• Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    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 SAFETY NEWS – END OF NEW CONTENT

    The addition of content on this website ceased on 17th April 2020.

    Material posted before this date can be found by clicking on our SEARCH NEWS DATABASE function.

    Posted on 3rd May 2020

    CDM REGULATIONS 2015: GUIDES AND TEMPLATES

    Summary of our advice and tools to aid CDM 2015 compliance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st April 2020

    HSE WARN OF NEED FOR RPE FACE FIT TEST AND CHECK

    Incorrectly fitted RPE will not protect the wearer from dangers to health

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2020

    CORONA VIRUS: LATEST SITE OPERATING PROCEDURES

    Industry Bodies publish risk management guidance Version 3

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th April 2020

    TOWER CRANE OUT OF SERVICE SAFETY ALERT

    Important advice from Construction Plant-hire Association and HSE

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th March 2020

    HSE PLAN AND CONSTRUCTION PRIORITIES 2020/21

    Appointed CDM 2015 Principal Designers remain focus of HSE inspections

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th March 2020

    COVID-19 ADVICE & GUIDANCE FOR CONSTRUCTION

    BuildUK support industry with advice, guidance and information

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th March 2020

    HSE TARGETING WELDING FUME CANCER RISK

    Inspections to enforce improved controls required by new risk evidence

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th February 2020

    HSE TO OVERSEE NEW BUILDING SAFETY REGIME

    Government to deliver biggest change in building safety for a generation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st January 2020

    FESTIVE GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th December 2019

    SELECTED NEWS POSTED RECENTLY ON TWITTER

    PP Construction Safety logo and link to home page [1]Links to other construction health and safety related news reports

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th November 2019

    HSE LOOK TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES FOR CDM SUPPORT

    Council Inspectors focus on CDM client duties – asbestos, fragility and RCS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    HSE WELDING FUME REVISED GUIDANCE PUBLISHED

    New research evidence on cancer link prompts revision on welding fume

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 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 18th October 2019

    HSE RISK REDUCTION THROUGH DESIGN AWARD

    Regulator seeks to promote hazard avoidance and risk minimisation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th October 2019

    HSE START PROJECT HEALTH RISK INTERVENTIONS

    Regulator set to check health risks assessed and controls in place

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th September 2019

    AIF NATIONAL WORKING AT HEIGHT CONFERENCE

    HSE Construction Head to speak at Access Industry Forum conference

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd September 2019

    NEW HSE HAVS CALCULATOR TO HELP CONTROL RISK

    New calculator includes “cautious estimates” for common tools

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd September 2019

    IMPROVING CDM DESIGNER HAZARD AWARENESS

    Research explores power of “multi-media digital tool” for design hazards

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    DEMOLITION FEDERATION ON RECENT INCIDENTS

    NFDC ‘statement of awareness’ follows unplanned collapses

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    RAISING COMPETENCE AND MAKING BUILDINGS SAFER

    Life-safety-critical disciplines urged to act on Interim Report

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    BUILDING WORKS COMPROMISED GAS SAFETY

    Company and director fined after work created risk to residents

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    HSE SPEAK AT ACCESS INDUSTRY CONFERENCE 2019

    AIF National Working at Height Conference November 2019

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 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 23rd July 2019

    CONSIDERING TEMP WORKS IN PERMANENT DESIGN

    Useful overview for civil and structural engineers on contemporary practice

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd July 2019
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data