In the simplest terms, a davit is a crane-like device ideal for applications in which a suspended load needs to be supported. Davit systems are commonly used for naval applications, such as for raising and lowering anchors or lifeboats. They are also increasingly common and extremely useful within the construction industry. Davit systems are especially handy for access to underground areas and supporting suspension equipment over the edge of buildings.
What is a davit?
A davit in essence is a small crane, in order to move whatever is hanging from the davit, a hoist is needed in the hanging part. A davit system is made up of two main parts, the portable davit arm and the base plate or pedestal. The davit arm consists of the main part of the davit and the base is essentially a metal plate mounted to the roof to which the davit arm is attached to.
What are they used for?
Davit systems are used in naval settings such as for anchors being raised or lowered and for the raising and lowering of lifeboats, they have been used in this setting since their inception. Davit Arms are used when there is a requirement for a confined space entry that does not have a primary means of access, for example, if there is no tested access ladder or step irons. It can also be used for emergency standby for evacuating casualties. The Davit Arm is designed to routinely lower someone into a confined space, if needed and then raise them back up upon completion of the work. Davit systems are also used for maintaining the outside of buildings, such as suspending repairmen or window cleaners.
Particularly for confined space rescue, many things need to be considered, since the spaces vary in size, shape and location you need to consider the maximum weight limit, clearance and reach, and the access point when looking at a potential davit system.
The weight should be looked at before use, this is to make sure the maximum rated load is not exceeded. Activities include fall arrest, rescue situations or handling materials. You should consider how much people weigh and the weight of the rescue equipment. We offer a range of products on our site regarding fall arrest if you are looking for related equipment.
Depending on the activity, you should think about how much clearance there is around and above the davit for proper access and to allow for safe and stable manoeuvres.
Temporary locations require a 3 point expandable portable base that can be easily moved from one location to another. These are ideal for frequent setup and takedown.
For fixed locations, fixed bases are needed and mount to permanent structures. More complex projects may require multi-piece davit systems with a permanent base and are capable of being adapted to numerous access challenges.
When using a davit for confined space rescue, you need to consider the access points that are categorised into vertical and horizontal entry types. Entering a confined space, such as a manhole or a pit, may require vertical confined space safety equipment. Some confined spaces, such as a tank, allow only entry from the side. For these, you will need the side-entry or the horizontal type of equipment.