IADC is proud to announce eleven nominations in the running to receive the Safety Award 2022. IADC will announce two nominations every week, starting from 27 July, 2022. The winner will be announced on 15 September 2022.

11th nomination: DEME International & Van Oord (DIVO): Modernisation of the Swinoujscie−Szczecin Fairway in Poland

In March 2022, the joint project of DEME International and Van Oord to modernise the Swinoujscie-Szczecin Fairway in Poland was completed. Starting in September 2018, the project took 2.5 million man-hours and was completed with zero Lost Time Injuries.


Project description

After 2.5 million man-hours on the modernisation of the Swinoujscie-Szczecin Fairway in Poland, the project was completed with zero Lost Time Injuries. An outstanding achievement on such a prestigious project.

From the beginning in September 2018 until completion in March 2022, the team demonstrated exceptional safety performance through their commitment to the health and safety of themselves and everyone involved in the project. Safety became embedded within the project team, which was achieved through a systematic approach and the understanding that as people, everyone is different and we all learn in different ways.

Simplified working processes and procedures were clearly communicated. The bridging of two management systems (DI & VO) to create one and the translation into the local language allowed for clear communication of the safety systems. Working together with so many cultures, nationalities and languages can present many challenges. However, through different forms of communication and understanding, everyone involved in the project found a common goal – to go home safe.

The clearing of hundreds of Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) from WW2 in the active channel with zero LTI’s also demonstrates not just the team’s commitment but also the Polish Maritime Office’s commitment to improving society’s safety. The Szczecin works is a landmark project for Poland providing prosperity and development, and an enrichment of the environmental habitats. The re-use of dredge material to create nature habitats also added greatly to the sustainability of the project and provided an environment for wildlife to thrive.

10th nomination: Jan De Nul − Unmanned survey vessel

Jan De Nul has taken the first step towards unmanned and autonomous survey operations with its Beluga 01. An Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), it is a user-friendly, cost-effective and low-risk platform for data acquisition at sea as an alternative or adjunct to larger manned vessels.


Project description

Jan De Nul identified that smaller survey vessels, which were performing hydrographical measurements on coastal and shallow dredging areas, required a safer, greener and more cost-effective replacement. After carrying out extensive market research, the company decided upon a well-proven and hybrid Mariner Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) as the first step towards unmanned and autonomous survey operations.

The vessel, named Beluga 01, will be deployed worldwide for hydrographical and environmental surveys on marine and offshore construction projects. The Beluga 01 is based on the innovative Maritime Robotics’ Mariner class USV, which for years has proven its mobility and seaworthiness for data acquisition under rough conditions. It is a user-friendly, cost-effective and low-risk platform for data acquisition at sea and serves as an alternative or adjunct to larger manned vessels.

By executing unmanned surveys, Jan De Nul fully commits to improving safety and operational control during survey activities, to reducing carbon emissions and acquiring data more efficiently.

9th nomination: Jan De Nul − Hatch cover

Designed to increase safety on board, Jan De Nul’s safety hatch cover was a crew initiative to ensure protection of the access ladder between decks and prevent risk of falling.


Project description

The hatch safety cover is a crew initiative that was built and installed on board Jan De Nul’s trenching and offshore support vessel Adhémar De Saint-Venant. Designed to increase safety on board, the cover ensures protection of the access ladder between decks. It prevents people falling through the opening and stops objects from falling down to lower decks.

The solution is easy to build, install and use. The design exists out of two vertical poles that remain in place. Hinges are welded on these poles to hold removable horizontal bars when the hatch is open. When the hatch cover is open, it is safely secured by means of chains connected to the vertical poles. When the hatch is closed, the horizontal bars can be safely stowed on the hooks of the hatch cover.

This solution is cost efficient, since the hatch cover was built with already available material by the crew on board. The design can easily be adjusted to fit larger and smaller openings between decks and can be implemented on any vessel.

8th nomination: DEME − Manhole covers

DEME’s simple but efficient design for manhole covers keeps the crew safe and minimises the risk of falls during on-board maintenance and inspections.


Project description

During maintenance and inspections on board of DEME’s vessels, manhole covers are often removed to ventilate the confined spaces below. During this ventilation process, there is a risk that crew falls into the opening. To mitigate this risk, a simple cover was created on board to deal once and for all with open manholes.

A grid cover is custom made on board and placed in the opening. By doing this personnel can no longer fall into an open manhole and injure themselves. At the same time, the space below can be ventilated. A fan can be placed on top of the cover.

The manhole cover was designed and developed by the crew on board of one of DEME’s vessels. The custom-made covers can be made in the workshop on board of any vessel. They are both inexpensive and easy to create, as well as easy to apply. A toolbox is available with points of attention regarding the design, manufacturing and handling of the grid covers.

