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Safety Commission

When moving into a new year, it is customary to come up with new goals and to think about upcoming opportunities. What is sometimes more difficult is to remember what brought us to this level of success. The fundamentals of safe work practices are just as important as our new goals, and a good safety culture is one goal that we must continually strive for. It is imperative that we remain vigilant against complacency, and one easy way to do this is to remember why we need to be safe and let those reasons guide our actions. Here are some reminders that may help guide you in your safety goals this year:

1. Develop Safe Habits.

It seems innately obvious, doesn’t it? Being in the habit of being safe. However, good practice is to re-evaluate these habits periodically. Now, at the beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on your habits, evaluating if any habits need to be added, removed or tweaked. Share those habits with your co-workers, and find out what works for them. Maybe you will learn something new! Free communication flow promotes everyone involved in the dialogue to keep thinking about safety, which allows for the development and implementation of new safety techniques or habits.

2. Keep Your Mind on Task.

Let’s face it, it’s easy to get complacent about work – the commute, the sign in, the shift meeting, etc. These events happen every day, sometimes before you have even had your first cup of Joe. It is very easy to go through the motions of repetitive tasks on autopilot. However, the key here is not to get complacent and to mentally be present in every situation you are in. Keeping your mind on task enables you be aware of the hazards that exist on the job so that you can take action to eliminate, reduce, or prepare for situations and safely execute the task at hand.

3. Go home to your family

You have a group of people that love and need you: Your family. Following the rules and regulations of your work environment is important because it will make sure that you are able to continue to provide for (and spend time with) your loved ones. They depend on you to come home in the same condition you left, and taking short cuts dramatically increases the risk of injury or death. With each task you plan or perform, keep in mind that you and you alone decide who gets to see your family at the end of the day: you, or someone describing how you were injured.

-WEDA Safety Commission  

Julie Hile, President of Hile Group holds WEDA’s Safety Chair position and is actively involved in the criteria and selection of each year’s Safety Excellence Awards. Please contact Julie directly if you are interested in more information about the Safety Excellence Awards or any aspect of dredging safety. As Safety Chair, Julie is also responsible for the content of WEDA’s Safety Commission page. Please direct any questions or suggestions regarding this site’s content directly to Julie.

Additionally, the Safety Chair is currently adding one representative from each Dredging Chapter to the Safety Commission. Responsibilities for the position include:

  • Three conference calls per year to discuss the safety ideas and opportunities for the Dredging Association
  • Assistance in selection of Safety Excellence Award recipients
  • Providing a safety championing presence at the World Dredging Congress & Exhibition (if attending)

Please contact Safety Chair, Julie Hile, for more information about joining the Safety Committee.

WEDA Safety Commission chair, Julie Hile, presented “Future Forward: Safety Problem Solving with Next-Gen Crews” at the WEDA Summit and Expo in June 2018. A copy of Julie’s presentation is located here. Please contact Hile Group to request permission to distribute or modify the presentation, or if you are interested in a facilitated safety presentation for your organization.


Safety Commission Panel

Since 2014, the Safety Commission has assembled panels of various dredging industry safety leaders to discuss workplace safety innovations in the dredging industry. Summaries of panel presentations made at WEDA’s annual conferences are located below.