NINA meets Russia

In St. Petersburg Boskalis is involved in the construction of a new harbor. It is a project that requires considerable patience and creativity.

The construction of the Bronka harbor is quite a challenge, explains project manager Jack van Rees. He is no stranger to overcoming challenges. For example, he knew that shipping movements would continue during the work so he hired 24 hour pilots.
Although he believed he was prepared for the bureaucratic red tape, he was in for a nasty surprise when, for example, he was forced to arrange alternative staff at the last minute because of visa problems.

There is very little safety awareness in Russia. Clients cannot be expected to provide any encouragement as regards safe working practices. Indeed, the general feeling is that safety training is a waste of time, as Mattijs Siebinga, director Europe, knows only too well. This produces a number of dilemmas. As Jack explains, “What do you do if employees from a local company are repairing a floating pipeline with nothing more than flip-flops on their feet? Our marine supervisor could literally not bear to watch. He had them stop working. ‘We are going to do it differently from now on!’ The important thing is that you take responsibility when it comes to safety issues. That is what we are trying to communicate in Russia.”

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