were
removed. Crane cabs are usually used for storage of lunch buckets,
entered the danger zone to access: tools and supplies. The machinery that runs the crane requires
oiling, adjustment and maintenance from time to time. Workers are,
• the water jug therefore, exposed to the hazard of the rotating cab and the hazard
created by the many unguarded moving parts of the crane.
• the tool box Preventive Measures
The swing area of the crane cab and counterweight must be
• the outrigger controls barricaded against entry into the danger zone.
• an area to perform maintenance The removal of water jugs, tool boxes and rigging materials from
crane cabs would reduce the incentive to enter the danger zone.
• an area for storage of rigging materials The installation of rear view mirrors for the crane operator provides
an added safeguard so the operator can see into the turning area of
In all of the known cases where someone entered the danger zone the cab and counterweight.
and was caught in a pinchpoint, the danger zone was outside the Obstruction of Vision
crane operator’s vision. Survivors have stated that they believed Definition
the crane operator was not going to rotate or slew the boom at that Safe use of a crane is compromised when the vision of an operator,
particular moment. rigger or signaler is blocked, and employees cannot see what the
Many unguarded moving parts are found inside the crane cab, others are doing.
which serves as a shelter for the engine and hoist system. Description
Risks Presented by Pinchpoints There are two general categories for obstructions of operators’
Many deaths or serious injuries have been recorded as a result of vision:
being crushed between the cab and carrier frame.
Many amputations have been caused by unguarded moving parts (continued on Page 44)
within the crane.
Why Workers Are Crushed by the Rotating Cab

|42 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018


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(Continued from Page 42) Description

Eight Hazards This type of crane is easily overturned on road shoulders or other
embankments during travel from one location to another.

• obstruction by the crane’s own bulk Risks Presented by Travel Upsets
Numerous travel upsets have been recorded. When the mobile
• obstruction by the work environment hydraulic crane upsets on the left side where the opera- tor’s cab is
located, the lightweight sheet metal cab is easily crushed, usually
The crane size alone limits the operator’s range of vision and creates trapping the operator before escape is possible. Crawler tractors
many blind spots, preventing the rigger, signaler, oiler and others can remain stable up to a 57 degree side slope. Mobile hydraulic
affected by the crane’s movement from having direct eye contact cranes, however, are rarely stable on side slopes beyond 35
with the crane operator. When a cab- controlled mobile crane is degrees. Because of their versatility with four-wheel drive and four-
moved or travels back and forth, the operator must contend with wheel steer, rough-terrain cranes do encounter slopes of over 35
many blind spots on the right side of the crane. degrees that could cause upset.
The lightweight sheet metal cab on almost all types of cranes is also
Many situations arise in craning activities that can almost vulnerable to crushing during upset from over- loading as discussed
instantaneously turn a simple lift into a life-taking catastrophe: in “Overloading,” and the operator has no safe sanctuary in this
1. In many instances the work environment requires that loads type of cab to prevent serious injury.
be lifted to or from an area that is outside of the view of the operator. Why Crane Operators Are Crushed When a Crane Upsets
The crane boom may obstruct the operator’s range of vision on the Crush-resistant cabs are not routinely installed on cranes.
right side. Preventive Measures
2. Often a load is lifted several stories high, and the crane In the 1950s it was recognized that protective canopies that
operator must rely upon others to ensure safe movement of the load would resist the crushing effect of rollover could be designed and
being handled. fabricated for heavy crawler-type bulldozers. Beginning in the late
3. Many people are affected by a crane s movement. Welders 1960s, rollover protection system (ROPS) standards were developed
with their hoods on, carpenters, ironworkers or other workers may by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for tractors (both
be working in the immediate vicinity of a crane, preoccupied with crawler and wheel), loaders, graders, compactors, scrapers, water
their tasks and unaware of the activity of the crane. They also may wagons, rear dumps, bottom dumps, fifth wheel attachments, and
be out of the range of vision of the crane operator. Both the lack of various other pieces of equipment. Death and crippling injuries
awareness on the part of others and the obstructed vision of the from rollover and falling objects have been substantially reduced
crane operator contribute to craning accidents. because of ROPS. The same technology could be applied to mobile
hydraulic cranes so operators would have the protec- tion of a
Risks Presented by Obstruction of Vision crush-resistant cab in the event of upset. The crane manufacturer
When operators, riggers, signalers, oilers and others cannot see or an after-market supplier should be contacted for installation of a
each other or the suspended load, the risk of accident becomes crush-resistant cab and seatbelt.
very high. Boom Disassembly on Latticework Boom Cranes
Why People Are Injured by Movement of the Load or the Crane If a boom is not blocked, improper disassembly can cause it to
People are injured during craning when management fails to collapse upon those who are removing pins under the boom while
provide an effective communication system for the crane operator the boom is suspended.
and signalers to ensure that all are aware of any changes in Description
circumstances. Often signalers have not been ade- quately trained Latticework booms are disassembled for shortening, lengthening or
to perform their important task. transporting. Boom collapse occurs on truck- or crawler-mounted
The key to a safe craning operation is the planning of all activities, cranes when the boom is lowered to a horizontal position and
starting with prejob conferences and continuing with daily planning suspended from the boom tip with pen- dant guys, but the boom
to address any changes that need to be made. is not blocked. If the lower pins connecting boom sections are
To overcome the hazard of blind spots while loads are being lifted, knocked out by workers who are under the boom, the boom can
the use of radios and telephones is much more effective than relying collapse upon them, resulting in death or serious injuries.
upon several signalers to relay messages by line of sight. Risks Presented by Boom Disassembly
The use of automatic travel alarms is an effective way to warn those There are at least three circumstances that lead to accidents when
in the immediate vicinity of crane travel movement in pick-and-carry latticework boom sections are being dismantled:
functions. 1. Workers are unfamiliar with the equipment.
It should also be recognized that OSHA requires the windows of 2. A poor location is chosen for dismantling.
cranes to be made of safety glass or the equivalent, which does not 3. Not enough time is allotted to meet the task deadline.
introduce visible distortion that will interfere with the safe operation
of the crane. (continued on Page 46)
Travel Upset in Mobile Hydraulic Cranes (Rough-Terrain and
Wheel-Mounted Telescoping Boom)

