IADC 2010 Annual Safety Award: Avoiding the Use of a Banks – or Flagperson During Dryplant Operations

Each year the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) singles out a specific project or programme amongst its members as an example of excellence in safety.

This year the IADC Board is happy to announce that the 2010 Safety Award has been presented to Royal Boskalis Westminster NV. As several serious accidents involving banks- and flagpersons had occurred, in 2009 Royal Boskalis Westminster conducted a comprehensive study on the possibilities of safer work methods for “heavy dry plant equipment.”

As a result, superior work methods were developed and accident incidents were greatly reduced.

Challenges and risk factors

Common practice in the Middle East has been to use a banks- and/or flagperson to guide dry plant operations, such as dumping/backfilling and reclamation with heavy dry plant equipment.

The standard method of having a person behind the dump-trucks, wheelloaders and bulldozers guiding the vehicle has resulted in serious accidents over the last years. Consequently, Boskalis decided to investigate the root causes of these accidents, aiming to prevent reoccurrence.

After careful review, several improvements such as use of a traffic plan and instructions to subcontractors have been implemented. Most significantly, the use of a banks- or flagperson during backfilling operations was banned, eliminating the root cause of the accidents.

A new method in which the operator on the machinery is giving the instructions was applied to the Khalifa Port Marine Construction Project through which the risks of accidents occurring in which people were hit by heavy riding machinery was greatly reduced.

Source: iadc-dredging, September 21, 2010

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