Deepwater Horizon

Gulf Oil Spill: Workers Worried Before Spill

Just weeks before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, Transocean commissioned a survey of workers’ views on the safety of the rig. Many reported that safety procedures weren’t being followed carefully, saw unsafe behaviors on the rig, and were worried about unreliable equipment. “Run it, break it, fix it,” one worker told investigators. “That’s how they work.” Transocean also commissioned a 112-page review of equipment, which in hindsight should have been a major warning sign. Many important components, like the blowout preventer rams and failsafe valves, hadn’t been inspected in 10 years. (They should be inspected every three to five years.) And 26 of the rig’s components were found to be in “bad” or “poor” condition. The reports could spread the blame for the massive environmental disaster, which BP, the face of the oil spill, has been looking to do for some time.