Dredge Captain Ray Woodcock Awarded CDMCS Safety Award

November 11, 2022
Ray Woodcock Speaking Hero_forwebsite

On September 29, Captain Ray Woodcock was awarded the prestigious Safety Leadership Award by the Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety in Washington, DC, amongst a large group of industry leaders and regulatory agencies.

Married since 1986 and a father of three, with three granddaughters, Captain Woodcock has been a licensed Captain for 43 years with more than five of those years on dredges with Weeks Marine. Currently, he manages the Captain Frank, a hydraulic suction cutterhead dredge.

“Captain Woodcock is an excellent mentor, trainer, and communicator that wholeheartedly believes that setting the expectation with his crewmembers and being part of the day-to-day process is what brings success to his dredge and the successful operations they experience day to day,” said Travis Williams, Dredging Division HS&E Manager. “At Weeks Marine, safety isn’t just a goal or priority – it’s a mindset and a value that we live each and every day. Captain Woodcock leads by example when it comes to safety with proven success.”

Captain Woodcock exemplifies and promotes leadership in safety through innovation and enthusiasm and is directly involved in identifying, evaluating, and controlling hazards and takes a collaborative and proactive approach with his crew to solve these issues.

“Dredging is hazardous by the nature of the work performed. We are challenged by the elements of wind, seas, currents, heat and cold, visibility, reptiles and insects, the different materials we dredge, waterborne traffic, overhead and underground utilities to name a few. We need to work together to identify the hazards and plan our work to mitigate those hazards,” said Captain Woodcock. “I start every day with a morning meeting with the full crew to review the work of the night shift and the plan for the day’s work ahead, then we review hazards and mitigations. We discuss safety topics for the day’s work plan and allow a moment for personnel to offer any relevant input and ask questions. By communicating we ensure we are all working together to do the day’s work safely.”

During his acceptance remarks when presented the CDMCS Safety Leadership Award, Captain Woodcock posed two questions to his peers in the room.

What Keeps You Up At Night?

“I asked this question because every manager should be able to identify three major concerns that are forefront in his or her mind at all times,” said Captain Woodcock. “The three things that keep me up at night are these: First, training; does everyone know what they need to know? Second, new hires; are they receiving the on-the-job training, classroom training, coaching, and mentoring they need? And third, distracted work; are we focused on execution by eliminating distractions?”

Some of the most common accidents and injuries that occur on dredges are slips, trips and falls. Nearly all of these can be prevented when proper safety precautions are taken. Typically, it is only when safety protocols and standards are not adhered to that incidents and accidents arise.

What Are You Doing About It?

“You must act on the things that concern you enough to keep you awake at night. If you choose to not act, nothing will change. You have an obligation to address these issues. Don’t suffer in silence,” said Captain Woodcock. “Get help. Use your resources. Engage your resources for training and safety. Engage your people where the work is performed. If you can recognize a need, you can find the resources to meet that need.”

Captain Woodcock’s CDMCS award is among other recent safety awards earned by Weeks Marine including a CDMCS 2021 Leadership in Safety Recognition of Appreciation Award presented to the hopper dredge Magdalen crew for outstanding safety performance and going two years without a recordable injury since the inception of the vessel as well as an ACCNJ Annual Safety Award in recognition of an outstanding safety record for 2021.

Click here to learn more about Weeks Marine’s safety culture.

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