Infection prevention certification launched by DNV GL

CIP-M DNV GL surveyor onboard a vessel. Credit: DNV GL

An infection prevention certification for vessels has been launched by classification society DNV GL on 2 June to prove vessels are set up to prevent COVID-19 infections

Genting Cruise Lines Explorer Dream vessel is working towards gaining the Certification of Infection Prevention – Maritime (CIP-M), and aims to restore confidence in not only cruise lines but the shipping industry as a whole to precipitate local and international authorities to green-light sailings.

The CIP-M was designed to create an infection prevention response that includes national and international requirements, is of hospital grade, and integrates maritime standards all incorporated with DNV GL’s risk management approach.

Originally designed to reduce the risk of infections caught in hospitals; according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1.7million people get an infection in hospital resulting in 99,000 deaths in the US.

The CIP-M was modified specifically to the maritime market. It takes into consideration all shipboard operations and provides infection prevention advice. “We are increasing the number of medical personnel on-board our ships, we have added dedicated isolation cabins and enhanced the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems,” said captain Harvard Ramsoy, VP, marine operations and Safety, Genting Cruise Lines. “In addition, we have invested in more medical equipment such as Lab Grade Polymerase Chain Reaction testing equipment for COVID-19, more ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) and also the ships carry much higher volume of medical grade O2”.

Captain Ramsoy told SAS how all voyage itinerary planning is included as part of the CIP-M risk assessments, all crew joining ships are tested for COVID-19 pre-embarkation, and meal services are part of the company’s Outbreak Prevention and Response Plan. Hand washing, sanitizing and disinfecting, health screening, social and safe distancing is all part of the new protocols.

“Infection prevention was previously only known by the medical industry at the hospital level, it has now been transferred to the shipping industry and is an example of cross industry collaboration to provide solutions,” said Luca Crisciotti, CEO DNV GL Business Assurance at a virtual press conference.

Crisciotti noted that once the certification for CIP-M is issued, the vessel will receive only an electronic certificate, due to the rise of fraudulent paper copies.

“The COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented in its impact on the maritime industry, and on the cruise lines in particular,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL Maritime. “But I hope that with innovative ideas like CIP-M we can help the industry get moving again in a way that gives passengers and crew confidence that exacting measures are in place to enhance the cruise industry’s already rigorous health and safety standards.”

The CIP-M is compatible with requirements and recommendations from the CDC, CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, WHO, OSHA, and CMS.