26 Sep 2019
In the coming weeks, IADC will publish fourteen nominations in the running to receive the Safety Award 2019 on its website and social media. The winner will be announced on 17 October 2019.
IADC is proud to announce that the twelfth nomination is:
Jan de Nul’s hopper crew designed, built and installed a safety platform to protect their crewmates
After each dredge cycle on a trailing suction hopper dredger, the pipe operator must grease and/or inspect the underwater block of the hoisting dredge pipe. This is a dangerous job on a slippery and uneven surface. To carry out the work, the pipe operator normally needs to wear a ‘fall arrest’ harness and prepare extensive risk management paperwork, a time consuming task. This process on Jan De Nul’s hopper Charles Darwin is now a thing of the past. The crew of the Charles Darwin has designed, built and installed a platform, with railings, access ladders and grip polls that allow safer access to the dredge pipe’s underwater block. The platform, ladders and railings are installed on the dredge pipe at the exact location of the underwater block, which reduces the chance of trips, slips and falls.
This intervention tremendously increases the safety level for the pipe operators and allows them to work more efficiently as well. According to the experienced crew of Charles Darwin, this was the best safety improvement onboard in the last year. Furthermore, it can easily be implemented onboard of all hopper dredgers without major costs. The installed platforms are designed to withstand all dredging conditions during project execution.
The original design, sketched by the crew of Charles Darwin, was calculated and approved by the Fleet Management to insure that the installation would be built to last and get the proper material, and to set up a maintenance regime. After approval, the crew set to welding, constructing and installing the platform themselves. This working process can easily be communicated to all crews on hopper dredgers. They are all crews with similar experience level as on the Charles Darwin and are perfectly capable of implementing this system as well.
Implementation of this improvement requires that the ship has a particular dredge pipe configuration and room to build the access platform. The costs are limited, needing some steel and grid mesh plus a day’s work for the ship's welder.
The work of the pipe operator can now be done in 5 minutes instead of 20. Efficiency is higher and the risk ‘cost’ is lower. Simple safety solutions are often the most effective ones. Listening to the people in the field and giving them the freedom to come up with ideas is often the best way to improve safety in their working environment and conditions.