US Classification society has developed a new class notation that can be applied to vessels demonstrating specific arrangements for mitigating the spread of diseases on board.
How can the physical arrangement of a marine or offshore asset act to mitigate transmission of infectious diseases?
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s an urgent question for global maritime that ABS has addressed with the publication of The ABS Guide for Mitigation of Infectious Disease Transmission On Board Marine and Offshore Assets and, in an industry first, with the introduction of a new notation indicating compliance with the standards.
“Floating assets are every bit as vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious disease as land-based facilities, as the current pandemic has demonstrated. This new guidance responds to the pressing industry need for strategies to mitigate the transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and a range of other hazards,” said Gareth Burton, ABS Vice President, Global Technology. “The notation breaks new ground for the industry, allowing operators and owners to clearly demonstrate that the risks of infectious outbreaks have been considered.”
Developed from a range of independent governmental and commercial guidance, including the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the guide addresses physical arrangement measures onboard.
The IDM-A (Infectious Disease Mitigation-Arrangements) notation is offered to vessels that meet the arrangement requirements addressing the configuration of spaces which can be used for the isolation and segregation of crew, passengers and onshore visitors, as well as the ventilation and interior surfaces of certain accommodation or working spaces.
The guide follows comprehensive guidance on cleaning and disinfecting marine and offshore assets exposed to COVID-19 published by ABS in April 2020. Response Measures to COVID-19 for the Marine and Offshore Industries provides best practice guidelines for sanitizing assets exposed to COVID-19 and helps maritime leadership address the many challenges the virus brings.