Safety Award

Safety Award

Nominations IADC Safety Award 2017:

1. Boskalis - Plastic Bomb Grid

The presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and the high risk of explosions is a pervasive hazard to dredging activities. To minimise damage which can be caused to a hopper dredger’s drag head, a steel bomb grid is mounted to prevent UXOs from entering the suction pipe during operation. Weighing in at a whopping 80 kilos, the attachment is cumbersome to install, taking between three and four hours to secure which is especially problematic since frequent cleaning is necessary throughout operation. Searching for a better solution, a works manager from Boskalis consulted knowledgeable captains and crew. By swapping out steel for plastic, the grid’s weight was trimmed down to 15 kilos. The lightweight substitute offers a hassle-free installation, and takes a mere 30 minutes. Although three times more expensive to manufacture, the plastic alternative reduces the amount of time and injuries associated with the installation process. Additionally, cutting down a vessel’s weight equates to more sand in its hopper, making plastic bomb grids a much more favourable choice both in terms of bottom line and performance.

2. Boskalis - Mooring Actuator 

Secured to a backhoe’s bollards with heavy lines, a barge assists with the transport of material dredged by the backhoe. Conventionally, two crew members must drag and manoeuvre the heavy lines, manually mooring the separate units alongside each other. During the loading of material, the barge lowers into the water, requiring the lines to be incrementally paid out, and all the while the risk of line breakage is omnipresent. Mooring is a time-costly and injury-prone procedure. In its quest for a safer, more economical and faster alternative, Boskalis devised the Mooring Actuator, an automated twist on the process. A backhoe is fitted out with two rotating arms from which two steel balls are suspended from chains. Placed along the barge’s edge, U-shaped bollards catch the approaching steel balls. Working a safe distance away from the “line of fire”, one crew member uses a remote control to moor the dredger and barge by swivelling the arms to set the steel balls inside the U-shaped bollards. Once secured, especially developed Constant Tension winches begin to roll up the lines, providing increased stability to the barge than was possible before the Mooring Actuator. The amount of time it takes to execute the mooring process is reduced by ten minutes and crew safety during the activity increases for good.

3. Damen Shiprepair - CCTV-system

In an effort to reduce the dangers to crew both inside and outside a vessel, Damen Shiprepair entrusted a CCTV-system (installed by RBC) with overseeing activities taking place in high-risk locations, including the engine, pump and turret rooms as well as confined spaces. Running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Damen’s linked camera surveillance, access control, gas detection, audio/visual alarm and open radio transmission system lets one person continuously monitor 20 high-risk locations all at once from a Mobile Command Unit, detecting and acting upon hazards as they arise, in real time. At the onset, hazardous situations increased significantly but with this information, Damen was able to improve the safety management system and guarantee worker’s safety. The cameras will soon be wireless, but until then needs a 220V power source and cable to connect with the central supervision unit. The system reduces operational costs by 20 to 50 per cent by requiring less static safety consultants on site.

4. DEME - Worldwide Safety Stand Down

DEME actively addresses safety and since 2008, its QHSE-S department dedicated itself to instil a company-wide “Safety Culture” through its self-initiated cultural and behavioural safety programme “Colleagues, Help Injuries to Leave DEME” (CHILD). Last year, the initiative was taken to the next level with CHILD5, which emphasises four pillars necessary for safety: engagement, collaboration, communication and leadership. One of the programme’s noteworthy components was the Worldwide Safety Stand Down. On Thursday 30 March 2017, DEME’s CEO simultaneously halted all of DEME’s field and office operations around the world for two hours. During this time frame, every DEME employee, as well as many independent contractors working on stopped projects, watched a video which gave information on a recent incident and detailed the results of it roots cause investigation. A refresher video of the CEO’s “Stop Work Authority” followed in an effort to empower employees to stop any unsafe or unprepared job. Afterwards, employees used a tool called Hazard Hunt to identify unsafe conditions in their working area and at the conclusion of the two hours, signed a personal Safety Charter. Involving monumental costs and resources in terms of planning and execution, the event and its disruptive approach has led to a significant decline in incidents ever since.

