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‘IADC Safety Award’ to announce winners in Sept 2017

International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) is touted to divulge the winners of dredging international companies nominated for observing high safety standards in dredging operations during 2017.  Launched in 2015, ‘IADC Safety Award’ is intended to encourage the development of safety skills on the job, rewarding people and companies demonstrating diligence in safety awareness in the performance of their profession. Soon to be given for the second time, the Safety Award is relevant for all companies active in the dredging industry and recognises the exceptional safety performance of a particular project, product, ship, team or employees.

 Dredging operations are risky business, therefore the dredging industry pays a lot of attention to safety, says a release on 3rd August. In September 2017, the IADC Board of Directors will present the winner of the Safety Award 2017 at the IADC Annual General Meeting in Marseille, France. For now, IADC presents the 13 meritorious nominations in the running to receive the Safety Award 2017. The two noted nominees are Boskalies-Plastic Bomb Grid and Boskalis’s—Mooring Actuator.

 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.

 Boskalis’s - 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 swiveling 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.


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