At the end of last year, the Dockwise Vanguard transported the FPU Likouf from Korea to Gabon. Because of time pressure, 219 riders continued their work during the voyage: completing modules and installations, testing systems, welding, grit blasting, painting. How do you organize safety in these circumstances? Ted Karioen, retired Dockwise Project Superintendent and hired as interface manager on this project, explains.
“Everything rides on making good arrangements with the client (Hyundai Heavy Industries) in advance: What do you intend to do, how, and what safety precautions will you take? The client had presented a plan and procedure for all the activities, which we reviewed. Because the Dockwise Vanguard is our ship, we’re responsible and all our safety rules take precedence. That’s why we did not approve activities that were too risky.
In good harmony
During the voyage, there were daily meetings in which we discussed progress, planning for the next day, incidents that occurred and solutions.
"Everything rides on making good arrangements"
But a lot of the communication was informal: we were continuously walking around on the FPU to check that they kept to their own agreements. Safety can be 100% in theory, but under pressure people sometimes cut corners. This is something we saw here as well. For example there were heavy valves from pipe systems loose on deck and heavy boxes with equipment that were opened remained open and were not secured again. Dropped bolts/nuts and scaffold pipes used during erecting and removal of scaffolding were not picked up. You don’t want that lying around on a moving ship! When we saw something that wasn’t safe, we would tell the man/men in question on the spot. This is the best approach, because if you report something immediately, it will work against you. That way we would never reach our common goal: a safe crossing. Because we already had six weeks of experience at the yard, this went harmoniously for the most part. In this way, we reached Gabon without major incidents.”