Teamwork and safety lead to success on repair project

Diver Max Schramm undergoes pre-inspection safety checks before a dive with the help of Erick Knezek, dive tender and owner of Truston Technologies, and Trent Webster, dive supervisor. (Photo by Gary A. Leach)

Pond and Truston recently completed a project repair on marine oil booms, floating apparatuses designed to contain any oil that might leak from a docking vessel, at Pearl Harbor Hotel Pier off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The damage, caused by normal wear and tear, was inspected and repaired through a coordinated dive operation lead by members of Huntsville Center’s Fuels Recurring Maintenance and Minor Repair Program. Pond and Truston executed the dive operation with USACE Alaska District’s dive coordinators David Prado and Gregory Vernon.

A site-specific accident prevention plan (APP) was developed to address all physical, chemical, biological, and radiological hazards and implemented utilizing specific safety controls, ensuring everyone knew and understood their role and the importance of safety on each project. Each day started with a pre-dive safety briefing, lead by Pond Task Order Safety Manager Charlie Harris, pertaining to the job task for that day, recapping previous day’s work and sharing lessons learned.

Scuba diving is a unique job task with its own peculiar injuries and potentially life-threatening hazards. Most of these scuba diving dangers stem from the effects of the increased water pressure of the undersea environment, but there are also dangers posed by sea life and faulty equipment.

“Accurate planning and effective communication between Pond, USACE, Pearl Harbor, and Pond’s dive team, Truston, were critical to completing the boom inspection and repair project without an injury,” said Pond Director of Health and Safety Jim Davis.

In addition to the completion of the daily safety meeting, the dive team conducted the equipment procedures checklist. All equipment was fueled, checked and inspected to ensure operational integrity with the checklist kept up to date and able to be reviewed at any time by the on-site safety representative.

“This outcome would not have been possible if our safety team had not focused on proactive safety actions, sharing relevant stories and working together as one team,” said Harris. “This is a win for not only safety, but for the entire Pond team.“

The collaborative efforts enabling the team to successfully complete this project repair are detailed by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center Huntsville. The article discusses the importance of planning, safety training and teamwork during repair operations. Read about the operation here.