Photo: Illustration; Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

ABS launches notation for infectious disease mitigation on offshore assets

U.S. classification and technical advisory services provider ABS has launched a new notation and new guidance amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help marine and offshore operators reduce transmission of disease.

The ABS Guide for Mitigation of Infectious Disease Transmission On Board Marine and Offshore Assets, an industry first, discusses how the physical arrangement of a marine or offshore asset can act to mitigate transmission of infectious diseases and introduces a new notation indicating compliance with the standards.

Gareth Burton, ABS vice president of global technology, said: “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.

The notation breaks new ground for the industry, allowing operators and owners to clearly demonstrate that the risks of infectious outbreaks have been considered”.

According to the ABS, the Guide – which addresses physical arrangement measures onboard – was developed from a range of independent governmental and commercial guidance, including the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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.