DNV has instructed its safety management auditors to specifically address seafarer health, work, and living conditions in their 2021 audits.

“The pandemic has in many cases made crew repatriation difficult, posing challenges to the mental health of seafarers working and living in relatively confined spaces for extended periods,” said Georg Smefjell, head of maritime management systems (MMS) services, DNV Maritime.

Smefjell said that with the support of experts throughout DNV, the company has established a separate audit protocol addressing challenges to crew health and well-being.

DNV said that its new audit protocol is grounded in the International Safety Management Code (ISM) and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) of 2006. The overall objective of these regulations is to ensure safety at sea by requiring companies to provide, among other things, a safe working environment through assessing all identified risks to ships and personnel and establishing appropriate safeguards.

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, according to Smefjell.