The focus on crew welfare comes after increased pressure on crew members since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Extended tours of duty for hundreds of thousands of seafarers introduce a greater risk of fatigue, which increases risks to health and to the safety of vessels.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has acknowledged the “immense risk” that increased fatigue represents for the physical and mental health of individual seafarers and for the safety of navigation, security, and protection of the marine environment.
Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime, said: “We believe that increasing our focus on the risks associated with seafarer fatigue in our safety management audits will help support safer operations at sea.”
DNV said its audit protocol is grounded in the International Safety Management Code (ISM) and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.
Georg Smefjell, Head of Maritime Management Systems (MMS) Services, DNV Maritime said that focusing on relevant ISM objectives and implementing appropriate safeguards for risks related to the pandemic will enable DNV Document of Compliance (DOC) holders to better handle the ongoing challenges.
“The health and well-being of seafarers is of interest not only because of the need to prevent the spread and consequences of Covid-19 and comply with industry standards, but also because it is key to companies meeting their objectives and goals for safe and effective operations,” added Smefjell.