As a temporary Covid-19 measure, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is now providing a remote inspection option as an additional tool within its Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) and its Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) programmes
The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has created logistical problems that hinder physical inspections. OCIMF’s provision of remote inspections will relieve the backlog and reduce the burden on operators.
OCIMF managing director Rob Drysdale explained the rationale. “In some circumstances, Covid-19 is limiting the ability of an OCIMF inspector to be physically present on board a vessel to carry out a vessel inspection. To ensure our inspection regimes continue, and without unduly exposing the inspector or the vessel’s crew to the risk of a Covid-19 infection, we are now able to offer remote inspections.”
“However, I stress that remote inspections are offered as a temporary additional resource when physical inspections are not feasible. They are not a replacement for our existing programme of physical inspections. The choice of opting for a remote inspection lies entirely with the company that is commissioning the inspection and it is up to individual programme recipient companies to decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to accept the remote inspection. Therefore, acceptance of the remote inspection by all submitting and programme recipient companies cannot be guaranteed.”
Supporting guidance issued by OCIMF on the use of remote inspections advises that virtual options should be used as an additional option to enhance data collection where physical inspections are not possible due to Covid-19.
While OCIMF will not influence the decision to choose a remote inspection over a physical inspection, it does offer a number of factors that should be considered, these include but are not limited to:
Remote inspections will require the vessel operator to complete a detailed questionnaire and upload a series of documents and certificates to a dedicated online repository. This information will be reviewed remotely by an OCIMF inspector who will be required to complete a further questionnaire drawing on the vessel operator’s information and by requesting further details from the vessel by telephone/video. Information supplied will include certificates, documents and photograph files.
Mr Drysdale commented further that, “Like all our colleagues in the oil and gas and maritime industries, we must adapt to the changing coronavirus environment and introduce new ways of working that protect our people. At the same time, we must ensure we maintain the exceptionally high standards of safety and operational processes that OCIMF members rightly insist upon. We have successfully trialled the remote inspection regime and conducted a robust management of change process with good results and we are now ready to roll it out, on a temporary basis, across the OCIMF community.”
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