SHF – John Oxley

John Oxley Restoration

Update November 2003


WorkCover Safety Courses

The John Oxley project continues to provide volunteers with opportunities for learning a range of skills. A series of NSW WorkCover accredited courses have been held on site for volunteers who are involved in construction activities. The Construction Induction Course covers all aspects of safe working on a construction site. Topics include the prevention of accidents, including keeping a lookout for hazards and reporting hazards; the hazards of fatigue and heat stress; the dangers and precautions for electrical safety; the need for and the use of safety barriers and safety signs and more.


Nov03GreenCard Volunteers who attended the first two classes run by Gabe Bresolin of Guardian Safety who gave of his time and resources at no cost to the Sydney Heritage Fleet.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell


Safe scaffolding

Restoration work on the John Oxley rudder involves the use of scaffolding and work platforms fitted with safety toe-boards to prevent work items falling to below. Competent riggers in the Sydney Heritage Fleet assemble the scaffolding for use and check it at regular intervals to see that it continues to comply with NSW OHS Regulations.


Nov03Scaffold Michael York, Stewart Harvey and Vern inspect the scaffolding set up on the Sea Heritage Dock for the John Oxley rudder restoration. The Fleet vessel “Boomerang” is in the background.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell


Watertight decks

It is important to maintain watertight decks on the John Oxley to prevent any deterioration from corrosion to the steel in the lower holds and compartments. The use of marine ply board and marine paint has given the ship a sealed membrane.


Nov03deck Long-time volunteer Barney Ross at work roller brushing the forward deck to keep the vessel watertight. Although the decks look like steel, they are in fact cleverly disguised timber ply painted navy steel grey. Barney needs additional help in keeping the upper decks and accommodation up to an acceptable standard.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell 


Lifting gear upgraded

All of the lifting gear at our Rozelle Workshop has been upgraded to meet current safety standards. Included in the upgrade were wire slings, fibre rope slings, webbing straps, blocks, shackles, chains, hooks and ancillary gear. Expert volunteers gave of their time and resources to carry out the upgrade and to provide our Shipyard with a fully documented register of lifting gear.


Nov03check Jim Steel of Jim Steel Lifting busily inspects the lifting and handling gear at the Rozelle Workshop. Jim donated his time to the Australian Heritage Fleet to do the professional inspections. Jim condemned many items of equipment and thankfully donated replacement equipment at no cost. Jim’s offsider Matt is in the background checking slings.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell


Sea Heritage Dock

One of our greatest physical assets is the Sea Heritage Dock. This floating dock allows the John Oxley to be worked on at our Rozelle Bay Shipyard. The Dock must also be maintained and kept up to a high standard of repair. The Dock also serves as a means of access to our operating vessels and is walked upon by hundreds of visitors every year – many of whom seem to think it is dry land rather than a floating dock! Additional access ways are being installed on the Dock to allow for a better means of access to visitors who wish to view the John Oxley rebuilding work. More volunteers are needed to help chip and paint the Dock steel work.


Nov03SHD Volunteer and Board Member Andy Munns replacing
the safety chains on our Sea Heritage Dock.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell 


Fresh water tank upgrade

The fresh water tank in the forward compartment of the John Oxley has been blasted with abrasives and prime coated. The previous coating of hazardous red lead paint has been completely removed according to WorkCover OHS Regulations and safely disposed of according to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) requirements.

Nov03tankBefore The forward fresh water tank before abrasive blasting and removal of old paint
Photo: Mitch Mitchell
 Nov03tankAfter The forward fresh water tank after abrasive blasting and painting
Photo: Mitch Mitchell


White collar Blue

Volunteers from many backgrounds come to help rebuild the John Oxley. Here are a couple of examples.

Nov03Edwards Volunteer Bill Edwards inside the forward hold of the John Oxley. Bill is involved in the replacing of steel hull components. His volunteer work is very enjoyable as, according to Bill, it is such a contrast to his “white collar” day job.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell
Nov03Muans Muans is a recent immigrant from Iraq and has been getting work experience as a volunteer helping to rebuild the John Oxley. Muans reports that he enjoys the work and says that his English skills are rapidly improving working with other volunteers.
Photo: Mitch Mitchell