Baleària is working to be the first shipping company in the world to obtain the Global Safe Site Covid-19 label in its maximum degree (Excellence) by the international certification and inspection entity Bureau Veritas, which will certify that its ships and the maritime stations that manages to carry out specific procedures, cleaning plans, organizational and personal protective measures to prevent Covid-19. The shipping company will also periodically measure the possible presence of the virus on the surface in order to obtain the excellent category of the certificate.
This certificate will guarantee that Baleària goes beyond the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, since more complete and reinforced actions will be carried out than those indicated by these organizations in terms of safety and cleanliness. The certification will include 16 of the shipping company's vessels (the 12 currently operating and another 4 that it hopes to add to the operation when the current passenger transport restriction is lifted), as well as the two maritime stations that it manages directly (Dénia and Valencia). It is planned to have this certification in early June, which will be renewed every 6 months, with periodic verifications.
Baleària's objective is to obtain the Excellent degree on the certificate, so Bureau Veritas will verify the effectiveness of the program by measuring the appropriate surface disinfection of the possible presence of Covid-19 through periodic inspections carried out by a laboratory. In an initial analysis, samples will be taken from 12 ships and 2 maritime stations and 19 tests will be carried out, which will be repeated every month on two of the ships and one maritime station. In case of detecting a positive result in any of the ships or facilities, an extraordinary analysis will be carried out.
The president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, He pointed out that "maritime transport is the one that can best guarantee safety, since the wide spaces of the ships allow maintaining the distances between passengers". "In Baleària we are working to increase this security of the means of transport and the certification of Bureau Veritas will be a guarantee that our boats are the most reliable places to travel," he said.
Regarding personal protection measures, the audit will systematically check personal hygiene and social distancing measures, the management of PPE or the identification of sensitive workers, among others. Regarding organizational measures, aspects such as periodic cleaning and disinfection, reduced capacity, staggering arrivals and departures or measures in case of contagion or suspicion will be analyzed. Finally, the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities, the adequacy of the spaces or the air renovation plans will be reviewed.
At the moment Baleària operates with 12 ships dedicated almost exclusively to the transport of goods and also of passengers with authorization to travel. This has allowed that from the beginning of the state of alarm the daily coexistence between crews and passengers has served the shipping company as a pilot model to advance in terms of security protocols. Thus, various actions have been taken, in addition to extreme cleaning and disinfection. The crew in contact with the passage work with a mask, and in the kitchen area also with gloves. Crowds are avoided with spacing of shipments, disembarkations and queuing areas (restaurant, reception ...). The shipping company provides hydroalcoholic gel to passengers, who since Monday, May 4 have the obligation to travel with a mask. Finally, a COVID-19 monitoring commission has been created in the company and a specific communication channel, and the crew relays have been optimized to prevent contagions on board.