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Performance & certification

A high standard of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) is vital to our success. By maintaining a high level of QHSE, we aim to meet our clients’ expectations and commit ourselves to creating a safe and healthy working environment for everyone working for Van Oord. We work continuously to reduce the number of accidents and incidents to zero and to limit risks to personnel, equipment, and the environment as much as reasonably practicable.

Safety targets

We measure our progress towards meeting our safety targets as a maximum number of accidents per 200,000 hours worked. The number of accidents resulting in absence from work has fallen steadily since 2007, and we tighten up our safety targets every year – although every accident is one too many.

Van Oord encourages a proactive safety culture in which everyone is responsible for their own and other people's safety. Good leadership offers a firm basis for this. We have therefore had 800 of our managers trained in Safety Leadership. The programme encourages openness about safety manners, something a proactive culture should have. This is a culture in which employees do not shy away from confronting one another or from reporting mishaps, so that everyone can learn from their experience. 

Our safety policy continues to evolve. We started out as reactive on the safety ladder, but we are now well on our to being proactive. The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) surveyed employee attitudes in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The most recent survey, in 2016, revealed that we have moved a step closer to a proactive safety culture. 

Awards and recognitions

Van Oord presents two safety awards every year. The Hans Brinker Leadership Awards rewards safety leadership. Team U-864 received the award for their painstaking environmental awareness as they stabilised a war wreck off the Norwegian coastline. The crews of cutter suction dredgers Ural River and Mangystau received the Vessel Safety Award for an ingenious design modification that makes cutter maintenance safer. 

Van Oord deployed cutter suction dredger Ural River on the Prorva project in Kazakhstan in 2015 and 2016. To change cutter teeth, crew members had to slide down the diagonal portion of the cutter ladder, a manoeuvre both risky and time-consuming.

When cutter suction dredger Mangystau was under construction, a number of Van Oord employees came up with a smart solution to this problem: a lightweight platform that rests on the cutter ladder. The new design is simple and safe because the cutter head is only accessible if the ladder has been raised. The platform is stable and access is restricted to the starboard side to keep it as lightweight as possible. The Ural River has also been fitted with the new Van Oord platform.

Standards and certicates

The Van Oord Management System provides a framework for managing the company’s activities and the associated risks. It describes company processes and is essential to maintaining the quality of our work. All Van Oord projects are subject to this integrated management system, which encompasses our concern for quality, health, safety, and the living environment.

Van Oord is certified according ISO 9001:2015 (quality management);  ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management) and OHSAS 18001:2007 (occupational health and safety management).  For these three standards Van Oord holds a multisite certificate, which means that all legal entities owned by Van Oord are covered by one corporate certification scheme. In addition to this, some legal entities also hold own certificates for certain standards. Van Oord has also shown compliance with the ISM-code and is in possession of a document of compliance (DOC). 

Please contact the QHSE department for more information.