Week 5 - Discussion 2

Week 5 - Discussion 2 - Flammable liquids overflowed at...

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Flammable liquids overflowed at BP’s Texas City oil refinery in 2005, creating a cloud of vapor that  ignited, killing 15 workers and injuring 170. This was not the only fatal accident at BP during the last 30  years, yet OSHA had made only one full safety-management inspection at the refinery, in 1998.  (Nationally, OSHA had only enough resources to do nine such inspections in targeted industries between  1995-2005.) However, a U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board report, headed by former  Secretary of State James A. Baker, put most of the blame for the blast on the company. Cost cutting,  weak leadership, and a “decentralized management system and entrepreneurial culture” which left safety  processes to the discretion of managers all contributed. Overworked employees did not report accidents  and safety concerns for fear of repercussions. Internal company audits were more concerned about  compliance with the law than ensuring safety.  Explain which of these problems can be changed with voluntary actions by BP.  As stated in an article published by the NYTimes, "   A series of investigations attributed the March 23,  2005, explosion to overzealous cost-cutting on safety, undue production pressures, antiquated equipment  and fatigued employees — some who worked 12 hours a day for 29 straight days." (Greenhouse, 2009),  there seems to be a lack of interest in Safety on BP's part. Focusing more on investing in safety  measures, reviewing production schedules to see if more infrastructure or labor is needed to deal with  additional demands and adding more workforce or rotating the current workforce in shifts so that 
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2012 for the course LEG500 LEG500 taught by Professor Prof.dean during the Spring '11 term at Strayer.

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Week 5 - Discussion 2 - Flammable liquids overflowed at...

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