6 Sep 2018
There are eight nominations in the running for the Safety Award 2018! IADC is proud to announce the next nomination is Debris Removal Platform by Van Oord. The winner will be announced on 15 September 2018.
Debris Removal Platform by Van Oord
During dredging, debris can fill the trailing draghead of trailing suction hopper dredgers. When the suction pipe is recovered on board, debris that was stuck in the draghead will fall onto the deck. To safely be able to remove this debris, Van Oord has developed an automated debris removal system. This system reduces the risk of personal injury.
Van Oord changed the existing technique from the manual removal of debris to an automated system, reducing the risk of personal injury from manual handling and eliminating slips and trips. A debris removal platform for its fleet of Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers (TSHDs) has been developed, letting crew safely and easily remove debris from the deck without the use of a broom or shovel. With a hydraulic drive bulldozer blade, the debris removal platform pushes the debris over the side of a vessel. Crew can stand-up straight next to the platform as the blade pushes the debris. The debris removal platform has several safety benefits including the elimination of manual handling, use of sustainable and safe material, covered rotating parts, safety railing, no lifting and rigging operation.
How it works
The bulldozer blade runs over rails with bogies (chassis carrying wheelsets) on either side of the platform. The rails are combined with a steel frame that keeps the KLP® working deck in place. KLP® plastic is a sustainable alternative to a wooden working deck because it is comprised of recycled bottle caps, crates and agricultural plastics. Moreover, it has a better impact resistance and provides more grip when wet. When working in an area with mud and water the chance that one slips is high. By using this type of material, the probability that a person slips or falls is low.
The bulldozer blade is operated from a local control cabinet next to the installation. When the operator starts the movement of the blade, an audible and visual alarm sounds to inform people around the platform that it is starting to move. Continuous pressure of the button is necessary for movement of the blade. If the operator takes his hand of the button, the moving of the blade will stop (dead man button).
Additional safety features
A fence is installed around the platform. When an access gate is opened, the blade will automatically stop (interlock system). The blade also stops automatically on the maximum inboard and outboard positions by means of proximity switches. An additional mechanical end-stop in combination with hydraulic pressure valves serves as a backup end-stop. As a last option to stop the movement of the blade, the local control cabinet is fitted with an emergency stop.
All rotating parts are covered to prevent entanglement of clothing or hands. The unit has its own railing with self-closing doors which are fitted with an interlock system, stopping movement when the doors are opened. Compared to existing tilting platforms, no lifting and rigging operations with a crane are required to move the platform for the debris to fall overboard.
Old solutions formulate a new solution
Although the used techniques are not new, this solution marks the first time a hydraulic-powered dozer blade has been mounted on a debris removal platform to remove debris from below the draghead. The innovation in this design is a combination of existing techniques – which are solid and proven – into a new design and application. The solution will be installed for the first time on the Vox Amalia – a TSHD dredger which is currently under construction – and it is Van Oord’s goal to install the platform on other big TSHDs as well.