IADC Safety Award 2019 for Boskalis’ Floating Line Connecting System
During the International Association of Dredging Companies AGM in New Delhi, IADC President Frank Verhoeven announced the Safety Award 2019 winner: Boskalis with its Floating Line Connecting System. Boskalis was one of fourteen nominees. Connecting floating pipes is an operation that can cause risks for the people involved and for this reason Boskalis developed a system that enables the lines to be connected without using any manpower. On behalf of Boskalis, Mr. Hans Dieteren accepted the award.
Boskalis’ in-house technical department has developed an innovative Floating Line Connecting System (FLCS), where floating pipes are connected safely 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 and the consensus was that there must be a better way. The first step was developing a self-floating pipeline that could handle sharp materials. The flexibility of this pipeline meant that 100-metre-long pieces could be placed instead of 20 metres long 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 ten 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. In many ways, the system represents a tremendous safety innovation. People are less at risk of hurting hands or fingers or come close to the waterline. 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, programme, procedures, product, ship, team or employees.