Because of a high center of gravity, a mobile hydraulic crane can
easily upset and crush the operator between the boom and the

|44 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

(Continued from Page 44

Eight Hazards

Why Workers Are Crushed by
Latticework Booms During Disassembly
Workers are crushed during disassembly
of latticework booms when there is a
lack of supervision to ensure that the
manufacturer’s disassembly procedures
are followed.
Preventive Measures
1. Plan boom disassembly location and

procedures which are consistent with
the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Use blocking or cribbing on each boom
section. Figure 10 should be posted in
the crane cab and figure 11 should be
attached to each boom section.
3. Use one of several types of pins that
substantially reduce the risk of crushing,
such as:
a. Double-ended pins that can be

removed while one is standing
beside the boom by driving the pin in
from the out- side. (See Dickie, D.E.,
Crane Handbook, figure 3.41 at 78.)
b. Step pins that can only be inserted
from inside facing out, and can only
be removed by driving from the
outside in. (See Dickie, D.E., Crane
Handbook, figure 3.39 at 78.)
c. Welded lugs that prevent pins from
being entered the wrong way. This
requires the pin to be inserted inside
facing out, and can. only be removed
by driving it from the outside in. (See
Dickie, D.E., Crane Handbook, figure
3.40 at 78).
d. Screw pins with threads that insert
or retract the pin.
4. Post warnings at pin connections. Be
sure that comprehensive text warning
of this hazard and informing of ways
to avoid it is contained in operators’
manuals. u

|46 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

Spud Barge Safety

During marine construction work deck barges are held in place by way, the 5-ton aft spud on one of the barges, the Athena 106,
vertical steel shafts known as spuds. The spud equipment typically suddenly dropped into the water from its raised position. The spud
consists of forward and aft spuds and a diesel engine-powered struck a buried high-pressure natural gas pipeline, rupturing the
spud winch. Three methods are available to prevent the spud from pipeline. The gas ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the
accidentally dropping or slipping: latching the winch foot brake; towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and
engaging a steel pawl that fits into a notched ring on the outside of four barge employees were killed, and another barge employee was
the winch drum; and inserting a steel securing pin directly through listed as missing.
the fully raised spud, preventing it from free-falling if the winch or The Athena 106 accident investigation found that in day-to-day
cable fails. operations the spud winch operator used only foot brakes to hold
Fire aboard the Athena 106, West Cote Blanche the raised spuds. The accident could have been prevented if the
Bay, Louisiana securing pin had been used as a backup to the winch foot brakes
On October 12, 2006, the towing vessel Miss Megan was pushing to hold the raised spud. The securing pin would have kept the spud
two deck barges to a pile-driving location in the West Cote Blanche from accidentally deploying, even if the winch, its brakes, or the
Bay oil field off the Louisiana coast. While the vessels were under supporting cable failed.

(continued on Page 50)

Photos showing spud with securing pin lying alongside (left) and with securing pin inserted (right).

|48 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

(Continued from Page 48) supervisor needs to direct the barge employees on how to lower the spuds.

Spud Barge Safety Before attempting to lower mooring spuds, ensure that spud securing pins are completely
removed and that employees are clear of the immediate area. Such practices will help
Preventing Accidental Deployment of to avoid employees being struck by dislodged or falling pins, which can weigh up to 85
Spuds pounds and measure approximately 4-feet-long and 3 inches in diameter.
To ensure the safety of employees on
construction barges and towing vessels, • Employers who own and operate barges need to develop standard operating procedures.
employers and employees need to take the Employers should provide and periodic training to employees on barges including, how
following safety precautions: to use securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before a barge is moved from one site
• Before a barge is moved, the spuds to another. u

need to be raised so that the pinhole is
above the resting area of the securing
pin. Each spud should be pinned in the
raised position.
• The licensed master of a towing vessel,
who is responsible for ensuring that
the vessels under his or her control
are safe to move, needs to ensure that
spud securing pins are in place and
have a means to prevent inadvertent
disengagement before the tow is
• If the spuds must be lowered to stop the
barge in an emergency situation (for
example, in case of a power failure
of the tug or an imminent collision), a

|50 MCoanrs intreuction®® ISSUE #1 - 2018

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