Discussion: Gulf Oil Spill Peers Review 1

Provide a classmate review on their discussion topic :

The gulf oil spill is considered one of the worst industrial disasters in recent history. To this day, it is the worst oil spill in history. Now that you have done your research on this disaster, pick one of the issues that you identified in your PHL and explain how it could have led to the disaster.


Classmate post that you need to post comment/ review on :

The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one.  In Deepwater Horizon’s case, their inability to determine the functional status of the blowout preventer’s (BOP) blind shear ram (BSR) redundant operational control backups prevented the personnel from identifying a problem with either yellow or blue pods that initiate BSR closure and subsequently seal off the well (USCSB Investigation Report Executive Summary, 2016, p. 13). 

A top-level animation of the BOP’s purpose in United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (2014) demonstrates the catastrophic effect that would result if a failure should originate from a few key hardware components.  The sudden release of an oil and gas mixture onto the drilling rig or directly into the sea will result in severe harm to personnel, equipment, and surrounding wildlife environments, whether the injury is from an explosion, fire, toxic gas ingestion, or topical exposure.  These same consequences make the yellow and blue pods safety-critical in the operation of the BSR and define why their failure would cause a significant element in the chain of failures leading to a disaster (USCSB Investigation Report Volume 3, 2016, pp. 158-159).  The importance of their function should also indicate a need for constant state monitoring with alarms in place should a varying degree of undesirable factors become an issue (e.g., low-battery charge, excessive current draw, unresponsive operational test, et cetera). 

If a piece of equipment is supposed to work in an emergency, personnel cannot simply assume its functional status without adding additional monitoring systems for verification.  The monitoring systems that reveal state changes within emergency components also need to undergo a rigorous and frequent inspection regimen to ensure constant functionality.  This level of verification provides a layered safety approach and should be a standard methodology in any situation where the performance of a risk assessment reveals an outcome of “Serious” to “High” risk (MIL-STD-882E, 2012, p. 12)

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