Essay On Safety And Health Management

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Oil, Company, Disaster, Safety, Risk, Government, Deep, Water

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/17

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The Deep-water Horizon oil spill was an oil disaster that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico from 20th April 2010. This project was owned by BP Oil Company and was operated by Transocean Company. The explosion claimed eleven out of the one hundred and twenty-six staff who were stationed at the rig. The oil spill was considered as the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Although the U.S government tried to contain the flow, there is still evidence of the continued oil leak in areas such as in the beaches of Louisiana, the Tampa Bay and the waters of Florida Panhandle among others. Investigations by different organizations including the National Incident Commander Thad, USCG, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement among others were started to establish the possible causes of the explosion. Various reasons were drawn from these investigations.
The BP report concluded that the managers at the oilrig misread the pressure values and authorized the workers to replace the drilling fluid with seawater. Since seawater had a lower density, it was not able to hold the gas from leaking into the well and therefore causing an explosion. On November 2010, the oil spill commission released a report blaming BP for poor management and decision-making. The company wanted to fast track the completion of the well ahead of time and save on costs. The speed of completion and the cost-cutting measures implemented were part of the reason the explosion occurred. From the report of The National Committee, it was evident that Halliburton and the Transocean companies preferred to work cheaply to save time and money, triggering the explosion and oil leakage. There was poor construction of the wall of the well using low-quality cement that developed a hole in the rig and therefore contributing to the explosion.
The government was not innocent in the whole matter. The government had failed to follow up on the safety policies drafted and to apply regulatory oversight programs that would have minimized the risk of the Deep-water drilling. Some of the fundamental risk factors that may have caused the Deep-water Horizon rig may be attested to Blowout preventers that are expected in every off show oil drilling. In the case of Deep-water Horizon rig, it was assumed that BOP (Blowout Preventers) was equipped with a remote control shut-off failsafe switch.
The equipment is primarily a requirement in that it acts as a last-resort protection against underwater spillage. Federal Regulators in the United States concluded in an inspection that, Deep-water Horizon Rig did not have the remote shut-off switch; this was the main reason there was a massive oil spillage. Another Fundamental risk factor that contributed to the Deep-water Horizon rig was the question of cementing. It was suspected that the lax federal regulation oil well cementing was the main cause that contributed to the disaster. This was according to a press report. Federal regulations apparently do not regulate what type of cement is to be used in the oil well cementing, leaving it up to the petroleum and gas companies, which are urged to follow the guidelines of the American Petroleum Institute.
The BP oil company took most of the blame for the explosion at the Deep-water Horizon oil drill at the Gulf of Mexico. The spill was mainly contributed by some organizational cultures that the oil company followed without considering the possibilities of any disaster occurring during the undertaking. One of the cultures was to sideline the contractors’ progress during any contract split in terms of the safety measures and regulations observed. In such cases, BP contracted a drilling company called Transocean to drill the rig from the Deep-water Horizon oil drill to the Macondo well. BP paid less attention to the safety measures observed by the contracted company as opposed to how it finds the measures itself. The Chemical Safety Board in the U.S. concluded that the contractor-owner split made a difference in the prevention of major accidents in the oil disaster. With this conduct, Transocean was able to make some decisions about the structure without necessarily informing the major company, BP.
Another organizational cause by BP was that it focused mostly on the small details such as the safety of the workers instead of ensuring that the entire rig and well were safe in the first place before commissioning any workers at the site. A U.S. government safety panel said that the assumption by BP, of not focusing on the bigger picture of safety of the construction, led to the significant systemic hazard that caused the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Investigators admitted that the oil company had evaluated the dangers of the significant accident risks for the activities that were carried out at the Deep-water Horizon oilrig or for the well at Macondo. However, the evaluation process was not efficient, and a shallow report on the risk assessment was given. They said that the reason was that BP’s massive risk evaluation program focused only on the company’s assets and not the rigs that were drilled by the other contracted firms. Following the accident, these findings were confirmed by the BP’s spokesperson, who promised that the company had stepped up and would develop more safety rigorous indicators.
BP Oil Company was accused by the Safety Board of U.S. government of focusing only on the financial risks and not on the security risks during the offshore endeavors. This was after the company had made decisions with respect to saving time and money. The bottom line is that the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico would have been avoided if strict and procedural safety measures were followed and observed by the book. However, to improve the safety cultures of the oil company, various adjustments could be made.
One of the adjustments that needs to be implemented urgently is conducting an effective, comprehensive and deeper evaluation of the accidents risks that will not only consider the assets of the enterprise, but also the contacted company dealings. The regulatory agencies such as the safety board of the U.S. should also be stricter in setting and enforcing legal codes on the safety measures to be observed during offshore explorations.
In addition, the employees working at any oil exploration sites should be advised on how to handle emergencies in case any signs of oil spill occurred. The government officials should also involve themselves more in the decision-making processes associated with such big projects that may cause risks to the people. The oil companies should also have the safety factor as a priority instead of money and time factors that could be achieved by other means.
In conclusion, the oil spill that occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico was preventable. Lack of proper oversight on the part of the main contractor and the government were part of the reasons the spill occurred. Going forward, such disasters can be avoided through putting more emphasis on safety ahead of anything else, instead of applying cost-cutting measures that eventually would cost the company more money in the future. Risk management should be a priority for the oil companies such as BP. This would ensure proper assessment of the risks involved and enable the company to plan and mitigate the risks.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 17) Essay On Safety And Health Management. Retrieved August 01, 2021, from
"Essay On Safety And Health Management." WePapers, 17 Dec. 2020, Accessed 01 August 2021.
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"Essay On Safety And Health Management," Free Essay Examples -, 17-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-Aug-2021].
Essay On Safety And Health Management. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 17, 2020. Accessed August 01, 2021.

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