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J.F. Brennan, Wallace McGeorge Crew Receive Safety Awards

The crew of the Wallace McGeorge on the day they achieved 3,000 days without a lost-time accident.  They are, from left, Tomas McNaughton, Tommy Davis, Mike Reynolds, Joel Hutcheson, Shawn Rogers, Rick Loyd, Jake Baskin, Carl Young- blood, Ricky Kelly, Albert Dorsey Jr., Jamie Clendenon, Bill Davis, Dawayne Miles, T.J. Prado, Chris Shepard, Cordell Davis,  Roy Brown and Joseph Lee.  Photo by Rob Hopper

The crew of the Wallace McGeorge on the day they achieved 3,000 days without a lost-time accident. They are, from left, Tomas McNaughton, Tommy Davis, Mike Reynolds, Joel Hutcheson, Shawn Rogers, Rick Loyd, Jake Baskin, Carl Young- blood, Ricky Kelly, Albert Dorsey Jr., Jamie Clendenon, Bill Davis, Dawayne Miles, T.J. Prado, Chris Shepard, Cordell Davis, Roy Brown and Joseph Lee. Photo by Rob Hopper

Rob Hopper, far right, accepts the award plaque from WEDA Safety Chair Julie Hile, center, and Ram Mohan, left, WEDA chairman, at the awards banquet. Photos by Judith Powers

The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) presented its 2016 Annual Safety Awards to J.F. Brennan & Company and Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company at the WODCON Awards Banquet on June 16. The awards were given to a dredging project and to a dredging contractor.

Brennan’s Director of Safety & Compliance Luke Ploessl accepted the 2016 Annual Safety Excellence Award for a contract from Safety Commission Chair Julie Hile. The award honored Brennan’s McMillan Island Unloading Project, performed in 30 days in September and October 2015. It involved dredging 151,652 cubic yards of mate-rial from a Corps of Engineers dredged material storage area in 30 days using a hydraulic dredge, pumping through three miles of pipeline, and dewatering and stockpiling the material for beneficial use. The project was just north of Lock #10 on the Upper Mississippi River, and ran 24 hours a day in two shifts, with eight to 10 crew members per shift.  

The project was completed with nearly 7,300 man hours, finishing with zero lost time injuries, zero restricted days, zero recordable injuries and zero spills.

Luke Ploessl, J.F. Brennan safety officer, accepts the Safety Excellence Award for the McMillan Island project from Julie Hile. 

Brennan uses the HCSS Safety Manager software to track daily and weekly safety meetings, AHAs and JHAs (activity hazard analyses and job hazard analyses, describing more than 600 safety precautions for specific tasks), pre-task meetings, near misses and safety based observations (SBOs). These data are gathered and reviewed on a daily basis, and allow supervisors to see trending of potential hazards, address them through discussion, and engineer them out or create a policy to mitigate the hazard. 

The 2016 Safety Award mentioned Brennan’s correction of slip, trip and fall hazards that were identified by five employee SBO submissions at the start of the project. This information was relayed from the safety team back to project managers on-site, who immediately began making more clear and defined walkways, salting and sanding decks when the potential for frost was present and concentrating on slips, trips and falls in daily tool box meetings.   

In all, the software showed that the McMillan project amassed 48 safety meetings, 17 safety-based observations, a demanding schedule with 24/7 rotating crews, two near miss reports and 31 created or reviewed AHAs.  

THE WALLACE MCGEORGE
The crew of Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company’s dustpan dredge Wal-lace McGeorge accumulated 3,000 days without a lost time accident on a Corps of Engineers project to maintain the Mississippi River Channel from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, and received the 2016 Annual Safety Excellence Award for a contractor. 

Rob Hopper, superintendent of the Wallace McGeorge, accepted the plaque at the awards banquet. 

 “It is a great honor to accept this award,” he said. “The company and crew embrace a strong safety culture, and safety is something we pay attention to every day. I wish my crew could be here,” he said. 

 In addition to the dredge’s safety record, the award was based on benefit, innovation, economic benefit, transferability, and outreach and education of the safety program.  

The Wallace McGeorge has a crew of 45, divided into three shifts that work two weeks on and one week off, 24 hours a day. Each shift includes about 30 people, with levermen, deckhands, engine room personnel, surveyors, clerks, deck captains, a galley crew serving four meals a day, and maids. The dredge has onboard quarters, and two shifts are onboard at all times.

“Each day we start out with a pre-job huddle,” said Hopper on June 23, the 3,161st day without a lost time accident. “A mate conducts the meeting and tells who will be doing what and where. Communication is much better if everybody knows what everybody else is doing,” he said. A weekly safety meeting and a Good Catch/Near Hit program are also part of the protocol.

Twice a year, the company shuts down the job for a company-wide safety meeting, where the crew has a chance to meet company executives, and safety awards are given. Each crew member receives a sticker for his or her hard hat for 5, 10, 15 or more years without an accident.  Individuals also receive checks if they have outstanding safety records.

“The first thing they do when they get back on the dredge is put that sticker on their hard hat,” Hopper said.

Part of the program is complying with the Corps of Engineers requirement to have a full time safety and health officer (SSHO) on board at all times. On the Wallace McGeorge, Robert Copous, a 10-year crew member who underwent the safety officer training, is the SSHO.  

The award plaque will hang in the company’s dredging office in Alexandria, Louisiana. It describes Pine Bluff’s safety program, and concludes by saying “Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company’s exemplary safety commitment and dedication meet and exceed the Western Dredging Association’s stated safety desire to raise safety awareness throughout the dredging and marine construction industry, and are greatly appreciated. It is signed by Ram Mohan, WEDA president, and Julie Hile, chair of the WEDA safety committee. 

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