Erwin van den Bergh receives award for safety leadership

TVO Erwin award

Team Van Oord’s Erwin van den Bergh has seen his leadership and safety behaviour as Project Manager of Project Lincshore recognised with a WEM Framework award to recognise exemplary safety behaviour.

In receiving the Environment Agency’s WEM (Water and Environment Management) Safety, Health and Wellbeing Excellent Behaviour Award, Erwin has joined a very elite club – with only around 20 people having achieved this recognition since 2013.

The Environment Agency awards seek to identify and celebrate those showing ‘visionary safety leadership’ – people ‘going that extra mile’ to ensure that they and others are kept safe and well.

Project Lincshore is the Environment Agency’s flagship scheme to replenish Lincolnshire beaches, thereby helping reduce flood risk to thousands of homes and businesses along the coast.

First commenced in 1994, the project replenishes beaches between Skegness and Mablethorpe and, in the immediate coastal floodplain, protects 20,000 residential properties, 1,700 commercial properties, 30,000 static caravans, 35,000 hectares of high grade agricultural land and £bns of infrastructure.

The scheme involves dredging sand from a designated offshore location using a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger. The material is then pumped to the shore via a floating pipeline, to replace sand lost during winter storms.


During 2016, around 350,000 cubic metres of sand obtained from Crown Estate licensed offshore dredging areas was used to reinstate the beaches to their design level and profile.

During the 2016 works, Erwin van den Bergh made a series of health, safety and wellbeing improvements to the compound area and for all employees working in the Area of Operation on the beach.

These improvements were discussed at a workshop involving all TVO employees and subcontractors, who contributed to the process of identifying further opportunities and improvements.

The ideas and suggestions from the workshop were reported back to the site team through a “You Said, We Did” notice board at the site offices. The Environment Agency judging panel said that, although simple, the notice board clearly set out the safety opportunities raised and the response implemented, which feedback from the workforce showed was much appreciated.

The judging panel added that this initiative helped bring the site team even closer together, driving the ‘right behaviours across the entire workforce that led to a very successful campaign being delivered’.  The project was also described as an ‘excellent example of safety leadership that fully embraced the ethos of Safety is Paramount and Beyond Zero Behaviours’.

Through the WEM Safety Awards, the Environment Agency is looking to produce a portfolio of real life examples showcasing when members of staff have either behaved in an exemplary way, or have demonstrated the sort of SHE leadership it would like to see more of within the framework.

Andrew Rouse, Environment Agency Project Team Manager East, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and well done to Erwin for showing great leadership and safety behaviour whilst delivering Lincshore 2016.

“Erwin has now joined a very elite club, around only 20 people have achieved this recognition since WEM’s commencement.

“I hope that the Environment Agency’s SHE team will visit the site during the 2017 works, to see how a large complex scheme should be planned and delivered.”

27 March 2017