"In all respects a formidable performance. Comprehensive, heavy and carried out from the water, sometimes during very bad weather conditions. It was not for nothing that we paid a great deal of attention to safety during the preparations. This included implementation, training and education. And I only know of one incident during this project; someone who bumped his toe." Harry Oudman, Project Manager at Wagenborg Nedlift, looks back with great satisfaction on the months of renovation of AkzoNobel's loader.

AkzoNobel's Project Director Henk Assink agrees: "Considering the number of man-hours, about fifteen thousand, we have achieved a tremendous safety performance. And for a very unusual, anything but standard job. Although we have extensive experience in hoisting on land in industrial installations, this renovation was different. That is why the preparations started at a very early stage. We even had a diving team looking for potential obstacles under water beforehand.

Tides

Oudman: "Even for us, hoisting from a pontoon with such heavy material was unusual. That is why we made additional calculations to determine the exact reach of the crane. In other words, a job with extra attention to safety, people's commitment and behaviour, finances, choice of materials, as well as the impact of weather, wind and tides. "And with specific agreements! For example, to only hoist during the day. Because that helps to limit risks."

More extreme

Wagenborg Nedlift started the job with countless conversations and calculations. "We reviewed all our rules. Everything must be clear in advance. We even consulted with the crane supplier. And we looked at wind, waves, made a risk analysis, opted for certain cranes, took into account the size and weight of the material, as well as insurance. You also factor in a number of non-working days. This would normally have been five days under average conditions. This time we had to deal with two major storms. The weather was more extreme than normal.

Deciding factor

Both Harry Oudman and Henk Assink are satisfied with the collaboration. "Preparation and execution was smooth. We are pleased with the collaboration here at the Chemie Park, where we have seen and experienced that we are both committed to safety. And people should feel they have responsibility. With us, it is the man on deck or in the crane who decides whether or not lifting can continue at that moment." Henk Assink: "This is comparable to someone who dares to say ‘stop’ in the factory or during a job. In the end, that's the behaviour you want to see in people.

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