ABS offers guidance on COVID-19 decontaminating

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Classification society, ABS has launched comprehensive guidance on sanitising and decontaminating marine and offshore assets exposed to COVID-19.

Response Measures to COVID-19 for the Marine and Offshore Industries provides best practice guidelines for sanitising assets exposed to COVID-19 and helps maritime leadership address the many challenges the virus brings. The best practices document helps to answer a range of practical, urgent questions including how to prevent an asset from getting contaminated, how to maintain an asset in a sanitised state, how to decontaminate an asset when there is an onboard COVID-19 case and considerations for the choice, use and disposal of cleaning and disinfecting products.

Produced from a maritime public health perspective, the best practices are applicable to commercial and naval vessels, as well as drilling units, production installations and other offshore units.

“Marine and offshore operators face the same challenge globally today. Determining how to protect crews while continuing operations in complex environments with unique requirements, where decontamination is considerably more challenging than for assets on land. For instance, improper application of detergents and disinfectants can degrade structural materials or weaken coatings designed to protect structures,” said Christopher J Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This guidance builds on ABS’ industry safety leadership to give operators confidence they are doing everything possible to protect their crews and assets. It is yet another example of ABS innovating to find new ways to support the industry during these challenging times.”

Rear Admiral Joyce Johnson DO MA U.S. Public Health Service (Ret), a physician with a 35-year career of senior public health leadership in civilian and U.S. military sectors, said, “ABS has compiled a useful, best practices publication for mitigating the SARS-CoV-19 virus threat aboard marine and offshore platforms. The sanitisation guidance provided will potentially save lives for people who must live and work at sea.”

Response Measures to COVID-19 for the Marine and Offshore Industries is built from a range of independent governmental and commercial sources and is intended to be a consolidation of the best available information at the time of publication. This guidance reinforces ABS’ commitment to safety and the continuity of vital industry operations.

The guidance follows last week’s announcement by ABS subsidiary ABS Group Consulting of a Restart Risk Model designed to help commercial and public organisations get workers safely back on site following the COVID-19 stay-at-home directives. The easy-to-follow risk-based framework will aid ship owners to maintain their operations with enhanced working practices that address the ‘new normal’ business environment.

A copy of Response Measures to COVID-19 for the Marine and Offshore Industries can be downloaded from the company’s website