Each month, a colleague reports on his/her NINA activities. In this installment, superintendent Dennis de Vries shares his views with us.
Last year I was sent to supervise a project in lovely Blaye near Bordeaux, France. There, we dredged out rock with the Nordic Giant and brought the material to the dump with the split hopper barges the Rind and the Frigg. The work was carried out on the Gironde, a river with fast currents and powerful tides. These unpredictable, strong currents also caused problems two years earlier in the last project on this river. For this project, an addition to considering the related operational risks, we felt we should also have another look at how we could improve safety for all staff on the water.
A local wholesaler of offshore equipment sold special emergency lights which we were able to clip onto our inflatable life-jackets. This tiny gadget was a welcome addition to our project PPEs, as we also planned to do crew changes in the dark and the light automatically starts to blink when it gets wet.
Fortunately we did not need the lights for any emergency situations. However, ever since I take my light with me wherever I go and clip it to life-jackets I use in other projects. The light is small enough to take with you and has a 5-year lifetime. Though I’m not sure it really makes every project safer, in our line of work, it could definitely have a number of uses. Of course, NINA is about preventing accidents, but I still wanted to share this ‘NINA moment’ with you!