"Coast Guard Report: Poor Safety Practices Exacerbated BP Disaster"

"Exactly one year after the immolated hulk of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard on Friday blasted the rig's owner, Transocean, for what it described as poor safety practices that exacerbated the disaster after BP's Macondo well blew out.

In a 288-page report from the government's nearly year-long investigation of the tragedy, which took 11 lives and led to America's worst oil spill, the Coast Guard concluded that Transocean had 'serious safety management system failures and a poor safety culture manifested in continued maintenance deficiencies, training and knowledge gaps, and emergency preparedness weaknesses.'

The report says Swiss-based Transocean, operator of the world's largest fleet of deepwater drilling rigs, has a culture that can be described as "running it until it breaks," "only if it's convenient" and "going through the motions."

Transocean allowed gas alarms and shutdown systems to be bypassed; failed to maintain electricity systems that may have ignited the gas once it leaked from the well; and did not adequately train personnel for how to deal with a gusher, the Coast Guard concluded. The report takes no action but offers dozens of safety-improvement recommendations for consideration by the Coast Guard commandant."

Joel Achenbach reports for the Washington Post April 22, 2011.


"Companies, Crews and Regulators Share Blame in Coast Guard Report on Oil Spill" (New York Times)

"Debate on Protecting Oil Rig Workers Takes a New Turn -- but Likely to Last a Long Time" (Greenwire)

"The Shores of Recovery" (Economist)

"BP Spill, a Year Later: Dying Dolphins, Deformed Fish, And Still Some Oil" (Toronto Globe & Mail)

"Scientists Worry About Funds To Study Gulf Oil Spill" (AP)

"The Deepwater Horizon Disaster in Book Form" (Mother Jones)

"A Year After Gulf Oil Spill, a Gusher of Lawsuits" (Los Angeles Times)

"An Ecologist's Surprising Assessment of the BP Spill" (New York Times)

"The Biggest Casualty of the Oil Spill: Mental Health" (TIME)

Source: Wash Post, 04/25/2011