Not all Drops prevention products are equal. That said, a lack of standardisation can make it difficult for buyers to differentiate between solutions on the market. This challenge partly stems from a historical lack of global regulation for Drops prevention solutions. In 2017, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) introduced a new standard aiming to fill this gap: DOPP+. But what does this mean for facility managers seeking to implement a best practice Drops prevention programme?
What is ABS DOPP+ certification?
ABS was founded in 1862 to provide global classification services to the maritime and, more recently, offshore industries. It aims to regulate these hazardous sectors to improve safety, consistency and reliability.
In offshore environments, Drops incidents remain a significant cause of death and injury, despite marked advances in best practice over the past decade. ABS and DROPS created the Dropped Object Prevention Programme (DOPP) in a move to codify Drops prevention best practice and recognise products which meet or exceed its strict criteria.
ABS defines its DOPP+ certification as:
“Approval of the on-board drops prevention management program to the ABS Guide, including certification of equipment for drops-resistant elements.”
The class certification process verifies the manufacturing quality of Drops prevention products and enables users to demonstrate a commitment to upholding the highest safety standards.
How do solution providers achieve ABS DOPP+ Type Approval?
Dropsafe underwent a rigorous process to secure ABS DOPP+ Type Approval for its Nets and Barriers, making it the only supplier within the Drops prevention space to achieve this validation for its solutions.
The basic DOPP approval means that an asset has passed a technical review from an ABS-approved external specialist, with addition ABS Surveyor audits annually.
For DOPP+ approval, a solution manufacturer must demonstrate a robust methodology for equipment design, pass risk assessments focusing on the life cycle of equipment, and achieve certification through the ABS Type Approval program. This process also considers supply chain processes and requires continuous approval to maintain the certification.
Why are targeted class certifications important in the Drops prevention sector?
As previously highlighted, quality control has been an ongoing issue for some sections of the Drops prevention market. Greater regulation and formalisation of best practice is a key step towards improving the uptake of high-quality Drops prevention solutions.
This is especially important in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia, where in-depth Drops prevention experience may still be developing. Some solution, may possess basic ABS witnessing, but this does not indicate the suitability of the product for Drops prevention. ABS DOPP+ certification gives buyers the confidence to identify best practice solutions, as the product has been independently checked for quality and safety.
In time, other major class societies may follow ABS’ leadership in codifying Drops prevention best practice. In the meantime, however, facility managers can stay ahead of the curve by ensuring that they invest in future-proof products from suppliers they trust.