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    DNV leads project on improved safety for supply vessels

    Vessel & ROV News // August 16, 2002
    DNV is to develop guidelines for aft bridge design in co-operation with Statoil, Hydro and five Norwegian operators of Offshore Service Vessels. The partners will jointly fund the project, which was initiated by the offshore industry after a number of supply vessel incidents.

    The new DNV led research and development project, called Bridge Design Offshore Service Vessels (NAUT-OSV), comes as a response to the offshore industry's safety concerns. DNV's new Nautical Safety & Communication Systems section will head up the research project.

    Says Hans Ramsvik, Project Manager for Naut-OSV, "From 1997 to mid 2001 there have been 24 incidents of contact or collision between supply vessels and offshore installations owned or operated by one of the Norwegian oil companies. Accident reports and investigations show that a majority of these accidents are caused by failures in the bridge system, either the technical part or in the interrelation with the operator."

    The aft bridge of a supply vessel is where an operator control the ship when close to quays or platforms, in addition to winches and other loading tools.

    The SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) does not regulate in detail the layout of a supply ship bridge and the aft bridge is not regulated at all. This has caused the designs to vary to a large degree, often causing an imperfect working environment.

    Says Ramsvik "Our studies attempt to find the root causes for the bridge system failures, which have for the most part been attributed to human error. We are looking at how the entire operating environment is and whether it is optimal or not. We believeand experience from the additional Class notations NAUT-AW and NAUT-OC (former W1 and W1-OC) show that functional requirements leading to a complete bridge system could significantly reduce the risk of accidents."

    The joint R&D project received funding at the beginning of June. The agreement entails co-operation and financial commitment from both Statoil and Hydro, as well as from five major Norwegian operators of Offshore Service Vessels.

    DNV will at first offer the project as a consulting service to Offshore Supply Vessel Operators. The aim is to introduce the DNV NAUT-OSV guidelines as part of the standard charter requirements. Says Knut Svein Ording, Head of Section, "We hope that theservice will be one of the main reasons for owners and shipyards to choose DNV as Classification Society for Offshore Service Vessels."

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