A scientific panel is recommending that U.S. offshore drilling companies take a more systematic approach to offshore safety in order to prevent a disaster like the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

The recommendations were made by the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council. In a new report, the two agencies say that it was the lack of comprehensive safety management that was primarily responsible for the BP oil rig disaster last year. The Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April, killing 11 workers and injuring dozens of others. It also triggered a massive environmental spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since the BP disaster, federal offshore safety regulatory agencies have been working on a number of measures aimed at ensuring against a repeat of such a disaster. However, according to these two agencies, any changes made by the offshore oil and gas drilling industry and federal safety regulators need to be made permanent. Efforts must be made to safeguard against complacency.

The report calls for the redesign of critical equipment like blowout preventers. The failure of the blowout preventer has been linked to the Gulf of Mexico explosion last year. According to the report, the offshore oil and gas drilling industry had too much faith in the capacity of the blowout preventer to guarantee against any accidents. The report also finds that companies did not conduct an adequate assessment of risk factors.

The maritime law lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent offshore oil rig workers who have been injured in accidents and survivors of crew members killed in such accidents.