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BP FIASCO UPDATE: Deepwater Horizon Workers Voiced Concerns Over Safety

Photo of Brant Stogner

In the ongoing saga that is now being touted as the worst environmental disaster in human history, we have more disturbing news. A confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon, which was conducted weeks prior to the oil rig explosion, showed that many of them were worried about the safety practices on the rig and feared retaliation if they reported mistakes or safety concerns. Transocean, the rig's owner, conducted this survey and the results are disturbing.

In one of the two Transocean reports obtained by The New York Times, workers voiced concerns regarding equipment reliability that "they believed was as a result of drilling priorities taking precedence over planned maintenance." "Run it, break it, fix it." According to those who were actually on the rig, "That's how they work." According to a Transocean equipment assessment report, there were at least 26 components and systems on the rig that were in "bad" or "poor" condition. Additionally, the report also showed that the blowout preventer rams and failsafe valves had not been fully inspected since 2000, despite the fact that guidelines require inspection of the preventer every three to five years.

With these two new reports coming out, it is likely to broaden the blame for the April 20 disaster. We knew BP put profits over people, but it is starting to look like their business partner, Transocean, does too. Indeed, these reports confirm that maintenance concerns existed just days prior to the explosion and that Transocean was aware of them.

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