After handing in the manhole covers as a “safety success story” during DEME’s campaign last year, these covers were implemented by vessels across the DEME fleet.

7th nomination: NMDC− De-tarping station

Utilising 40-foot shipping containers, NMDC designed a de-tarping structure to provide a safe platform from which to remove tarpaulin from the top of trucks. The new safety design not only eliminates the risk of climbing but is more than three times faster than the original method.


Project description

A project scope involving the transport, reclamation and ground improvement of 10.2 million m3 of material presented NMDC with a challenge, from which came the design of a truck de-tarping station. With approximately 253,000 truck trips to the project location, the trucks needed to be covered with tarpaulin sheets to avoid sand blow out while in transit via public roads.

The traditional way of removing tarpaulin from the top of a truck involves the driver climbing to a height of 3 meters. Although a climbing ladder is fabricated within the truck for this purpose, the project team assessed the working at height risk as very high since the probability of occurrence was two times for each of the 253,000 trips.

To minimise this risk, NMDC’s engineering team together with the project team designed the de-tarping structure by utilising 40-foot shipping containers to provide a safe platform from which to carry out the procedure. Handrails provide a fall protection system around the platform and fixed stairs provide access. The platform height is the same level as the truck to avoid the de-tarping crew having to over reach. The platform structure is also equipped with lighting to allow safe operation during darkness and an overhead structure provides shelter from the elements.

Working in pairs with one worker deployed on each platform, a crew can remove the tarpaulin cover in just 3 minutes. The new safety design not only eliminates climbing on top of the truck but is more than three times faster than the original method. A red and green traffic signal is placed in front of each de-tarping bay and controlled by the crew on the platform. Once the tarpualin has been removed, the driver receives the green light that it’s safe to move the truck. By implementing this new safety design, zero incidents related to truck de-tarping and working at height have been reported on the project.

6th nomination: Boskalis − Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for surveys

Boskalis has been using an UAV for photogrammetry to fulfill project survey requirements, which presents many safety advantages; eliminating the hours surveyors have to spend out in the field on uneven terrain and keeping them away from potentially dangerous areas.


Project description

During the South Sea Coastal Scheme (Sea Defence) project, Boskalis used an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for photogrammetry to fulfill the survey requirements of a coastal area. Use of the technology began in 2017 and was introduced to the project in 2021. Over time, the team further developed and enhanced the ways of working. As confidence in the data improved, the project team substituted traditional survey methods for the new technology. Improvements in the technology also helped to improve the survey accuracy using the RTK (Real Time Kinematic) drone.

Use of an UAV presents many safety advantages. It eliminates field hours, thus reducing the time team members spend outside and in turn reducing the risk of injury; walking over rock revetments to obtain data has serious risk of ankle injury.

Surveys can also be carried out away from uneven terrain and more importantly, away from potentially dangerous areas, for example, near heavy machinery or close to water.

Data collected allows the project management team to create an overview of the site on a regular basis. The final image is created from multiple photos stitched together into one orthomozaic image. This information helps support the project by acting as a daily planning tool for site activity and (sub)contractor co-ordination. It supports activities for safe design of work methods and collaboration on site, an indirect benefit for the project. In addition, the drone provides images of the status of the works, highly appreciated by the client.

Team members undertook a 5-day course to operate the drone and acquire the necessary licences from the local flight authority. Each drone flight is submitted to a website so that other drone flyers or stakeholders know when and where a drone is being deployed.

5th nomination: Jan De Nul− Use of davit crane for cable management

Instead of using the davit as a lifting device, Jan De Nul deploys it to efficiently manage the electrical and welding cables by suspending them overhead.


Project description

We frequently observe that electrical cables lay around on workshop floors, especially when welding works, such as cutter head repairs, are taking place. The cables not only pose electrical risks but also trip and fall hazards. Cables also often get damaged because of movement of equipment and because of getting in to contact with metal plates, sharp objects, etc.

To prevent that these cables are laying around on the floor, Jan De Nul deploys the davit crane, which is already present in the workshop, in a different way. Instead of using it as a lifting device, it is used to efficiently manage the electrical and welding cables by suspending them overhead. Because the davit is able to rotate 180°, the entire workshop can be covered. Cables are no longer laying on the floor which reduces electrical risks and eliminates trip and fall hazards. It also protects cables from getting damaged. This measure also contributes significantly to the general housekeeping of the work area and generates benefits from an ergonomic point of view, as it reduces the weights to be carried by the welder.

Future improvements may include (1) increasing the capacity of the davit crane, so that more welding cables can be used on each davit, (2) applying a hinge in the middle of the davit crane to make it more mobile and (3) adding a gear system to keep the davit fixed in a desired location.

