Discussion: Gulf Oil Spill PHA Peers Review 2

Provide a classmate review on their discussion topic :

For this module discussion activity, provide your response to the following:

Continuing on the gulf oil spill, now that you have constructed the report for your boss on the hazards associated with the oil platform, detail what you found to be the highest risk along with why you think so. What did you recommend should be done to eliminate/mitigate it?

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

This week’s reading exposed us to the proactive nature of a preliminary hazard assessment (PHA).  Chapter 8 of Ericson (2016, p. 126) explains a PHA’s use as “generally based on preliminary or baseline design concepts and is usually generated early in the system development process, in order to influence design and mishap risk decision as the design is developed into detail.”  We are experiencing research into an event that already occurred and identifying several key components of safety design that were either miscategorized, incorrectly understood, or ignored entirely. 

Through this discovery phase of my PHA, the biggest risk is not actually associated with my previously selected PHL items (e.g., BOP Yellow/Blue pods, AMF/Deadman monitoring, SCE vs. non-critical functions, or the Mud Gas Separator (MGS)). Rather it is a lack of any PHA considerations and subsequent mitigating actions from BP and Transocean.  Through a failure of safety planning came a level of exposure to hazards not considered, incorrectly identified, or accepted as a “part of doing business”.

As a proactive safety tool, the PHA is supposed to analyze identified hazards before a system’s use or incorporation.  It is obvious that this was not adequately performed or was ignored through a soft safety leadership culture.  Although my post’s focus did not highlight a particular sub-system as “the” component with the most amount of associated risk, I think the leadership’s focus — or lack thereof — on organizational safety fundamentals provided the highest risk component within the entire design and operation of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

One additional note to keep in mind.  We do not possess internal documentation that may corroborate Transocean or BP’s risk/hazard reduction efforts and are evaluating this incident from rather biased perspectives.  It is easy for a safety culture to slowly degrade over time through seemingly insignificant details of everyday work environments.  Complacent attitudes towards safety upkeep only serve to exacerbate poor organizational policy.

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