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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Now THIS is Juicy!

Check out this article on The Weekly Standard about a young engineer, Oberon Houston who bailed from BP out of fear for his life!

Beyond Pathetic

BP’s Gulf disaster was no surprise to those who understood the corporate culture.

BY ANDREW B. WILSON








Some of the more notable quotes:

BP admitted breaking health and safety laws by failing to guard against corrosion on the ruptured pipe that allowed the gas to escape. It was fined $290,000.

In looking back over the last few years at BP, Houston was distressed at the way that corporate downsizing exercises seemed to target the best and most seasoned engineers. He was further distressed that BP had slashed the maintenance budget for the vast and aged Forties Alpha platform to a dangerous, even reckless extent, providing the platform’s operating engineers with less than 80 percent of the money they considered necessary to ensure the rig’s safety.

To put it even more bluntly, BP was taking a don’t-sweat-the-big-stuff attitude toward safety. Others noticed the same thing. Robert Bea, a professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and a well-known expert on catastrophes involving complex systems, reached the same conclusion based on his own association with BP in 2002 and 2003

BP worried a lot about personal safety—slips, trips, and falls—high frequency, low consequence accidents. They did not worry as much (at all) about the low frequency, high consequence accidents—the real disasters.

BP had a major explosion at its Texas City refinery that left 15 people dead and more than 170 injured. Again, BP admitted breaking rules. This time it did not get off so lightly: It was hit with $137 million in fines—the heaviest workplace safety fines in U.S. history.

Miss Ginger remembers the Texas City disaster, although she did not remember that it was BP. This article was exactly what she needed to help her make the decision: she ditched the stock this morning!

2 comments:

kayce. said...

jeez!!! i can't believe this... and thank you, seriously, for keeping me abreast of so many aspects of the oil spill. i can't take the splash pages on so many of the news websites, so i just come here, LOL. the oil just hit the beach where my sister lives in pensacola (and where i lived for a good part of my life), and it's only going to get worse... i hope this guy turns into a whistleblower if he isn't already (going to read the article now).

congrats on ditching the stock!

Joy said...

Good for you! And thank you for keeping us informed!

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