The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is conducting an investigation into the BP explosion and oil spill last year. The investigation is being conducted at the request of Congress.
The investigation is still on, but according to the New York Times , the board has found that lax federal offshore safety regulatory standards were responsible for the explosion.
According to the Board, offshore safety regulations in the United States simply do not compare with those that are followed in other countries. For one thing, offshore safety rigs off US waters are not required to follow the “safety case” system, which is followed in foreign countries.
The “safety case” hazard detection system requires that oil and gas drilling companies submit documents outlining the potential dangers posed by their rigs. These reports must include an analysis of the complexity of the risks, as well as the kind of safety measures that the company has in place to prevent an accident.
Most of the countries that allow massive oil and gas drilling offshore have such safety systems in place. The United States does not. According to experts, in the United States, the system is set up so that operators only have to do the minimum amount to ensure safety.
This is not the first time that a federal body has recommended the use of the safety case system in the United States too. The presidential commission report into the explosion that was released earlier this year also recommends exactly this kind of system.
The maritime law attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent offshore oil rig and platform workers injured in accidents across Texas and nationwide.