Originally, an Ethics and Compliance team was formed to monitor the formation and operation of the company guidance towards ethical issues in Up’s company. Just like to set up a communication consistent standard for all the employees of BP for different location, culture and language. Originally, this is a good way to guide the company staff to maintain company standard and reputation. But the code did not effectively address specific high-risk activities for the scope of daily operations.
It was quite reasonable because at the very beginning stage of drafting the related guidelines, not every experience or assumed circumstance were fully considered in the daily operations. Unfortunately, after the spill happened, several reports have pointed out that Up’s internal problems were the main causes of the disaster. In 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had put a record largest fine Of $87 million upon Up’s company.
In the investigation, the OSHA has issued as many as 271 notifications to Up’s company. The notifications were mainly dealing with a series of misconducts which Up’s company performed in the 2005 Texas refinery explosion hazard. Moreover, Up’s company improper management and lack of adequate feet precautions were once again been found in the Departed Horizon oil spill at Mexico in 2010. Millions of gallons of oil were discharged into the Gulf of Mexico in this incident.
The nearby environment was highly deteriorated and many precious lives had lost. On 5 January 2011, a report has been issued by the White House oil spill commission, it pointed out that BP, Hallucination, and Transoceanic had helped to trigger the explosion, in order to minimize the working cost of the operation. Regardless of the intention of Up’s company towards the disaster, the actions taken by the company had undoubtedly increased the risk of the explosion.
The report also blamed the Up’s company for not adopting enough measurements or tests to evaluate the situation of the excavation venue, such as the absence of strength tests of the cement, the absence of the cement bond log test, ignoring the failure of some pressure tests, etc. The panel noted that BP may spend lower cost to do the project, but they ignored the risk or they have not properly considered the seriousness and consequences of the spill and finally made 1 1 workers got killed. From the previous two hazardous events, we can see that Up’s company did underestimate the ethical care when they performed different projects.
The highest priority in lowering cost to maximize profit had largely increase the risk that frontline operational staff faced. Different reports had pointed out that the lack of safety precautions and tests made the situation even risky. The misconducts were not simply negligence but also some deliberate decisions in order to cut down the cost As claimed in the reports issued by the White House oil spill commission, the government officials had not enough technical knowledge to evaluate the safety supervision and precaution measures. The self-discipline and self-control by the company were critical.
The Up’s company had not performed the best in these cases. They should have enough predictions as they should beware that oil excavation has one kind of risky industry in which a mistake would lead to hazardous incident as oil is highly combustible and it takes long time to decompose. From the two cases, we can obviously conclude that Up’s company has paid less concern on this area. The revenue-based ideology has largely hindered the company to carry out enough ethical concern towards the safety of workers and the potential effects to the environment. . In the spill case, in my opinion, I don’t think BP is the victim. BP doesn’t make the plan perfectly. As mentioned in the previous, oil excavation was obviously a high risk industry. Therefore, the supervision in the scope of daily operation was critical but it is clear that BP has performed badly in this aspect. There are also deficiencies in the company guidance towards ethical issues, which Were not enough for guiding the staff to face the high-risk activities. Many reports said that the spill was a result of BP poor risk management.
Risk management is the continuing process to identify, analyze, evaluate, and treat loss exposures and monitor risk control. It is founded at he top set by executives who support a corporate culture that raises awareness about key risks and to handle them throughout the organization. In Up’s case, while the CEO called for increased risk management, he never delivered. The company operated for cheaper and easier solutions in order to save the time and less the cost. Senior BP only focus on infractions that were highly likely with lower impacts with hardly any consideration of less likely, high impact risks.
Working as a global corporation, internal communication is the most critical point to monitor and ensure the proper functions and efficiency on different aspects in operations. Unfortunately, the internal checking and auditing processes were found ineffective by the employers who feared of losing their jobs for raising safety concerns. Although, after the explosion, BP had immediately sent submarine robots down onto the seabed, hope can solve the damage of the explosion. Due to the poor risk management, bad guideline and communication, BP has sent a conflict messages out.
In the Departed Horizon oil spill, one of the BP staff has formally announced to the media that they had re-activated a failed device that helped slowing the blowout Of Oil. But it had been proven wrong very soon. The underwater submarine robot did in fact triggered a device, but the device was indeed not useful in stopping the spilling of oil from the well. It is really an unacceptable mistake which informed a wrong message to the public, happened in a big company. That is the fact that you can see BP lack of a good and complete system for the emergencies.
BP has then found to break the laws by not having a remote-control shut off switch on the rig devices for turning off purpose in any emergencies. In this case, no such system can be found in the devices which BP used in the operation. Although the Mineral Management Services has not accused BP for not fulfilling the standard, BP has the responsibility to maintain the precautionary standard in order to minimize the negative effects when uncertainties came. The breakdowns in interpersonal communication in the incident were also an indicator showing the weakness of risk management in BP.
In the case, the onshore engineers made final decisions depending on some particular analysis of the working point, but they have not shared those data to site leaders, they have little communications and this may easily lead to misjudgment without data from the real-time onsite circumstances. Furthermore, information about the drilling at Macon was separated and distributed between companies. This makes the consolidation of data become difficult. When some awareness on the risk of the operation was raised in the management level, the message often could not be transferred to the frontline operators.
The absence of guidelines made the decisions highly inclined to focus on the capital consumption and efficiency. Risk evaluation and related precautions have not ever been clearly emphasized to the engineers and workers. Therefore, there were not enough procedures to check for any risky actions. Form the viewpoint of business operator, efficiency is the most important and we cannot request a company to put all resources into procedure checking but with no profit can be made.
However, a reasonable assesses on overall risk and a balance between cost and safety must present. In the Departed Horizon oil spill case, the profit-maximizing attitude allowed some critical safety actions to be eliminated as inefficiencies. As a result, the disaster reflected Up’s bias in favor of cost savings and ignore the potential risk. All these evidence has pointed out that Up’s backup systems were not efficient to handle such a hazardous emergency. BP was clearly weak in risk management. 3. Wink after this spill, BP had to handle the compensations to all of the victims, who were directly or indirectly harmed by this incident. Such as the families of the staff who were killed by this accident, and the restaurant owners who have been suffered from the drop of tourism. The second thing is about the public safety and effectiveness. After the spill, the water quality must get worse and become not suitable for swimming. It also brought great harm to the nearby environment and habitat of the wildlife. It is really a long term effect on the seafood quality.
So I think BP should set up a team for discussion and investigation in order to design the best solution to fix the problem. BP also needed to pay for all of the testing, additional safeguards and environment degradation in both short and long term. Apart from the company code of BP, I think they should also offer on-job trainings for all Of their staff. Because working in Oil industry is a risky industry. The employees should have enough knowledge to handle their job duties. The training is offered to all employees, including the high level officers and the lower level workers.