During the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) Annual General Meeting in Barcelona, the winner of the Safety Award 2023 was announced. Boskalis took home the award for its improved safety design of the waterbox.

Boskalis has introduced new waterboxes for sand fill areas, greatly improving safety for its employees. The waterboxes have been designed, calculated and constructed in such a way that the risk of implosion due to soil pressure is eliminated.

Using an adjustable platform on the outside of the waterbox, it is possible to remove or add planks to regulate the water level within the sand fill area. A feature that is highly appreciated by the sand fill teams as this way of working eliminates severe safety risks.

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The waterbox features an external, manually operated and adjustable platform that can be reached with a safe stairway. As the soil and water level rises, the platform can be moved up. This allows for project staff to add planks from the outside of the waterbox. This greatly enhances their safety, compared to traditional waterboxes.

The design is basically a “plug and play” setup and can easily be transported to a work site where local staff can receive instruction on how to handle the waterbox safely. Used in many projects around the world, this type of waterbox is currently being used by Boskalis on the Manila International Airport project.

‘Idea does not have to rocket science’

‘As IADC, we realise that dredging contractors play an important role in increasing safety,’ says René Kolman, Secretary General of IADC. ‘Sometimes a simple idea can make a major contribution to improving safety, as is the case with Boskalis, which improved the safety of waterboxes with a new design. This submission showed once again that an idea doesn’t always have to be rocket science, but innovation can be found in the simplest of things.’

He adds: ‘Our Safety Award is designed to encourage the development of safety skills in the workplace and to reward people and companies who demonstrate a commitment to safety awareness in the course of their profession. The awards, presented each year, recognise the exceptional safety performance demonstrated by a particular project, programme, procedure, product, vessel, team or employee(s).’

Picture and video by Boskalis.

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