SUBCONTRACTORS AT PROJECT VEJA MATE

LESSON LEARNT: HOW CAN WE MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS TRAINED?
The installation of the foundations for off shore wind farm Veja Mate is almost ready. The installation of the Transition Pieces onto the Monopiles was subcontracted to Seajacks. TP Installation Manager Roderique van Erp shares his experiences on co operation and the role of NINA.

HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE SAFETY STANDARD OF A SUBCONTRACTOR?
“We have assessed all procedures in detail. The paper work in the end was in good order. But that is not enough: what happens when different activities are actually carried out on board?”

THAT IS WHY YOU STARTED WITH A NINA KICK OFF AND DO IT TRAINING.
“Correct. The crews appreciated the interactive character of the training; normally at HSE training sessions from clients they have to listen to a monologue for a day.”

HOW DID THE OPERATION GO?
“We saw quite some near-misses as a result of lifting incidents. Just before we reached 1.000.000 LTI free working hours as a project, there was a serious incident: a rigger got trapped during the lifting of a grout bag out of a container and broke his pelvis. We have investigated the incident and organised a NINA Refresher.”

WHAT DID THE NINA REFRESHER BRING?
“By stopping the work for half a day we gave a clear signal how important safety is for us. And we gave the crew a platform to share their experiences and ideas. We learned that 60% of them had not had a NINA training, due to turnover in personnel. This is a lesson learnt: How do you make sure everyone is trained? Furthermore the Refresher made people more involved: the crew wanted to learn more about the project and our way of working.”

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST DILEMMA?
“The work progressed slower than expected and Seajacks – and consequently also Boskalis – were facing penalties. Things had to be speeded up, but we did not want Seajacks to put irresponsible pressure onto their own people. We took an active role in proposing changed work methods (often implicating financial investments). There often lays an area of tension between safety and costs, but this should never reach the vessel crew performing the job. We noticed however that the crew felt concerned they needed to work faster possibly compromising safety. But you don’t have to choose: my experience at West of Duddon Sands is that the best installation times were reached when people worked more safely - as in: better prepared/informed and thus more in an efficient manner.”