Pre-start meetings and a step-down procedure
make for a safer workplace
Chief Engineer Cees Dubbelaar on the modification to the Cornelis Zanen:
“A degassing system had to be built into the pump chamber in Namibia. Eighty people were all working on the job at the same time. The danger is that everybody works in isolation when you are that busy. For example, the only stairs between the pump chamber and the deck were crammed full of welding and power cables in next to no time on the very first day. You had to dig down to find the individual steps. An accident waiting to happen! So we put up hooks that everybody could use to hang their cables. With a bit of coordination and consultation, you can soon make the workplace safer. That’s why we appointed an HSE officer as the first point of contact. And we introduced a ‘step-down’ meeting that was held every morning: how neat and tidy is the workplace? What are we going to do today and how can we improve safety? The ‘step-down’ works really well in my opinion.”
The modification was completed successfully in the allowed time without any accidents.