Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    DEEPWATER HORIZON LESSONS FOR CONSTRUCTION

    BP publishes internal investigation report on Gulf of Mexico explosion

    The report prepared by the BP internal investigation team has been published. You can view the Executive Summary or view all All Published Material.

    The report is based on a four-month investigation led by Mark Bly, BP’s Head of Safety and Operations and conducted independently by a team of over 50 technical and other specialists drawn from inside BP and externally. The investigation found that:

    “no single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy. Rather, a sequence of failures involving a number of different parties led to the explosion and fire which killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year”.

    The report concludes that decisions made by “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident which it says arose from “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.”

    The specific sequence of events leading to the disaster were: 

    • cement slurry at the bottom of the Macondo well failed to contain hydrocarbons within the reservoir, as it was designed to do, and allowed gas and liquids to flow up the production casing;
    • results of the negative pressure test were incorrectly accepted by BP and Transocean, although well integrity had not been established;
    • Transocean rig crew failed to recognise and act on the influx of hydrocarbons into the well until the hydrocarbons were in the riser and rapidly flowing to the surface;
    • after the well-flow reached the rig it was routed to a mud-gas separator, causing gas to be vented directly on to the rig rather than being diverted overboard;
    • the flow of gas into the engine rooms through the ventilation system created a potential for ignition which the rig’s fire and gas system did not prevent;
    Comment

    The specific events leading to the fire and death of those on the rig were a mixture of human and technical ‘failures’. This will be a familiar finding to those who have investigated construction project fatalities and other incidents. There has been an increasing emphasis on ‘human factors’ across the oil, gas and construction industries in recent years. 

    The final safety precaution to fail involved the rig blow-out preventer (BOP) on the sea-bed. The BOP, which should have activated automatically to seal the well,  failed to operate “probably because critical components were not working” (see Main Report page 178). More critically, the report concludes that:

    “through a review of rig audit findings and maintenance records, the investigation team found indications of potential weaknesses in the testing regime and maintenance management system for the BOP.”

    This brief comment highlights a general lesson for all businesses. It is relatively easy to establish ‘management systems’ designed to secure the effective control of human and environmental risks. The more difficult task is sustaining those systems in the face of other demands – before things go wrong.

    In the construction sector a key foundation of CDM 2007 is the requirement that contractors plan, manage and monitor risks and project safety plans. The Deepwater Horizon incident highlights the importance of a monitoring regime and culture that is positive, rigorous and constantly revitalised.

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    CONSTRUCTION SITE DEATHS SET TO FALL?

    HSE in-year fatality records for 2018/19 suggest significant reduction

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd March 2019

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE UPDATE 20th MAR 2019

    hselogo1Latest online register of prosecutions and enforcement notices

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th March 2019

    BRICKLAYER FATALLY INJURED BY FALLING WALL

    Masonry collapsed during concrete back filling operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th March 2019

    BASIC LADDER SAFETY FAILURES FINED £150,000

    Repair and maintenance firm had no excuse for errors causing injury

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th March 2019

    HSE ISSUES REMINDER ON SAFE SCAFFOLD DESIGN

    Recent incidents and high winds prompt warning from regulator

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th March 2019

    LORRY DRIVER DIED IN OVERHEAD POWER STRIKE

    Major company failed to communicate precautions to grab arm operator

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th March 2019

    ASSESSMENT SHOWED RISK – PRECAUTIONS NOT TAKEN

    Workman seriously injured when falling into open unguarded stairwell

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st March 2019

    MAJOR FIRM FAILED TO IMPLEMENT SAFE SYSTEM

    Procedures for safe plant refuelling failed to prevent death of workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th February 2019

    CLIENT PROSECUTED OVER CONTRACTOR FATAL FALL

    Company breached duty to protect contractors as well as employees

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th February 2019

    FOURTEEN YEAR FAILURE TO MANAGE ASBESTOS

    Firm failed to implement asbestos management plan following survey

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th February 2019

    CHILD INJURED BY WALL COLLAPSE INCIDENT

    Council failed to carry out “intelligence led” condition inspections

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019

    BOTTLE JACK SUPPORT FAILED TO PREVENT DEATH

    Director sentenced alongside company over death of engineer

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019

    TEMPORARY WORKS FAILURES CAUSED FATAL FALL

    Platform not designed and system for installation and inspection inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019

    SOLVENT IGNITED DURING FLOOR CLEANING WORKS

    Flammable solvent fire fought with water spreading fire further

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 13th February 2019

    INEVITABLE COLLAPSE OF SCAFFOLD ON TO SCHOOL

    Scaffold not designed or installed to withstand foreseeable loads

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 13th February 2019

    OIL DRUM EXPLODED DURING HOT CUTTING WORK

    Firm fined £400k after drum lid ejected causing loss of leg

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th February 2019

    ROOFLIGHT FALL ON NUCLEAR POWER SITE

    Energy generating company and maintenance contractor fined

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th February 2019

    DIRECTOR PROSECUTED AFTER 6METRE ROOF FALL

    Untrained worker fell through rooflight in fragile asbestos roof

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th February 2019

    HSE ALERT: MILD STEEL WELDING CANCER RISK

    HSE announces enforcement action change based on new cancer evidence

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th February 2019

    LORRY MOUNTED LIFTING OPERATION PROVED FATAL

    Steel staircase toppled from vehicle after sling snagged

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th February 2019

    DIRECTOR AND BUSINESS IN COURT OVER DEATH

    Scaffold not priced for on domestic roof-line refurbishment work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th February 2019

    FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT HAZARD PROTECTION MISSING

    Two businesses prosecuted after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th February 2019

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

    CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019

    FINGERS CRUSHED BY METAL FOLDING MACHINE

    Steel cladding firm fined £600k over failure guard access to danger

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019

    ASBESTOS ILLEGALLY REMOVED AFTER SURVEY

    Surveyor pricing asbestos work found contractor jumped the gun

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic