Shipyard Employment >> Shipbreaking

Shipbreaking is the process of dismantling an obsolete vessel's structure for scrapping or disposal. Conducted at a pier, drydock, or dismantling slip, it includes a wide range of activities, from removing all gear and equipment to cutting down and recycling the ship's structure. The structural complexity of ships makes shipbreaking a challenging process. It involves many safety, health and environmental issues. [Applicable 1915 Shipbreaking Standards]

Shipbreaking Illustration
Survey and Pre-Planning Survey and Pre-Planning Removing Hazardous Material Removing Hazardous Material Salvaging Equipment and Valuable Materials Salvaging Equipment and Valuable Materials Scrapping Scrapping

A demolition plan is often used to systematically scrap the vessel and to ensure the safety and health of the workers. A demolition plan involves the following steps:

Figure 1: Illustration of Shipbreaking survey.

1. Survey and Pre-Planning
Includes identifying hazardous materials and determining work processes:

Figure 2: Ship's piping coated with asbestos.

2. Removing Hazardous Material
Includes removing items included in the inventory of hazardous materials (such as fuel and cargo residues, insulating materials, preservatives, and paints):

Figure 3: Illustration of worker salvaging equipment.

3. Salvaging Equipment and Valuable Materials
Includes removing items such as machinery, equipment, electronics, wiring, piping, furnishings, and non-ferrous metals:

Figure 4: Illustration of worker scrapping ship.

4. Scrapping
Includes cutting and removing the hull and other structures of the vessel:

The Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment Standard (29 CFR Part 1915 Subpart P) was issued September 15, 2004 and became effective December 14, 2004. A Fire Protection module has been added to address these changes. In addition, it is anticipated the Ship Repair, Shipbuilding and Shipbreaking eTool modules will be modified in the future to address the Shipyard fire protection standard.