5. Royal IHC - 4 Points of Attention Plan

To improve daily safety operations on its shipyards, Royal IHC tasked a multi-disciplinary team of representatives from senior and operational management, the work floor and Safety Department with identifying high-risk working areas: safe working at height on scaffolding, orderliness and cleanliness by proper housekeeping, safe use of certified tools and equipment and personal protective equipment compliance. Entitled the 4 Points of Attention Plan, a policy of weekly assessments covering these four areas was issued company-wide. Employees must individually assess the week’s performance – on a scale of one (poor) to ten (excellent) – in advance of an operational meeting held every Friday. By 7:30am on Monday morning, an individual must implement all discussed changes which are then checked by the Safety Department for compliance and finally the results are reported to senior management. Based on the reduction of incidents, the desired result of increased safety awareness and an instilled culture of individual accountability and responsibility were produced by the weekly assessment process motivated by its reward system.

6. Jan De Nul Group / Controlled Connection of Floating Pipelines

The manual process of connecting floating pipelines has always been a risky task. Calm water conditions and competent skippers, deckhands and crane operators are required to prevent possible incidents or injuries. Jan De Nul Group developed the controlled alternative following multiple technical reviews and trials with crew. The connection ends of the floating pipeline strings are set up within a pair of catamaran pontoons. Between the Cutter Suction Dredger and floating pipelines, the connection process involves an especially-engineered tool in the pipe ring’s lug to keep the ring straight while a fibre rope pulls the ends of the pipelines closer. The ends are secured together with a hydraulic quick fit connection. With the process limited by 120 metre-long pipeline strings at the end of pontoons, the result is easier access within the pontoon work space, leading to better project planning and reduced risk of open water operations. Although the overall system is 10 per cent more expensive, the combination of reducing interrupted production periods due to bad weather conditions and employee accidents has led to its welcomed reception by crew in field operations. Ongoing tests and user feedback have already led to planned innovations such as making the process remote controllable and using solar-powered hydraulic packs for added efficiency and sustainability.

7. To be announced on 23-08-2017.

8. To be announced on 28-08-2017.

9. To be announced on 30-08-2017.

10. To be announced on 04-09-2017.

11. To be announced on 06-09-2017.

12. To be announced on 11-09-2017.

13. To be announced on 13-09-2017.


About the Safety Award

The International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) is a global umbrella organisation for contractors in the dredging industry. IADC has over 100 main and associated members and encourages its members to establish common standards and a high level of conduct in their worldwide operations.

Dredging operations are risky and the dredging industry pays a lot of attention to safety. It maintains a level of safety that can compete with offshore oil & gas sectors. IADC is committed to promoting safety in the industry and established the Safety Committee that enables sharing of best practices amongst its members. The organisation aims to reduce the number of accidents and incidents in the industry. Thus, IADC and the Safety Committee established the Lost Time Injury (LTI) index in 2009. The index has shown a continuous decline among dredging contractors since it was started and the latest rate can be seen in the “Dredging in Figures 2014” report.


  1. To encourage the development of safety skills on the job and safety awareness.
  2. Possibility to make work safer.
  3. Reward people and companies who make it possible to work safer.
  4. Reward those who demonstrate special diligence in safety awareness in performing their profession.


The IADC Safety Award is intended to encourage the development of safety skills on the job and to reward people and companies demonstrating diligence in safety awareness in the performance of their profession.

The Award will recognise the exceptional safety performance of a particular project, product, ship, team or employees.

The Award is not only open to all IADC members but also to any other companies active in the dredging industry. There is no limitation to the
number of nominations that can be submitted by any one company.


The IADC Board of Directors will present this Award at the IADC Annual General Meeting in September, 2017 in Marseille France.

Winner 2016

Safety Award winner

DEME picked up the prestigious IADC Safety Award at IADC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Cascais, Portugal. The award is given to honour companies that have shown outstanding achievement in the area of safety. The award was presented by Peter de Ridder, president of IADC to Lieven Durt, director of QHSE-S DEME and Luc Vandenbulcke, managing director of GeoSea.

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