Ports Australia – Wharf Structures Condition Assessment Manual (WSCAM)

Ports Australia has launched the updated Wharf Structures Condition Assessment Manual (WSCAM). Members of Ports Australia, along with Royal Haskoning DHV have worked collaboratively over the past year to produce the updated version. The WSCAM is a tool to help asset owners with consistent and repeatable inspections of a wide range of asset types including but not limited to wharves, piers, jetties, walkways, breakwaters, revetments, embankments, and other fixed assets. It contains a condition inspection framework and visual assessment tool, both of which are flexible for user customization.

The WSCAM was updated to:

  • Expand the scope of the Manual to all port fixed structures excluding buildings.
  • Rationalize inspection approaches resulting in a single assessment tool that is flexible for user customization.
  • Provide guidance on a risk/criticality-based approach to determine the frequency of inspections.
  • Cover more materials and technology used in assessments.

The benefit of using the WSCAM is that inspection results are consistent and repeatable. Without the WSCAM, one might have 10 inspectors assess the same structure and there could be eight different assessments, depending on their experience and expertise. With example imagery and formulae for calculations, assessments can be made more consistent even when considering a variability of different inspectors.

The WSCAM allows businesses to be more sustainable, by helping to keep existing assets functioning for longer and using risk/criticality to assist in investment decisions avoiding unnecessary replacements which reduces environmental, operational, and capital impacts.

The WSCAM was created and updated in Australia, however it can be utilized around the world independent of one’s geographic location. This has been tried and tested in locations with completely opposite climate and variables.