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Deepwater Horizon Alarms Were Switched Off 'to Help Workers Sleep'

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/23/deepwater-horizon-oil-rig-alarms

Vital warning systems on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig were switched off at the time of the explosion in order to spare workers being woken by false alarms, a federal investigation has heard.

The revelation that alarm systems on the rig at the centre of the disaster were disabled – and that key safety mechanisms had also consciously been switched off – came in testimony by a chief technician working for Transocean, the drilling company that owned the rig.

Mike Williams, who was in charge of maintaining the rig's electronic systems, was giving evidence to the federal panel in New Orleans that is investigating the cause of the disaster on 20 April, which killed 11 people.

Williams told the hearing today that no alarms went off on the day of the explosion because they had been "inhibited". Sensors monitoring conditions on the rig and in the Macondo oil well beneath it were still working, but the computer had been instructed not to trigger any alarms in case of adverse readings.

Both visual and sound alarms should have gone off in the case of sensors detecting fire or dangerous levels of combustible or toxic gases.

The evidence of deliberate dilution of the rig's safety mechanisms is likely to have wide ramifications for BP and Transocean, the world's largest offshore drilling company. It switches the spotlight of blame away from BP and towards the subcontractor which took the decisions. Of the 126 crew on board the rig on 20 April, seven worked for BP and 79 for Transocean.

Williams said he discovered that the physical alarm system had been disabled a full year before the disaster. When he asked why, he said he was told that the view from even the most senior Transocean official on the rig had been that "they did not want people woken up at three o'clock in the morning due to false alarms".

Williams' testimony will raise questions about whether lives could have been saved had the alarms been properly set and the disaster mitigated.

He also revealed that a crucial safety device, designed to shut down the drill shack in the case of dangerous gas levels being detected, had been disabled, or bypassed as it is called.

Excellent.

Perhaps I should disable all my smoke alarms to prevent false alarms.

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I assume they had a night shift, which were supposed to be awake, and listening for alarms! :blink:

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"Transocean, formerly Santa Fe C_onstruction C_ompany 139 C_orporate C_enter"

Transocean, THE USA COMPANY, was directly responsible for rig murders!

As the truth comes out it was 'Friendly fire' - the Yanks killed their own which is why they have almost stopped blaming us/anti UK in the media.

Oil Rig Warning System Was 'Off' Before Blast

3:10pm UK, Saturday July 24, 2010

A worker on the oil rig at the centre of the Gulf of Mexico spill has said a crucial warning system was switched off before the explosion that killed 11 people in April.

The chief technician who works for Transocean, which BP had contracted to do the drilling on the Deepwater Horizon, told a federal panel in New Orleans that the alarms were switched off to help workers sleep.

This meant fire or high gas levels would not be detected.

Mike Williams said the general alarm had been switched to "inhibited" before the blast on April 20.

Mr Williams told the hearing that when he questioned why it was disabled he was told it was because they "did not want people woken up at 3am due to false alarms".

If the system had been turned on it could possibly have given an earlier warning of the imminent explosion to those working in the drilling rooms where several of the workers died.

Further:

He also explained that another device which was meant to shut down the blowout preventer if gas levels reached high levels had been disabled or bypassed some time before.

He said he raised concerns about this but was told by Transocean supervisor Mark Hay: "Damn thing's been in bypass for five years. As a matter of fact, the entire (Transocean) fleet runs them in bypass."

Mr Williams has filed a lawsuit against Transocean and BP and is one of many workers who have testified about breakdowns and flaws on the rig.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/BP-Oil-Spill-Worker-Says-Warning-Alarm-Was-Switched-Off-Day-Before-Explosion-On-Deepwater-Horizon/Article/201007415670327?lpos=Business_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15670327_BP_Oil_Spill%3A_Worker_Says_Warning_Alarm_Was_Switched_Off_Day_Before_Explosion_On_Deepwater_Horizon

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Told you so. Somewhere there is a HPC world exclusive on this issue from me ages ago. Big accidents, they always disabled the alarms. Three mile island, Chernobyl, various rail stuff, the odd aviation accident, its always the same.

Classic "Swiss Cheese" accident causation trajectory.

1472-6963-5-71-1-l.jpg

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Told you so. Somewhere there is a HPC world exclusive on this issue from me ages ago. Big accidents, they always disabled the alarms. Three mile island, Chernobyl, various rail stuff, the odd aviation accident, its always the same.

Classic "Swiss Cheese" accident causation trajectory.

I like that illustration, it doesn't blame the designers directly for latent design faults :D

But yes its true and not unexpected int he least

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Told you so. Somewhere there is a HPC world exclusive on this issue from me ages ago. Big accidents, they always disabled the alarms. Three mile island, Chernobyl, various rail stuff, the odd aviation accident, its always the same.

Classic "Swiss Cheese" accident causation trajectory.

Any stats on how many accidents where they had disabled the alarms.

Complacency and cutting costs?

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Perhaps I should disable all my smoke alarms to prevent false alarms.

We had to disable our CO alarm recently because it started randomly screeching loud enough to wake the dead due to the sensor failing. False alarms get to be real annoying when you're trying to sleep.

However, the hardware monitoring systems I've used allow the operator to either disable the sound for a particular alarm or for a severity level (e.g. don't interrupt me up for a warning, but do if the equipment is on fire); I'd presume that they should have some similar capability that shouldn't require disabling all of them.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/23/deepwater-horizon-oil-rig-alarms

Excellent.

Perhaps I should disable all my smoke alarms to prevent false alarms.

I do, because it keeps on going off at random times for no particular reason, and so frequently that if there was a fire, it wouldn't make me notice it.

Basically what we can take from the article is that the alarm system didn't work.

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Come on where's Mega, with his brand of hatred for BP! :P

Good article btw.

BP'S price should start to firm up from here on in. :)

Yep.. this was the critical bit..

The evidence of deliberate dilution of the rig's safety mechanisms is likely to have wide ramifications for BP and Transocean, the world's largest offshore drilling company. It switches the spotlight of blame away from BP and towards the subcontractor which took the decisions. Of the 126 crew on board the rig on 20 April, seven worked for BP and 79 for Transocean.

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It's a bit like having a Bank of England monitoring the health of the economy and viability of domestic banks, and some tit of a new Chancellor coming in and turning it off on his first day at work.

You'd have to be REALLY dumb to do that.

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  • 146 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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