b'SAFETYMATTERSSafety and Security Committee Develops Reopening By Eric Christensen,Director of Regulatory AffairsGuidelines for Domesticand Risk Management Passenger VesselsFederal Reopening GuidelinesAs part of the federal governments reopening guidelines employers have been asked to develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with federal, state, and local regula-tions and guidance, and informed by industry best practices, regarding:Social distancing Protective equipmentTemperature checksSanitationUse and disinfection of common and high-traffic areasBusiness travelEmployers are also going to have to monitor their workforce for symptoms associated with COVID-19. Fire Island Ferries signage makes it clear that masks areSymptomatic people will not physi-required onboard their vessels. Photo: Dave Anderson cally return to work until cleared by a medical provider, and in the case A t the time of this writing, the vast majority of the nations 6,300 domesticof employees testing positive for passenger vessels have been idled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Public andCOVID-19, contact tracing policies private ferries across the country are continuing to provide transportationwill need to be in place to determine services including lifeline services to carry healthcare and other essential workerswho the individual has been around to critical jobs. Ridership is off by 90 percent in most cases and, as a result, manyin the days leading up to the positive ferries have been put in layup status.diagnosis.As federal, state, and local authorities look to ease restrictions, the PVA SafetyPVA Guidanceand Security Committee, under the leadership of Ben Bernstein, BB Riverboats,The PVA guidelines largely follow Newport, KY, convened a series of conference calls to ascertain best practices fromthe federal guidance framework. committee members in operation and develop guidance to be used by all membersCompanies should establish and when planning and implementing reopening plans. The guiding principal of theimplement policies and procedures discussions was that the health and safety of the vessels passengers and crewthat monitor employee health, reinforce must remain at the forefront of company operations. healthy hygiene practices, establish When federal and state governments established guidelines for reopeningsocial distancing, use of personal pro-businesses, the committee focused on publishing guidelines to assist memberstective equipment (PPE), and to ensure in developing and implementing written policies and procedures for when andvessels and facilities are appropriately how they will reopen and provide services to the public. The committee used thecleaned and disinfected.recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) con- Knowing that many PVA members cerning limiting the effects of coronavirus as the basis of PVAs guidelines. Otherhave robust policies and procedures, agencies and organizations at the federal, state and local level also have directives,the guidelines should be incorporat-guidance, and recommendations that could impact vessel operations. Some ofed into existing company health and these guidelines were also incorporated into the PVA guidelines.safety policies and vessel operations. 32MAY 2020FOGHORN'