Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification, has released two new class notations – ‘BIORISK MANAGED’ and ‘BIORISK SECURED’. BV developed these new standards following close consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders, including shipyards and shipowners.
BIORISK MANAGED focuses on the establishment and implementation of an outbreak management plan, following the core principles of the Bureau Veritas ‘Restart your Business’ (RYB) protocols, the first such guidance available for shipping, introduced in April 2020 for the cruise and ferry sectors with the associated Bureau Veritas SafeGuard label.
RYB and the associated label SafeGuard enable and demonstrate operators’ commitment and policies towards COVID 19 – and other infectious diseases. RYB requires the identification of all potential risks in port, at embarkation and disembarkation points, and on the ship itself. An associated Outbreak Management Plan contains the procedures for prevention, mitigation, and preparation to manage crew and passengers with clear definitions of responsibilities and roles.
BIORISK MANAGED covers onboard responsibilities and resource management, requirements for supplies, including PPE and medical equipment, procedures, behavioural and operational recommendations, appropriate training for the crew as well as the re-design or re-arrangement or modification of spaces and systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC).
With BIORISK MANAGED as its foundation, the notation BIORISK SECURED requires that further systems and hardware be installed including the provision of fixed and/or portable equipment. For example, a dedicated area onboard must be identified to quarantine crew or passengers in the event of infection detection. Such quarantine areas require monitoring equipment, HVAC systems providing at least 10 air changes per hour (including at least two fresh air changes). Recirculation of air within cabin spaces is only permitted through particulate filters with at least 50% filtration efficiency. Each cabin in a quarantine area must also have a dedicated air exhaust system which should lead to ‘a safe area’ (an area not normally accessible) unless HEPA filters, or alternative disinfection systems, are installed.
BIORISK SECURED also mandates the furnishing of a ship with the appropriate equipment to regularly monitor crew and passengers’ body temperatures.
Today, MSC Cruises took delivery at Chantiers de l‘Atlantique of their new ship MSC Virtuosa, the first ship worldwide to receive the BIORISK SECURED notation.
Emilio La Scala, President of MSC Cruises Management, said: “MSC Virtuosa is the first cruise vessel in the world to receive this important new notation and this is something that we are all extremely proud of. It is testimony to the unique and rigorous nature of the health and safety protocol that we have developed in response to the pandemic situation the world is facing and that has allowed us to restart since August in the Mediterranean and safely and responsibly host nearly 40,000 guests thus far. We appreciate this further recognition of our industry leading approach designed to protect guests, crew and the destinations our ships visit.”
Yves Pelpel, Senior Vice President Technical at Chantiers de l‘Atlantique, commented: “We are very proud to deliver the first ship with the BIORISK SECURED notation . This achievement is the result of the fruitful collaboration between MSC, BV, and CDA teams to increase ships’ crew and passenger safety.”
Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas, added: “Since the introduction of our Restart Your Business (RYB) initiative in April last year we have continuously adapted our approach based on experience gained and new guidance being available. RYB successfully provided a framework for ferry operators to continue operation in the pandemic and to put cruise companies in a strong position to return to operations – if and when conditions allow. These new BIORISK notations now provide a rule framework that provides an approach that can be adopted by any ship operators, of any ship type – and that can be certified by Bureau Veritas.”