View of container ship in operation

Restart your Business : Setting sail in the wake of COVID-19

Organizations around the world are navigating massive shifts due to COVID-19. The pandemic remains an enormous challenge in terms of humanitarian and health implications that continue to evolve each day. Meanwhile, businesses are grappling with the financial and operational fallout as they fight to keep their heads above water.

It’s a ‘sink or swim’ situation as companies struggle to adapt and keep their businesses operational. At the same time, they must ensure adequate health protection for their employees and customers alike.

The marine and offshore industry is no exception when it comes to the severe impacts of COVID-19. Large parts of the workforce have needed to isolate to slow the disease spread. The threat of cargo and passenger ships carrying the disease from one location to another is an ongoing concern.

COVID-19 has made it clear that marine and offshore assets are just as susceptible to infectious disease spread as any onshore facility. Strict protocols must be implemented to safeguard crew and passengers. At the same time, business continuity for these assets is crucial to ensure that affected marine and offshore companies stay afloat.


Disease transmission onboard marine and offshore assets

As the world has seen only all too well during recent months, an infectious disease like COVID-19 can spread like wildfire anywhere where people are densely gathered. This was sadly evident with cruise ships early on during the pandemic. The enclosed nature of a ship invites infectious microbes such as viruses and bacteria to spread quickly. This often occurs via direct contact between people, but as we have seen with COVID-19, it can also happen through indirect contact, through the air or on surfaces.

The asset design phase is the ideal time to tackle concerns over a potential viral outbreak. Today, ship designers are already considering new upgrades and developments to ensure future vessels are better equipped to handle outbreaks. However, in the case of existing assets, what should be done? Over the last several months, rigorous protocols have been put in place to put the industry back to work while ensuring maximum safety of crew and passengers.

Equipping the vessel to handle an outbreak

Time is of the essence for shipowners and operators to properly equip their vessels for potential COVID-19 cases and outbreaks. To quickly and safely resume normal operations, a shipowner should partner with a third-party consultant. The advisor can define necessary measures to implement to keep crew and passengers safe from COVID-19.

The first step is to define basic aspects such as the project scope, its timetable and milestones. Next, the advisor should assess existing measures and implementation schemes, and recommend new monitoring techniques that should be employed.

Observations and recommendations are made throughout the implementation process, and certificates could be issued at every milestone. By offering full transparency, these certificates help to restore stakeholder trust. Completion of this process can lead to an International Safety Management (ISM) / Safety Management on Ships (SMS) audit, as needed, to satisfy statutory stakeholder requirements.

Restart your Business with BV Solutions M&O

BV Solutions M&O has developed a consultancy service called Restart Your Business to help shipowners understand both risks and solutions in the emerging post-pandemic environment. The service is designed to address the biological risks posed by COVID-19 through a variety of measures and procedures.

Restart Your Business is helping shipowners and ports rapidly reopen for business thanks to the implementation of appropriate health, safety and hygiene conditions for their employees, passengers and clients:

  1. Passenger ships and ferries: BV Solutions M&O is helping operators demonstrate proper implementation of protective measures, embarkation and debarkation procedures, and facility management.
  2. Cargo ships: we help owners continue trading with a full understanding of new port and crew requirements pertaining to health and safety.
  3. Fleets and shore base: our expert advisors help manage health and safety across the entire fleet in a clear and consistent manner.

BV Solutions M&O defines required services, which range from initial gap analysis, hygiene and social distancing checklists, risk assessments and response plans to Prevention and Outbreak Management Plans. We are fully equipped to undertake a full fleet and office system design and implementation, including incorporation into a shipowner’s ISM/SMS.

After defining scope, our team of epidemiologists, health and sanitation experts and specialist HVAC designers benchmark clients’ risk assessments and implementation plans.

In this way, BV Solutions M&O is working alongside its clients to forge forward through the pandemic toward smoother waters ahead.