1st September 2017

Situated on the Seven Estuary close to the M4/M5 corridor with excellent rail connections is The Bristol Port Company, encompassing an estate of some 2,600 acres across both the Avonmouth and Portbury Docks – the UKs most centrally located deep sea Port. Its extensive operations, which embrace the movement of containers/automotive/dry and liquid goods, include 800,000 vehicles and 6 million tonnes of dry bulk material per annum, and more than 25 per cent of Heathrow Airport’s jet fuel.

The Bristol Port Company appointed T H WHITE Projects to assist with a bespoke design for personnel safety improvements to an existing Chinese manufactured portside mobile container crane which operates within the container port area of the Portbury Dock complex. The project involved the design, manufacture and installation of a secondary personnel escape route, including a series of specially designed access platforms, ladders and interface connections for assembly and permanent fitment to one side of the crane’s vertical portal structure, adjacent to a hot exhaust manifold.

Following an engineering site survey focused on the relevant area of the crane structure which stands approximately 20m high, a 3D inventor drawing illustrating the proposed personnel escape route design was produced for customer discussion. After approval by the client the numerous component detailed drawings were generated ready for issue to the fabrication team and workshop.

Once the numerous fabricated items were manufactured and inspected they were then supplied to The Bristol Port Company in the customer’s corporate red colour as a high specification quality paint finish to withstand the rigours of the marine operating environment.

Working closely with the Port Engineer, the pre-planning and installation programme was carefully scheduled and project-managed before the works commenced in order to take advantage of a window of opportunity in the Port’s operations. Only suitable weather conditions would then be required to allow the installation to go ahead.


With planning completed and the various risk assessments (RAMS) generated an August weekend was chosen so that there would be a three-day period for the T H WHITE Projects installation team to complete the works. Prior to the installation, the team all went through a strict on-site induction to ensure they were aware of the Port’s procedures and safety at work policy for all operatives and contractors.

With a break in the weather, the sitework commenced mid-August and, with the crane alongside and the assistance of the cherry picker, the team proceeded to weld connecting brackets to the upright of the container crane. Once correctly aligned, they fitted the secondary escape platforms and connecting ladders to the structure, as seen in the photograph.

The project was successfully completed, commissioned and handed over to The Bristol Port Company with its new bright red secondary personnel escape route now part of the mobile container crane.

This is the latest example in a series of design, manufacture and installation applications in which bespoke steelwork has been supplied and fitted by the Projects team.

T H WHITE Projects specialises in cereal processing and storage solutions of all sizes, from farm and estate installations to large commercial or industrial bulk facilities, taking each project from conception to completion.

Do visit our new Projects website ( to gain an overview of our capabilities and, if you have a scheme you would like to talk about, please do contact us on 01380 723040, or email