Classification society Bureau Veritas has strengthened its capacity to provide passenger ship operators with health and hygiene on board certification by acquiring Paris-based Aquarism, a specialist company dealing with the control of legionnaire and other viruses
in water systems.
Jean-Jacques Juenet, head of passenger ship services for BV, says, "Managing
air and water contamination risks on board passenger ships is becoming both
more vital and more difficult as ships get bigger and more complex. We have
unique experience with public buildings ashore, which ship operators can
draw upon. We have worked with Aquarism for some time and respect the
expertise they have developed, both on the cruise ships and ferries we have
already certified and on the many major public buildings they have made
safe. Now their expert team will form an integral part of Bureau Veritas,
and will work with our health team who have extensive experience with
complex air conditioning systems. Only BV can provide this service and the
backing of a group with such deep knowledge and experience of air and
water-borne virus control."
Pierre-Gerard Montout, director of Aquarism, says, "Our team respect the
complementary expertise of Bureau Veritas, and we are happy to join a group
which is the world leader in providing such a vital service to public
spaces, whether ashore or afloat."
BV's Health and Hygiene onboard manual has been applied to two cruise ships
and two ferries, and the team are currently working on the fleet of a major
French ferry operator, after a joint approach from both crew unions and
management for the ships to be examined and certified. BV's recognition of
an approved Health and Hygiene Manual will allow cruise ship and ferry
operators to demonstrate that they have a rigorous policy in place to
prevent contamination of, or illness from, on board domestic water and air
"Air and water systems within cruise ships present a great potential risk of
contamination," says Juenet. "As ships get bigger, the air conditioning,
sanitary hot water and recreational water systems get more complex and
contamination can quickly cause a major problem for a lot of passengers and
also for the crew. No-one wants an outbreak of Legionella on a big cruise
ship, but it happens all too often. Our Health on Board scheme has been
developed from BV's extensive experience in several hundred public buildings
ashore, including large office blocks and hospitals. We have applied the air
and water contamination management systems proven there to the shipboard
environment. This tool brings real benefits to cruise ship operators."
The Health and Sanitary Manual is developed jointly by BV and the ship's
operator. An initial assessment of the ship's air and water networks
identifies potential sources of contamination using the Hazard Analysis
Critical Control Point method. A management system is then set up to prevent
contamination, and certified by BV. This scheme is unique to BV, and builds
on the group's world-wide experience with certifying public buildings.