Offshore Shipping Online

A publication for the offshore shipping industry published by Clarkson Research

  • Offshore Intelligence Monthly
  • Menu

    New ABS Guide focuses on workboat habitability

    News // February 16, 2009

    ABS has released its Guide for Crew Habitability on Workboats providing habitability assessment criteria and measurement methodologies for vessel owners or companies requesting one of the two Habitability Notations offered: HAB WB and HAB+ WB.

    The notations will be available to offshore support vessels, tug boats, tow boats, dredges, research vessels or special purpose ships. For the HAB WB notation, the Guide will focus on five categories of habitability criteria that can influence job performance.

    The categories are measurable and controllable to enhance habitability aboard vessels. The categories include accommodations design, whole-body vibration, noise, indoor climate and lighting.

    For the HAB+ WB level, the Guide will invoke more stringent criteria for accommodations, vibration and indoor climate requiring a heightened level of crew comfort. 

    Habitability criteria is provided for workboats less than or equal to 60ms (200ft) in length and for workboats greater than 60m (200ft) in length for transiting and station-keeping operations.

    According to Kevin McSweeney, ABS Manager, Human Factors Group, applying the habitability criteria can cost effectively improve health, safety and on-the-job performance aboard workboats.

    “Shortages of qualified mariners have exerted commercial pressures that have influenced the maritime industry to look for new ways of attracting and retaining effective and reliable crew members,” he said. “Improving habitability is seen as part of the answer.”

    The Guide is available for download free from the ABS website (Publication #163) in the Rules & Guide section (




    More articles from this category

    More news