In this section, we focus on international safety standards for the maritime industries and the pro-active initiatives of dredging contractors.

As an international industry, the maritime sector has always drawn cross-border attention. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was the first treaty covering safety and is regarded as the most important of all international maritime safety treaties. Since the 1950s, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has regulated safety standards that apply to all vessels and personnel working in the maritime sector as well as to the protection of the marine environment and waterborne global trade.


Safety and dredging

Besides international and national safety regulations, the dredging industry has made the safety of personnel a top priority. Requirements for lifeboat training exercises, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and record keeping of safety measures on board a dredging vessel are now routine. On-the-job safety initiatives have become the norm and management is well aware that this demands constant training and coaching of all personnel to improve risk awareness and to ensure the reduction of incidents and accidents.

Safety on dredging vessels and during dredging operations embraces an overall approach towards ensuring the health and safety of personnel, the safety of the vessels and the quality of the environment all conform with ‘safety at sea’ regulations. During every phase of a dredging project, close attention is given to the safety of ships, crews and other personnel as well as marine life. Dredging ships, operations and offices are expected to comply with the strictest of international standards regarding quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE).

Other standards of QHSE awareness are often defined by the list of ISO/SCC/OHSAS/ISM and ISPS certificates for which a company has been certified. ISO codes originate from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that provides a wide range of certification for safety and quality. These standards are developed according to the principles of voluntary, market-driven, industry-wide consensus and the views of all interest groups are taken into account.

IADC Safety Committee

To safeguard employees of member companies and involved parties, IADC has established a safety committee that enables its members to share best practices amongst its members. The members embrace their leading role in improving safety within the industry, both directly through the members and indirectly through the supply chain. When it comes to safety, the members consider themselves partners and not competitors. Read more about the committee and its members here.


Read more about safety in IADC’s Knowledge Centre with a range of learning options such as scientific articles, videos, webinars and much more.



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