Safety Award 2018 Winner: Van Oord Debris Removal Platform

To promote innovations within the realm of safety within the dredging industry, the International Association of Dredging Companies gives a Safety Award to an exemplary programme, procedure or project each year. Announced at the IADC’s Annual General Meeting, the winner of the Safety Award 2018 is Van Oord’s Debris Removal Platform. Van Oord changed the existing technique of manually removing debris to an automated system, reducing the risk of personal injury.


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, product, ship, team or employees.


From eight nominations, the association’s Safety Committee and Board of Directors selected one nomination as the winner. During a ceremony at the Annual General Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, IADC President Frank Verhoeven revealed the Safety Award 2018 winner is the Debris Removal Platform by Van Oord. Coen van den Berg accepted the award on behalf of Van Oord.


During dredging, debris can fill the trailing draghead of trailing suction hopper dredgers. When the suction pipe is recovered on board, debris that was stuck in the draghead will fall onto the deck. To safely be able to remove this debris, Van Oord has developed an automated debris removal system. This system reduces the risk of personal injury from manual handling and eliminates slips and trips.

The debris removal platform has been developed for Van Oord’s fleet of Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers (TSHDs), letting crew safely and easily remove debris from the deck without the use of a broom or shovel. With a hydraulic drive bulldozer blade, the debris removal platform pushes the debris over the side of a vessel. Crew can stand-up straight next to the platform as the blade pushes the debris. The debris removal platform has several safety benefits including the elimination of manual handling, use of sustainable and safe material, covered rotating parts, safety railing, no lifting and rigging operation.