Posted on September 23, 2021
A DredgeWire Exclusive
By Heiko Osterchrist, Associate Publisher
On September 14th the Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) held their annual two-day meeting in Washington D.C., in person for the first time since COVID, to discuss their ongoing mission to improve safety in the dredging industry as well as the continued effort to identify underwater pipelines to eliminate incidents during dredging activities. The meeting was well attended by dredging contractors, USACE representatives, the CAMO Group, Associated General Contractors of America and members from around the country. The CDMCS in conjunction with the U.S. dredging industry, USACE and oil & gas sector created the pipeline task force in 2018. The pipeline identification has been largely concentrated in the Gulf Coast region, but will be expanded in the coming year to include those ports and waterways along the East Coast.
CDMCS’ President Devon Carlock(V.P. Safety & Govt.-Cottrell Contracting) hosted the awards dinner on September 15 at the Ritz Carlton and welcomed and thanked the organization’s board members for their hard work;CDMCS V.P. – Howard Cooper (The Dutra Group), Treasurer–Nate Woods (Inland Dredging a Division of Encore Dredging Partners), Secretary –Jackie Luedtke Borozan (Luedtke Engineering Co.), Director – Erik Haruch (Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting),Director –Forrest Ray (Manson Construction),Director–Michael Pickeral (Weeks Marine)Director–Christina Couvillion (Quality First Marine)
Devon spoke about the challenges the industry has faced in the past year due to COVID and the need to adjust safety protocols due to the changing COVID information. Despite this challenge CDMCS and the industry continued working with USACE to work closely to improve the safety conditions and procedures in and around operating equipment.
Speakers, were Mr. Richard Balzano,CEO & Executive Director of Dredging Contractors of America (DCA),Mr. Dwayne Breaux, CEO of Encore Dredging Partners and KevinCannon, Senior Director Safety & Health Servicesof Associated General Contractors. Richard Balzano said that one of DCA’s top priorities is to continue to advance and prioritize safety in the dredging industry. “It’s not just about protecting the equipment and the bottom line, but about protecting the people,” said Richard. Dwyane Breaux provided a CEO’s perspective on safety and related how far the industry and regulators have come in the last 30 years in working together prioritizing safety. “Work and train your people to look out for each other like family, said Dwayne, because we want them to go home safely to their families.” Kevin shared with the group some of the Biden administrations potential new proposed regulations, the key three items, Heat Prevention of Workers indoor and outdoor that are exposed to high temps, Enforcement of Biden’s executive order via OSHA mandating vaccinations or testing, plus paid leave for the employees to obtain testing and lastly within the Human Infrastructure bill, which proposes to increase the penaltiesforWillful Relief to $700k max &min of $500k and for serious failure to abate a fine range between $7k to $70k. Kevin, was not sure how successful the administrations last proposal will be implemented, but they will be monitoring.
This year’s Safety Award winners were Travis Williams-Dredging Div. Safety Mgr. of Weeks Marine Inc. who accepted on behalf of the crew of the Hopper Dredge Magdalen,Craig Taylor-Operations of Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Co. &Forrest Ray-Senior EHS Manager of Manson Construction. In addition, there were four USACE safety awards given to Jason Walsh-HQ Loss Control Manager USACE HQ, Richard Vick- Construction RepUSACE Norfolk, Va. District, Thomas Smith-Chief, Operations & Regulatory USACE HQ, Jeff Kirkey Chief of Safety of USACE St. Paul District, who accepted on behalf of the crew of USACE Dredge, The Goetz.
The Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety is a national safety voice for the dredging and marine construction industry. Members are committed to the council’s vision of creating a 100% injury free workplace by embracing its core values of teamwork, trust, and transparency and executing its mission of raising the industry standard on safety and building a safety-first culture.