Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gulf Oil Safety.............The Unwritten Rule..........

The one thing that you can depend on when you work in the gulf, for any oil company related concern.
A safety manual, that is as thick as any well written tome.
The manual is as much a guide line for new hires, as it is an insurance policy for the company. Every new hire must at least sign a form saying that they have read and understood all the rules contained in this 100-1000 page manual. Some companies have volumes of safety rules and regulations.
If you work on a supply vessel, or any vessel on the sea for that matter, you must also know "the rules of the road"....these are coast guard regulations for operation at sea.

"The rules of the road " regulations are strictly enforced. The company safety rules and regulations are enforced by convenience. When it suits the company or they are looking for a reason to "run a hand off"
 they can always find a violation of the company safety rules.
Rules for safety are so lengthy they virtually cover everything from personal appearance, to, wearing a hard hat at all times and everything in between.

There are numerous safety meetings, meetings before an operation is performed, a safety meeting after an operation is performed, these safety meetings are for the sole purpose of improving safety, Notes are taken and everything is reported and recorded.

There are little plaques for safety everywhere, reminders of how many days of operation without an accident,or incident. Then there are safety bonus systems in place, if the crew goes so many days without an accident or incident, then the crew gets a safety bonus an  commendation for a job well done. Now what constitutes an accident or incident some times fall in a little gray area, depending on how close to a safety bonus the crew is. Thus leading to the unwritten rules.

ANY hand, regardless of job position, must report anything that they deem a safety hazard, this concern is discussed, evaluated, before the job proceeds. ANY hand may call off an operation or call for a shut down IF they notice any safety concern.

You no doubt have seen the survivors, ( on the Horizon rig that exploded in the gulf ) statements, by now that have been plastered all over the media and the statement that they have made relating to safety issues. The accusations they have voiced and you may be wondering, why the hell the job was not shut down.

The safety rules and regulations are written for the protection of the company more than they are written for the protection for the workers.
I can not stress this enough, safety  rules and regulations are enforced at the  convenience of the company.

What the "Company Man" wants, the "Company Man" gets......always been that way....always going to be that way. UNLESS. These rig workers and hands take this small window of opportunity to speak out. 

Why has it been this way for so long is beyond me. You would think by now that whistle blowers would be standing in line to be heard.
The "Company Man" controls the unwritten rule, he can have a hand run off at his whim, he controls the charter of operation of a vessel, with this type of power over operations, nothing will ever change as far as safety concerns in the oil field. Hell, they can even have a cook run off if they don't like the way he cooks white beans and rice, I have seen it and heard them laugh about it. Now I know I just reduced this to the ridiculous, BUT, that is the way it is and the way it always has been.

Fines DO NOT work, as everyone is aware of by now. The only way to correct this is to double the fines, enforce safety, but above all, when there is a documented, willful violation, of these safety rules and regulations, the "Company Man" should do prison time. After a time of strict enforcement,  and prison time more than a mere threat, you may see, a new awakening for regard and respect for safety in the oil field, from these "Company Men", the way it stands now, it nothing more than extortion on their part by the way they operate.

Give the control back to the Rig owner,and the service companies, to make the decisions on behalf of their workers and hands. You will see much better safety performance and have a healthier atmosphere, from which to work.

This is the way plain ole Bob sees it.........just sayin !!!!!!!


buddeshepherd said...

There are always two stories. The way it really happened and they way it is reported. As the levels of be bureaucracy increase so does the level of corruption. Arbitrary decisions by midlevel bureaucrats are what will screw us in the end.
You have painted a picture of many organizations.

Bruce Coltin said...

Not bad for an ole hippy hick. Keep tellin it like it is.

Ron Dionne said...

The oil patch is inherently unsafe. It is the nature of the beast. We've all witnessed the short cuts taken at one time or another. It's common. As a working foreman on the north slope, I had to fill out first reports of injury. Sometimes the series of events that caused an accident were so stupid.....the report looked like a comedy script for late night TV. The problems with safety in the industry will never change. Even as the spill continues in the gulf......I would bet my last dollar that someone on a rig somewhere in the gulf will violate a safety regulation today.

WisdomofAged. said...

It ruined our Marshes, Thank you Obama.

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