4th nomination: DEME− Retractable ladder for track excavators

To avoid contact with the tracks when stepping on and off track excavators, DEME installs a retractable ladder on all excavators, resulting in less incidences of injury.


Project description

Stepping on and off machinery is not without risks. Following an LTI, DEME carried out a thorough investigation and found a lot of operators had scars on their shins caused by contact with the tracks when stepping on and off track excavators.
The existing steps on an excavator are located inside the boundary of the tracks, which can be the cause of many injuries and near misses. Bringing the steps outside the tracks is not an option however, since this creates other risks both operational and for transport.

The solution – a retractable ladder that can be folded up just above the upper structure of the crane cabin. The area between the tracks and upper cabin stays completely free so there is no contact with sand or mud sticking on the tracks. Located on a safety area besides the excavator door, this innovative design needs almost no maintenance.

The ladder is made out of one piece of metal and retracts by itself after use. It can be positioned in the location of the original platform and both a bolted or welded connection is possible. The benefit of the design is that you only need one type of ladder. DEME foresee one standard ladder with a maximum length that can be adjusted on smaller type of track excavators.

3rd nomination: NMDC − Improved training programme

In a step to improve safety, NMDC customised 10 in-house training programmes and became the first dredging company to be accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) for the training content it developed.


Project description

Since the dredging industry requires specific HSE information to be delivered to the workforce, NMDC developed customised training programmes based on the lessons learned from incidents, unsafe observations and health and safety data from internal and external sources.

New material for 10 in-house training programmes was developed to include information related to the dredging industry. In addition, the company sent 13 HSE staff to follow the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Train the Trainer course to gain accreditation from a world-leading accredited training body. ANSI was also asked to audit the entire training process including resources, trainers and course content before they accredited the 10 programmes to ensure that all the required steps were fulfilled.

The company’s 13 Train the Trainers are all from different nationalities with different dredging backgrounds to ensure the competency and understanding of its entire workforce. NMDC knows that by providing effective and comprehensive training programmes, employee’s knowledge and skills systematically improve.

NMDC became the first dredging company to be accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) for the training content it developed. Over the last 3 years, the training programmes have resulted in a reduction of incident individual factors by 50%.

2nd nomination: Van Oord − Inspection hatch

Van Oord’s new system uses a cantilever to allow the inspection hatch to be operated by a single person. The design enables quick inspections, making it less labour intensive and removes the need for lifting equipment.


Project description

Opening an inspection hatch in a suction line towards the pump is a frequent activity. Originally a bolted hatch, the opening of an inspection hatch is labour intensive. First, several nuts and bolts need to be loosened before lifting gear is then used to remove the hatch. After inspection, the same routine has to be carried out to close the hatch and enable dredging activities to continue.

Van Oord came up with a design to improve the existing bolted hatch to enable quick inspections, making the process less labour intensive and eliminating the need for lifting equipment. The new system uses a cantilever to allow the inspection hatch to be operated by a single person. It eliminates the need to use power tools to loosen nuts and bolts as well as the necessity to operate lifting gear, for example a deck crane, for removal and installation of the hatch.

The innovative application of this idea in this environment is both creative and unique; the use of this kind of cantilever in the suction line environment on board a vessel is not done at this scale and size of suction lines. The inspection hatch is currently installed on the suction pipe of Van Oord’s new vessel, Vox Arianne. Extremely easy to use, the design can in principle be copied straight onto other vessels.

1st nomination: Boskalis − ‘Robin Hood manhole cover’

Boskalis has designed the Robin Hood; a manhole cover that can be opened and closed during repair periods while preventing water ingress and enabling continuous ventilation of the tank.


Project description

During repairs to vessels, which can take multiple days, the manhole covers on the weather decks need to be opened for tank inspections and ventilation. Usually, when it starts raining, a cement barrier is placed around the manhole to prevent water and dirt from flowing into the confined space, and the opening is covered up. Often, this is not done however, resulting in the need for someone to go into the confined space to clean it.

To find a solution to this problem, Boskalis designed the Robin Hood; a manhole cover that can be opened and closed while preventing water ingress and enabling continuous ventilation of the tank. By using the Robin Hood, the tank stays clean during the repair period and the need for people to enter into the potentially dangerous area is limited to the bare necessity. When necessary, air hoses for forced ventilation of the confined space can be inserted between the bars of the manhole cover. As a result, the Robin Hood can still be closed (and opened), reducing the risk of confined space accidents.

Made from aluminium, the Robin Hood can be made to fit every type of tank cover. The cover is lockable when in the opened position to prevent it from falling shut. When in the closed position it both ensures proper ventilation while closing off access and preventing water ingress. Its durable material also means it can be used for many years.

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