International Dredging Review

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During a ceremony at the International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC) Annual General Meeting in New Delhi, India, IADC President Frank Verhoeven announced the Safety Award 2019 winner: Boskalis for its Floating Line Connecting System (FLCS). The association’s safety committee and board of directors selected the Boskalis nomination from 14 nominations. On behalf of Boskalis, Hans Dieteren accepted the award.

Boskalis’ in-house technical department developed the FLCS to connect floating pipes by remote control, without the need for people to get close to the pipelines, eliminating manual operations entirely. This results in fewer crew transfers and fewer safety risks.

The high-risk operation of connecting pipelines was identified by the crews doing the work. The first step was developing a self-floating pipeline that could handle sharp materials. The flexibility of this pipeline meant that 100-meter (328 foot) long pieces could be placed, instead of 20 meters (x feet) long ones, as is normal with steel pipes. This resulted in an immediate reduction in the number of connection points so fewer people were put in risky situations. Yet manual activities were still required. Brainstorm sessions led to various designs and demands, but it took 10 years before all the pieces fell in place and a final design was made. A patent has now been applied for and the Boskalis inventors continue to look at ways to improve the design.

The system has already been applied to the port construction project in Duqm, Oman, and it will soon be rolled out and be applied to future Boskalis projects.

The IADC Safety Award is intended to encourage the development of safety skills on the job and to reward people and companies demonstrating diligence in safety awareness in the performance of their profession. Given every year, the award is a recognition of the exceptional safety performance demonstrated by a particular project, program, procedures, product, ship, team or employees.