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Safety Award Presented to DEME at IADC AGM

Peter de Ridder, president of IADC (right) presented the IADC Safety Award to Lieven Durt, director of QHSE-S DEME (left) and Luc Vandenbulcke, managing director of GeoSea (center).

Peter de Ridder, president of IADC (right) presented the IADC Safety Award to Lieven Durt, director of QHSE-S DEME (left) and Luc Vandenbulcke, managing director of GeoSea (center).

The Safety Award of the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) was presented to the Belgian-based DEME, dredging, environmental, marine and engineering, at the IADC’s Annual General Meeting held in Cascais, Portugal in mid-September. The IADC Safety Award recognizes a company that has made an outstanding, innovative contribution to maritime safety.  DEME was chosen as the 2016 winner by the IADC’s Safety Committee from among eight nominations. In its straightforward but significant initiative DEME’s safety team addressed the challenge of getting the crew to muster stations and accounting for every crewmember during an emergency. The idea, which came from one of DEME’s captains, is to create an “Enhanced Muster Station.” 

At a traditional muster, all hands gather on deck and are milling around in no particular order. The system is not standardized. Thinking over this situation, the imagination and experience of Dirk Pauwels, captain of the jack-up vessel Neptune, which is deployed by GeoSea, came into focus. His idea was to enhance the muster station by painting numbered circles on the deck. During drills and emergency situations, when the crew assembles, each crewmember heads to a numbered circle until all the numbers are filled. In a video released by the company, Pauwels explains that previously when muster was called it was rush hour and a mass of crewmembers assembled. It was hard to ascertain who was there and who not. As the captain said, “This system saves valuable time and that time can save lives.” 

 After successful trials on the Neptune, the system will now be implemented throughout the DEME fleet. The beauty of this enhanced muster station is its simplicity: it is applicable to all dredging vessels and all it takes is a can of paint. 

The award was presented by Peter de Ridder, president of IADC to Lieven Durt, director of QHSE-S DEME and Luc Vandenbulcke, managing director of GeoSea. DEME had previously bestowed its own internal innovation award on Captain Pauwels’ enhanced muster station. Both awards reward the leadership of the captain and will hopefully motivate all members of the dredging community to promote safety with creative thinking. 

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