The worker impact of the BP/Deepwater incident in the Gulf Of Mexico has finally been provide a mainstream media airing in 60 Minutes. Workers Comp Insider blog provides some commentary and embedded video of the show.
It is a curiosity of American television that everything is open for discussion even though an official inquiry is underway. This may be to do with the fascination of all things television but may also be reflective of a country whose legal structure allows for greater and more immediate self-analysis than the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth colleagues.
From the information available about the events preceding the disaster and immediately after, there was an increased production pressure on the oil rig’s workers. There was some confusion on the authority for decision-making on process matters. Emergency procedures were not well-developed or the practicalities anticipated.
Clearly there were flaws in the safety management system regardless of any design issues. The governmental inquiry will be able to provide a much more detailed and dispassionate report of these events but it is clear that at this one oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, safety management was not clearly understood or applied by workers at the frontline.
The world is looking forward to the “big picture” report.