Wednesday, September 13, 2000

ABS develops comfort guides
ABS is developing comprehensive criteria for the accommodations, design and ambient environment of ship spaces for both passengers and crew on board the next generation of cruise ships and ferries.

The criteria are contained in two new guides, available by years end. ABS Guide for Crew Habitability and ABS Guide for Passenger Comfort take into account not only noise and vibration issues, but also include lighting, indoor climate and total accommodation design issues.

This guides are a first for the industry claimed Denise McCafferty, Staff Consultant, ABS Corporate Technology, Safety Assessement & Human Factors, speaking today at at the Seatrade Mediterranean Cruise & Ferry Convention in Genoa, Italy.

As industry has acknowledged the importance of the human element in safety and performance, the Guide for Crew Habitability provides ship operators with information that can aid in the reduction of crew and seafarer fatigue plus decrease the likelihood of human error through the design of supportive living and working surroundings. The guide's focus is on five habitability criteria that may be controlled and measured in both crew compartments and open deck recreation areas. The criteria are: accommodation design, whole-body vibration, noise, indoor climate and lighting.

The Crew Habitability Guide provides the assessment criteria and describes the measurement methodology for obtaining a Habitability class notation. Vessels complying with the guide can receive the voluntary notations of Habitability (HAB) or Habitability Plus (HAB +). Also meeting guide requirements fulfills International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions 92 and 133.

For cruiseship and ferry operators the Guide for Passenger Comfort offers specific criteria that can enhance the enjoyment of the shipboard experience for passengers. "Customer satisfaction surveys show one of their primary concerns is comfort," McCafferty says. ABS examined passengers' perception of comfort and safety. Comfort goes beyond aesthetically pleasing plush interiors and furnishings," McCafferty explains. "Factors like vibration, noise, climate control and lighting all impact their ship experience. For example, the Guide offers a means for quantitatively assessing potential passenger motion sickness by examining the impact of whole-body vibration.

The criteria and methodologies for comfort are based on current research and standards relating to human physiology. The guide provides the assessment criteria and measurement methodology for obtaining a Comfort notation. Vessels complying with the guide can receive the voluntary notations of Comfort (COMF) and Comfort Plus (COMF +).


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