Dredging Creates a Strong Economy and a Cleaner Environment

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Join WEDA for our next webinar, "The Fall Overboard Culture: Breaking the Cycle" on Tuesday, September 19th at noon EDT.

When occurred: 
Tuesday, September 19, 2023, Noon EDT

Doug Plaisance
Dawn Offshore Towing

Jimmie Walker
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock 

Elizabeth Finn

Facilitator: Julie Hile
WEDA Safety Commission Chair


General Webinar Overview:  

Falls overboard. For as long as any of us can remember our colleagues of all ages, tenures, and job classes have hit the water. WHY? Getting wet seems to be an accepted rite of passage in the dredge and towing industries. How do we break this cycle? If this is truly not okay, then why does it keep happening?

The WEDA Safety Commission has convened a panel of cross-industry representatives to continue this important conversation. As the weather turns colder and our numbers of new hires swell we are eager to refresh WEDA members’ thinking with the assistance of representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, our Energy Industry clients, Big Dredge, and Towing.

Please join us. You are encouraged to bring along any idea or resource you are willing to drop into the session Chat for inclusion in the Safety Commission’s Fall Overboard Library.

Presenter Bios:

Doug Plaisance, HSE Engineer (dougp@dawnoffshore.com)
Doug has over 16 years as a Marine Safety Manager, 2 years at Dawn Offshore Towing.
He is certified through the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau and can conduct all annual and Drydock/Internal Structural Exam Surveys. He has held the position of Vice-President of QHSE for a marine company that worked directly with Oil & Gas larger organizations. This experience helped expand his knowledge and experience with world-class safety programs. Doug has a Master of Engineering degree in Advanced Safety Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He likes to hunt and fish when able and is married. They have 6 children between them. He has a son with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy who, although physically challenged, earned a degree in Software Engineering with a 4.0 GPA from a major engineering program.

Jimmie Walker, Sr. Dredge Manager (JMWalker@gldd.com)
He has worked within the dredging industry for 18 years. He has been part of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock for the entirety of his career. Jimmie has been a Dredge manager for 11 years, and was a Site Manager for 3 years. He also spent 6 years working internationally in the Middle East. In his current safety work, he is the team leader of the MOB Prevention Working Group and is heading up the onboarding and safety training of crew for the Galveston Island (new hopper dredge) that GLDD will take delivery of later this year. Jimmie is married to his wife Serah, who is from Kenya. They met in Bahrain while he was working internationally. They have 3 kids (Rose, 19, studying at University of Iowa; Roselyne, 10; Larry, 8). They currently live in Naperville, IL.
USACE Representative
Oil & Gas Representative

Elizabeth (Liz) Finn, Master, DCV/GELBERMAN New York District

She began sailing on yachts in 1984 and joined the Army Corps in 1988. Originally hired as Deckhand, she was promoted to Mate, Assistant Master, then Master. Captain Finn is required to operate all vessels, as needed. She is currently the District Boat Licensing Coordinator, Alternate District Dive Coordinator, Employee Driven Safety Committee Chair for the base’s OSHA Voluntary Protection Program, an active Member of our District Emergency Operations team deploying for FEMA, USACE PROSPECT (national level) Instructor for Boat Operator License Examiner, as well as Floating Plant Safety.

Her team is working towards obtaining the OSHA VPP Star. They are getting ready to participate in a rewrite the Floating Plant Safety curriculum to reflect our updated USACE Safety Manual (EM 385-1-1). Along with her wonderful husband, they’ve raised three fine young men. No one in her family has ever entered the water unintentionally.


PDH Credit:
A certificate for one (1) professional development hour will be available for all participants who attend this webinar or view the recorded webinar online. 

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you online soon!

~ WEDA Education Commission