MH370 investigator recognised for safety and leadership

By on 29 September, 2015


Malcolm Howard from Fugro Systems Pty Ltd has been recognised for his endeavours and commitment to safety and leadership in the ongoing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Howard received the Hydrography Commission’s Workplace Health and Safety Representative Award at the recent Western Australian Spatial Excellence Awards.

The ongoing search for MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean involves a coordinated international effort in undertaking a deep tow side scan survey of an area encompassing 120,000 square kilometers within one of the world’s most remote and unforgiving ocean environments.

Embarked in the MV Fugro Equator, Malcolm’s role as the lead deep-tow supervisor involved overseeing the safe operation of various over-the-side sensors and equipment. The deployment and recovery of significant and expensive components, including the sonar towfish and depressor, was recognised as one of the most hazardous of all shipboard activities. Working at extreme depths in challenging sea and weather conditions, with the constant potential for injury to personnel, Malcolm’s professionalism, experience and adherence to safety standards enabled him to successfully manage and lead a deck team without incident.

His supervisor responsibilities required Malcolm to undertake a thorough risk analysis for each activity and for a high degree of directional and effective leadership and attention to detail to ensure all deep-tow operations were executed in a safe and controlled manner. Under his stewardship, Malcolm ensured his team were at all times appropriately equipped and that personnel had been fully briefed ahead of the activity and de-briefed on completion in order to identify any lessons learnt.

This inaugural Hydrography Commission’s Workplace Health and Safety Representative Award recognises those individuals or team members working in the field of hydrography across the various hydrographic disciplines, who have made an outstanding contribution to health and safety in the workplace, whether it be at sea or ashore through professionalism or services above and beyond normal expectations.


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