IADC’s Safety Committee and Board of Directors awarded the very first Safety Award to a supply chain organisation active in the dredging industry to Keppel FELS. The company was praised by the committee for the results of its safety programme and commitment to safety onsite. Anchored in Keppel Offshore & Marine’s Safety Plus Programme and Singapore's National WSH Vision 2028, Keppel FELS continues to consistently improve and enhance its existing Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) management systems.

Safety, People-Focus, Agility, Accountability and Can-Do are the core values at Keppel FELS. Safety is a condition of work to achieve an incident free work environment and the company is committed to ensuring everyone returns home safe at the end of each workday. With a robust HSE management system in place, the company invests in building HSE competency and capabilities through training, outreach activities and empowering every individual in its workforce to intervene and stop any unsafe acts.

Within the Safety Plus Programme and our National WSH Vision 2028, we put our stakeholders at the centre of all our initiatives. Our customers are invited to participate in our HSE Steering Committees and we continue to share with them the lessons learnt beyond delivery of projects in our shipyards. In embracing agility and accountability, we place emphasis on the quality of our work and production innovation as key success factors to deliver our solutions safely and responsibly. We embrace a strong ‘Right mindset, right processes and right tools’ approach to complete our work right the first time, therefore reducing rework, reducing risk exposure to our workforce and more importantly, enhancing our product offering to our customers. We believe in investing in our design, engineering, planning and construction processes by adopting digitalisation and smart asset technology to further value-add to our products and in serving our customers.

Continuous improvement

With a robust HSE management system certified to OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 14001:2015 certifications, Keppel FELS continue to improve and enhance HSE excellence consistently. The shipyard adopts a set of 10 lifesaving rules and observes zero tolerance in the violation of these lifesaving rules. In addition, lessons learnt from past projects have also led to a set of high impact risk activities (HIRA) being identified in the shipyard where additional risk assessments are performed prior execution of work.

People are our most important resource, and we invest in their training and empower them to stop any unsafe acts in the workplace.

As part of continuous improvement, regular cold eye reviews by third party stakeholders and workforce pulse surveys are undertaken to ensure that feedback and site conditions are addressed holistically. To achieve a positive safety culture and a ‘no blame’ culture within a diverse workforce, we invest in building the HSE competency and capabilities through safety training, raising awareness via various outreach activities and empowering every individual in our workforce to intervene and stop any unsafe acts, practices or workplace conditions without hesitation. Feedback is reviewed and followed up by the respective managers responsible and shared with our customers. Our customers are also invited to review our programmes and contribute their experiences to further enhance our implementation.

Stakeholder engagement

At Keppel FELS, we have a collaborative team that fosters strong partnership with internal stakeholders. Frequent engagements are organised with all parties and safety aspects from the planning stage to the execution process are objectively deliberated to achieve the main objective of an incident-free project.

Various site walkabouts are scheduled throughout the year, involving all levels of the workforce from senior management, management, site-specific lead and subcontractors’ representatives. The main objective of the walkabouts is the engagement of the workforce on the ground, understanding their needs and motivating them while ensuring everyone is working safely in a safe working environment. Follow-up actions are planned and reviewed conscientiously in the management committee review meeting.

HSE observation programme

We strongly encourage and facilitate the workforce on the ground to report any unsafe practices anonymously, thus eliminating the perception of fear of having any repercussion. This augments our belief in empowering everyone to stop work and has provided the workforce on the ground with a sense of security to intervene in any unsafe situation.

To simplify the reporting of HSE observations, we introduced Performance Observation Walkthrough & Engagement Reporting (P.O.W.E.R) that allows anyone to report positive observations and hazards through a mobile device platform. The platform captures the types of observations for analysis and subsequent review of the safe conduct of the specific activities. High-risk observations are prioritised and reviewed closely to ensure follow-up action plans are formulated.

Figure 1

Tan Leong Peng, Managing Director, receives the IADC Safety Award 2021 on behalf of Keppel FELS.

Technology and digitalisation

Technology and innovation are ingrained in the culture of Keppel FELS. It is essential in building a strong safety culture and enhancing safety standards of work processes. Leveraging modern technology, Keppel FELS' technology and digitalisation arm has driven the transformation of shipyard operations. These new implementations are further reviewed in the management of change of process and evaluated on a periodic basis. Hence, the lesson learnt captured in the change management or evaluation process are incorporated in our operating procedure systematically.

Figure 2

Our commitment to uphold a strong safety culture extends to our entire workforce, including employees and subcontractors.

For example, while working with Jan De Nul and Van Oord, Keppel FELS’ iDiver was deployed to check the underwater conditions of the dredgers following undocking, replacing physical divers for underwater inspection. After undocking, it is imperative that the yard luffing cranes are able to operate to bring construction materials like spools, hull outfitting and equipment on board the dredger for installation. We then engaged Smart Robot to ensure the smooth operation of the cranes by remotely checking the condition of the quayside crane bus bar. This ensures work is carried out in a safe manner without exposing the yard facility personnel to confined space hazards.

Safety is always part of our shipyard culture and daily practice. In receiving this award, we are able to showcase how we strengthen our safety ownership, enhance focus on workplace health, safety and environment while embracing technology into our safety practices. Our continuous improvement and efforts drive a safe work environment for our workforce to deliver quality products.

Quality in products and processes

We work closely with world-class dredging contractors, such as Jan De Nul and Van Oord, exchanging lesson learnt and implementing safety solutions for our customers. We attained Zero Loss Time Incident man-hours throughout the Sanderus project delivery with Jan De Nul. Our use of machinery and automation allowed us to reduce our workforce man-hours by up to 30%, reducing our risk exposures and eliminating safety risk hazards.

Our quality records are testament to our emphasis on superior HSE products. Through our weekly safety progress reports, vessel safety plans, drawings to construction, maintenance and material handling, we engage our customers, vendors and contractors regularly to incorporate feedback. This not only ensures quality of the worksite for the benefit of the workforce but also product quality for the end user.

‘Safety is a core value at Keppel Offshore & Marine and we have a strong safety culture in place to ensure strict HSE standards are met’, explains Tan Leong Peng, Managing Director, Keppel FELS. Over the years, our clients, subcontractors and partners have graciously contributed generously to this programme to innovate and promote this HSE culture. While there is no silver bullet in enhancing HSE culture, neither should we put a value to the returns. Most importantly, our responsibility is to care for our workforce, making safety our core value and condition of work. In turn, we provide our HSE superior products to our customers, ensuring their confidence to use our products safely.

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