CDMCS Honors Safety Leaders and Continues Collective Response to COVID-19

On November 18th the Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) drew record numbers for its fourth quarter meeting, continued to address key safety topics in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and recognized safety excellence with its 2020 CDMCS Leadership in Safety Awards.

USACE was represented by headquarters, the Institute for Water Resources, and the following districts and divisions: Baltimore District, Chicago District, Detroit District, Galveston District, Memphis District, Mobile District, New Orleans District, Norfolk District, Philadelphia District, Rock Island District, St. Paul District, Mississippi Valley Division, and Southwestern Division.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the State of Louisiana Pipeline Safety Office attended for an update on CDMCS Pipeline Task Force activities.

CDMCS Executive Director Michael Gerhardt welcomed the organization’s founding board members and discussed the year ahead. The board consists of the following safety leaders: President – Devon Carlock (Cottrell Contracting Corporation), Vice President – Howard Cooper (The Dutra Group), Treasurer – Nate Woods (Inland Dredging Company), Secretary – Jackie Luedtke Borozan (Luedtke Engineering Company), Director – Christiana Couvillion (Quality First Marine), and Director – Erik Haruch (Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting).

Mr. Carlock and Mr. Gerhardt then recognized this year’s recipients of the 2020 CDMCS Leadership in Safety Awards – individuals who went above and beyond in advancing a safety-first culture and leading by example. The Government Leadership in Safety Award was given to Mr. Keith R. Jones, Floating Plant Program Manager, USACE HQ; the Individual Leadership in Safety Award was given to Mr. Nathaniel C. Woods Jr., Safety Manager, Inland Dredging Company; the Corporate Leadership in Safety Award was given to Mike Hooks, LLC of Westlake, Louisiana; and Mr. David W. McMasters, PHMSA Compliance Manager, Chevron Pipe Line Company was honored with a Safety Appreciation Award for his contributions to the CDMCS Pipeline Task Force.

“These recipients have distinguished themselves over the past year in safety. Their leadership and promotion of safety have been exceptional amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Carlock said. 

The meeting continued with Jenny Burke of the National Safety Council and CDR Tom Janisko, USACE Command Surgeon, discussing mental health challenges and psychological first aid during COVID-19. Members then discussed incidents that occurred during the last quarter and trends to date. 3M led attendees through an in-depth presentation on best practices in welding and use of protective eyewear. PHMSA’s Annmarie Robertson rounded out the agenda with an update on the August 21 pipeline incident at the Port of Corpus Christi, as the public awaits the results of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation.

“Like many, we began the year with a pre-COVID agenda,” says CDMCS Executive Director Michael Gerhardt, “but thanks to our members and our ability to be a nimble organization, we were able to quickly change gears and lead the collective industry response to the pandemic, holding weekly calls between industry and USACE beginning March 5, building an online resource center, sharing best practices, and engaging world-class experts in infectious diseases and outbreak response. As the nation’s unified voice for safety in our industry, we’ll remain laser-focused on COVID-19 in 2021 and also embark on other initiatives. Our strength is in our growing membership and our partnership with USACE and other federal and state partners. We look forward to working with all of you in the new year as we advance safety for the dredging and marine construction industry together.”