Baars hands free in Freetown

For many years the special modular pontoons and dredging equipment from Baars Sliedrecht have already been successfully used worldwide. At the moment equipment has sent to Freetown, the capital of the West African country of Sierra Leone. Bolloré Africa Logisitics, is extending the local container terminal by 300 meters – and uses a Jack-up ánd the expertise of Baars.

Safety at work
The Baars jack up, measuring 18.3 x 12.2 x 1.8 meters, is equipped with four spuds each 24 meters and a moon pool. The complete equipment was transported by ship from Antwerp to Freetown within three weeks, where it was installed by two professional engineers from Baars. The work island is served by an employee of Baars during the complete contract period and is equipped with all necessary safety measures, such as a life raft, fire extinguishers and a VHF radio. The weather forecasts are transmitted daily from a professional company. When a storm is coming, the pontoon can be replaced in ‘survival mode’, in an area with fewer waves after which the personnel must leave the work island.

Safety for employees
The Baars jack up is used for soil surveys and carrying out GEO technical investigations for the new quay in the harbour. Normally this job involves associated risks, but working in a country like Sierra Leone requires even more attention because of the totally different living conditions and the warm climate. To create the safest possible work environment, Baars developed together with an experienced safety and security consultant a Travel Awareness procedure for their employees. All affected employees were well informed in advance about the uses and risks in this country, for example Ebola. After appropriate training the workers were reassured that this disease poses no risk when showing normal behaviour. Moreover, in the Netherlands and in Sierra Leone they could always reach a contact person – and they have been given the necessary health measures like vaccinations and protective equipment.

Bert Advocaat, managing director of Baars B.V.: “It’s so nice as a small Dutch company to contribute to the development of Third World countries.