The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has reported that oil giant BP needed to focus less on the routine personal safety of its employees and more on the potential hazards of deepwater drilling. According to the Board’s report, released last month, BP and Transocean, one of the partners in the drilling project, “had multiple safety management system deficiencies that contributed to the Macondo incident.” That confirms what lawyers in our firm have learned in the ongoing litigation against BP and other responsible parties.
The report said the company was concerned, and rightly so, with personal safety such as scaffolding, falls and labeling of tanks, but that BP needed to be more aware of the potential risks inherent with deepwater drilling, particularly when partnering with other companies. The Board also faulted BP for its focus on “production performance without significant focus on major accident metrics.” It is quite clear that BP’s primary goal was to get the well into production with far too little attention being paid to safety. In fact several warnings of impending doom were ignored.
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