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    DNV says class notation reduces accidents offshore

    Legislation and Procedures // September 7, 2005

    Classification society DNV says a a study of all DNV-classed vessels of 6,000grt and above clearly shows the safety value of additional Class notation.

    The accident rate - collisions, groundings and contact damage - for vessels holding 'nautical' class notation NAUT-AW and NAUT-OC built since 1990 has been half that of ships without them.

    "Since such events account for about half of all marine accidents, this statistical difference strikingly confirms the value of operational aspects being covered by additional class notation," said DNV. "Their main focus is on the 'total bridge system,' taking into account bridge procedures, the human operator, the technical system and the man/machine interface: all these play a major role in ensuring the safety of a vessel at sea."

    DNV's approach to ship operation is highlighted by its new guidelines for bridge design on offshore support vessels, forming the class notation NAUT-OSV.

    Developed in partnership with Norsk Hydro, Statoil and OSV operators, including Farstad, DOF, Olympic Shipping, Eidesvik and Solstad, the aim of the guidelines is to optimise the design and layout of bridge equipment and the extent of the information to be handled by bridge personnel in different operations.

    Commenting on the joint industry project, Solstad operations manager Knut Lussand said:“We can see advantages in standardising the bridge in that we can both optimise our navigators’ workplace and achieve more standardised bridge solutions. In the future, we can also see opportunities to make direct financial savings during the newbuilding phase as a result of fewer changes being made to bridge designs during the end phase and the fact that our equipment’s specifications can be reduced as a result of NAUT-OSV.”

    He continued: “In our experience, standards such as NAUT-OSV require sub-contractors to the ships to talk to each other more in order to together be able to meet the requirements stipulated in them. In addition, it is extremely important to test installations and user-interfaces when complicated solutions are used and systematic testing often reveals apparently small errors that can lead to major operational problems.”

    Aker Yards’ Sigbjørn Akselvoll said: "We look on it as a major advantage that there are guidelines and standards which enable more bridge standardisation so that we can avoid each new ship being a prototype where many changes are made during the final phase, right before delivery. Such changes are costly, due to both their nature and the time aspect. We realise that this notation at the outset will mean added cost, but we will in the future get cost-savings both on engineering and construction time due to the standardisation."


    He added, “In addition, accident statistics show that a focus on the bridge is extremely important and we believe that NAUT-OSV will contribute to greater safety and better working conditions for the ship’s officers on the bridge, with more similarity between different ships’ bridge solutions.”


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