By DONALD WITTKOWSKIIn the past three years, Ocean City has been spending millions of dollars to methodically clear out channels and lagoons clogged with mud and silt.The ambitious program will resume this fall following City Council’s approval Thursday night of two dredging contracts for a series of shallow lagoons along the back bays.City Business Administrator George Savastano said the dredging projects will boost the local economy by making Ocean City more attractive to boaters and by helping the bayfront marinas.“It’s good to have navigable waterways throughout all of the lagoons. It’s good for our boating community and good for our economy,” Savastano said in an interview after the Council meeting.One of the dredging projects will include the North Point Lagoon, the Waterfront Park & Marina and the Bayside Center. Charter Contracting Company LLC of Boston, the low bidder, was awarded a $1.4 million contract to dredge those areas.In a separate project, Charter Contracting was awarded a $915,000 contract to dredge the Snug, Sunny and South Harbors, Glen Cove, Bluefish Lagoon and 7th Street. Charter was also the low bidder for this project.Charter Contracting Company of Boston will perform the dredging work for Ocean City. (Courtesy of Charter Contracting Company website)The dredging program planned for this fall also includes what the city calls “maintenance projects” that will improve tidal flow and keep sediment from building up at the mouths of other lagoons.In 2018, Ocean City became the first municipality in New Jersey to receive a state permit allowing it to dredge along the entire length of the island.The permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection essentially gives the city blanket approval to dredge the bayfront from one end of town to the other. In the past, the city had to secure permits for each dredging project it had proposed.Boat slip owners are able to piggyback on the city’s dredging permits for their own projects. Under the voluntary program, property owners still have to pay for dredging their slips, but the process relieves them of some of the costs and headaches of doing the work on their own, including finding a disposal site for the sediment.Mayor Jay Gillian has repeatedly said that the dredging projects preserve property values, improve public safety, help the boat owners and marinas and protect the environment.City Council also approves a contract for the installation of artificial turf at the airport to discourage birds from congregating near the runway.In other business Thursday, Council awarded a $565,843 contract to low bidder Act Global Americas Inc. of Austin, Texas, to install artificial turf at Ocean City Municipal Airport. The artificial turf will discourage birds from congregating on the airport grounds and causing a potential danger for planes.The city is receiving a $618,764 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to install the artificial turf in different areas of the airport, including both ends of the runway.Artificial turf is supposed to make the airport less hospitable to seagulls and other birds, which graze next to the runway or make the bayside property their home.Savastano explained that birds prefer natural grass, so by placing artificial turf near the runway the hope is that they will go elsewhere.The airport’s expansive grounds next to the bay and marshlands make it a natural gathering spot for seagulls and other shore birds.The airport’s bayside location is a natural attraction for seagulls and other shore birds.Built in 1935, the airport’s claim to fame is that it is the only one in New Jersey located on a barrier island, giving tourist-dependent Ocean City another way to draw visitors to the beach resort.The airport is only a few blocks from the beach. During the summer, it is common to see pilots and their families get off their planes toting their beach chairs and umbrellas.Overall, the airport handles about 1,400 planes each year, with about 80 percent of the traffic arriving in the summer, the facility’s manager said last year. New contracts will continue the dredging program for lagoons and channels along the back bays.
Risk assessments are required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and, recently, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been promoting a simple approach to the process to ensure that risk assessments are better understood by employees. This is supposed to result in the health and safety policy being better cascaded through businesses.One such business is 150-shop Sayers The Bakers, which is the biggest independent retail baker in the north west. The company employs more than 1,000 people, both in retail and at the company’s own dedicated bakery. Sayers wanted to ’demystify’ health and safety, in line with the HSE’s thinking and to ensure that managers at each Sayers retail shop had the right level of understanding to take ownership of the risk assessments. A specialist health and safety team was invited to review and assist Sayers on how best to carry out the risk assessments, making them easier to use.”My goal was to update all health and safety systems across the Sayers retail estate by developing a safety manual and to raise the profile of health and safety among staff,” explains Karon Marsay, head of safety at Sayers. “Previously, the risk assessment documents had been held at head office. We wanted a live, user-friendly document that could be owned by the individual shop manager and used as an integral part of the day-to-day running of their shop.”Like many multi-site retailers, the challenge for Sayers was how to develop a uniform health and safety risk assessment with so many varying types of premises. Among its shops are 25 cafés, some shops are in shopping centres, some open directly onto the pavement while others have two storeys or a cellar.”First, we reviewed the central risk assessments and developed a simplified draft document, using the current HSE approach of ’demystifying’ health and safety,” Marsay explains. This reduced its current documentation into a simple assessment with fewer pages.”As a team approach to risk assessment is recognised as being the most effective means of identifying all the risks and control measures, we visited a selection of shops, checking that we had not missed any hazards and also speaking to our shop teams about any specific hazards they felt we had overlooked or were specific to their shop. This kind of approach was vital to ensure our employees felt we were delivering an approach that suited their needs.”Safety manual devisedA new safety manual was developed by health and safety expert Exova and training on its contents was rolled out to shop managers in February 2010, with part of the training focusing on risk assessments. Managers were tasked with completing the new risk assessment document.”In a busy retail environment, such as ours, there are inevitably potential risks to staff and customers, but it is our responsibility to ensure these risks are properly controlled,” says Marsay. “By simplifying our health and safety risk assessments and updating all reference material, we have empowered our shop managers to implement systems that are both a legal requirement, but also best suit the needs of their part of our business.” What’s new l Specialists in food hygiene and health & safety, Food Alert, has launched a one-stop solution for cafés, bakeries and sandwich bars. Espresso POM (Peace of Mind) is a bespoke service to provide smaller quick-service operations with high standards of food hygiene and safety. Under the service contract, Food Alert undertakes an annual safety audit, prepares a personalised safety manual, provides technical helpline support and incident management services. l The new portable SmartDose system from Diversey SmartDose is aimed at foodservice and retail operators where space is limited, connection to a water supply is impractical or complete portability is required. It uses a four-in-one concentrate that covers dishwashing, floors, glass and general surfaces in a single product. The system incorporates a patented dispenser that doses accurately into spray bottles, buckets, sinks or cleaning machines. l Dyson is marketing its Airblade hand-dryer to food production facilities. Drying hands in just 10 seconds, the machine works by channeling 400mph sheets of unheated air to scrape water from hands like a windscreen wiper. Unlike warm air hand-dryers, it doesn’t rely on evaporation to dry hands, making it up to 80% more energy-efficient, claims Dyson. A HEPA filter cleans the air before blowing it on to hands, and anti-microbial additives eliminate 99.9% of surface bacteria.l For any busy bakery or sandwich operator, behind-the-scenes labelling is just as important as what’s on the sandwich wedge for the consumers’ information. DayMark’s ClearView Dispensers are said to protect your day-date labels, helping to keep sandwich fillings and food ingredients properly HACPP recorded. The labelling systems includes DissolveMark Dissolve-A-Way labels that dissolve in any temperature water in less than 30 seconds and leave no sticky residue.