International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

The Board of the International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC) has presented its 2009 Safety Award to DEME Environmental Contractors (DEC) for its safety performance on the project Remediation of the Acid Tar Lagoons in Rieme Belgium.

Jac. G. Van Oord president of IADC presented the award to Philip Hermans of DEC at the group’s annual convention held in Muscat Oman on October 11 through 15.

DEME is the parent company of dredging companies Dredging International and Baggerwerken Decloedt & Zn.

Each year IADC honors one of its member companies in the area of safety. The award is intended to encourage the development of safety skills on the job and to reward people and companies demonstrating special diligence in safety awareness.

The operation that DEC performed in the remediation of the extremely toxic and dangerous acid tar lagoons in Rieme demonstrates that the expertise developed by dredging and marine construction companies is applicable in the most challenging circumstances.

DEME and its environmental subsidiary DEC are both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified companies.

The DEME group has made a commitment to its own personnel and to the outside world to consider safety a top priority in all circumstances and to make DEME an incident and injury-free place to work. Starting this year DEME began a cultural and behavioral training program to achieve zero accidents and zero harm to the environment.

The Acid Tar Lagoons Project
On its premises in Rieme TOTAL Belgium has three old lagoons containing acid tar a residual product from the former production method of white oils. In total about 200000 tonnes of lagoon material was present.

DEC was awarded the design & build contract for the remediation of the acid tar lagoons.

Since the start of the full-scale execution of the clean-up operations in February 2006 there has been a total of 178000 working hours of which 141000 were carried out by DEC. Only one lost time incident occurred in the 37000 hours carried out by subcontractors. Since this incident 2.5 years ago there has been a total of 151000 working hours without incident.

In addition emissions of SO2 (sulpher dioxide) were kept within the site perimeter and there were only three occasions of dust nuisance which were tackled immediately. As the project nears completion the aim is to maintain these high standards and to retain lost-time injury score as it is now.