RE: RE: Unsubstantiated and/or false allegations (was RE:Nobodyreviewedthe manuals)

Subject: RE: RE: Unsubstantiated and/or false allegations (was RE:Nobodyreviewedthe manuals)
From: "Sarah Stegall" <sstegall -at- bivio -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 16:22:14 -0700

The Piper Alpha disaster of 1988 started partly because of paperwork
problems. A pump was out of commission, the right people were not
notified, the written notice was out of place, existing documentation
seemed to indicate that it could be started, and the engineer's notice
that it should not be started under any circumstances was (properly)
filed somewhere else. The boss actually consulted the documentation, but
it misled him because it was poorly organized. He ordered the pump
switched on and 165 men -- including everyone who had authority or
training in evacuation -- died. The fire burned for three weeks before
it could be extinguished.

The commission of inquiry found the operator, Occidental Petroleum,
guilty of violating or not having safety procedures. No criminal charges
were brought. One change made afterwards was that safety issues would be
supervised by a government entity other than the Department of Energy.
In the light of that 300 foot tall fire in the North Sea, even Britain
could see the conflict of interest inherent in allowing energy
executives to regulate their own safety procedures.

In an ideal world, Gene, your scenario would apply. But in this one, the
results of your suggested action would be massive industrial layoffs.
Shutdowns cost millions; it takes more to re-start a rig than to shut it
down. In fact, one of the contributing factors to the Piper Alpha fire
was the fact that neighboring platforms continued operations during the
fire (thereby feeding it) because the operators didn't have the
authority to shut down; it would have (and did) cost the company an
enormous sum. Politicians and government officials do not respond well
in situations where they are likely to be caught between angry unions,
laid-off workers, and furious stockholders.

Which is why I put my trust in class action lawsuits. Nothing puts the
fear of God into a CEO like the prospect of a lawsuit.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Gene Kim-Eng
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2010 2:51 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: RE: Unsubstantiated and/or false allegations (was
RE:Nobodyreviewedthe manuals)

No. What is required is the prospect of massive fines, government
regulators ordering entire corporate operations shut down while every
installation is checked to verify that any single violation is not
endemic and homicide charges and prison time for executives who
knowingly fail to ensure regulatory compliance. In the current
situation, no book will be ever be as persuasive as damage assessments
equal to half the value of the corporation's assets, a world-wide
shutdown of very drilling rig it has for safety checks, and some senior
executives spending time behind bars if it is found that workers died
and damages occurred because any safety regs and/or procedures were
circumvented.

Gene Kim-Eng



------- Original Message -------
On 6/11/2010 8:41 PM Dan Goldstein wrote:
Gawande's "Checklist Manifesto" makes this point brilliantly. The
question is, could the book inspire executive management to establish
the right procedures to prevent emergencies?
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RE: RE: Unsubstantiated and/or false allegations (was RE: Nobodyreviewedthe manuals): From: Gene Kim-Eng

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