I'm not at all certain that there is ANY meaningful way to compare the safety record of the off-shore oil industry to that of the commercial aviation industry. Even if you do try to make such a comparison, I can see little to no benefit coming from it.
Obviously, commercial aviation has a VERY enviable safety record; but the two industries are so very different, that I think comparisons are relatively meaningless.
Now........if you want to advocate "increased awareness" of "unsafe practices" in the oil industry, I'm ALL FOR
And I can even start it off with some suggestions, which if implemented, I can guarantee will go a long way towards eliminating occurrences such as the recent explosion and fire in the gulf. (on another thread)
Here's a problem which many people never seem to think about, when they read about big fires, big explosions; ask yourself a question; who do you suppose sets the rules, relative to, "what is, and what isn't" permissible for people working on a production oil platform, sitting 20 or so miles off-shore ? My guess would be, a "committee"; now, I have nothing for, or against "committees"; what I'm far more concerned about is.......who is ON
that committee ? Exactly what is the experience, the competence, the qualifications of each member of the committee ?
Just to give a rough idea of what I'm driving at, consider this; I spent slightly more than 40 years in the trucking industry; which is I might add, an industry which is governed by more rules than most people could read in a book if they spent ten years reading the book ! Who do you suppose wrote all of those "so-called" safety rules ? I'll tell you who; the U.S. Congress ! (Don't worry, this has NOTHING to do with politics) it has everything to do with who's likely to make sensible rules to govern an industry.
The people you vote for.........the representatives, the senators......they don't write the rule book; every single member of congress has 100 "staff" Ever take a close look at any of these "staffers" ? Hint: from the roof of the Empire State Building, look down; see all this people down there ? It's a pretty "mixed bag" isn't it ? THAT"S my point ! So are the congressional "staffers" ! And THEY are the folks who write damned near ALL
of the rules !
Ever actually meet one of these people ? If you ever do, I can guarantee two things right now; he/she will have A. a fancy "title" ! B. an even BIGGER income ! (for all I know, you may even find one who knows something about the oil industry !) But my guess is, for the one who does know something about anything, you'll find 100 who don't know who Albert Einstein is/was.
How do I know all this ? That's easy........I've been there; I did that; (for a LONG time) I know what you're thinking; you're thinking......I'm old, I'm dumb. I'm this, I'm that; some of that is true. But the fact remains, I KNOW about certain things, because I did that, every day. Here's an example; there's a lot of sharp people on here; there are a few people who could even help write a "rule book" to promote safety in a given industry; but it would help if they "knew about" the industry. I'm trying to think of a good example of what I mean..........
O.K., who "over-see's" safety pertaining to, say big dump trucks ? Answer; cops; in this example, an Ohio State Highway Patrolman. Having had an Ohio driver's license for the last 64 years now, I've met quite a few OSHP;
I'll just tell you about one of them..............
About 1978 or so, I stretched a nerve in my arm and had to go on worker's comp for a few months; but I HAD to work;
I got a temporary job, driving a dump truck; hauling bank-run gravel from a pit near Lebanon, Ohio, to a sewer job in Franklin, about 12 miles each way. gravel pays VERY little, and it weighs a LOT ! So the guy who owned the truck said "fill it CLEAR up ! The truck was only a single axle, so a legal max load was about 14,000 lbs of gravel; I was hauling from 24,000 to 28,000 lbs every trip; so one day as I was passing by the Lebanon Prison Farm, a State Cop pulled me over, asks how much weight I'm hauling........I said, I have no idea; (I was lying) my "instructions" are to "fill it clear up"; So the cop says, I have the weight guys on the way, but we can't weigh a truck here, so follow me to this flat place on a side road, about a mile from here; then he says........and DON"T even think about dumping your load ! Me: I wouldn't even think of it !
On the way, (at like 15 mph) I'm thinking like 100 mph ! If they get scales under this thing, we're looking at a $2,000 fine! Just as the cop gets me to the weigh spot, and he's talking to the guys in the weigh truck, I "accidentally" engage the PTO, pull out the "dump" knob, up goes the bed, out comes 28,000 lbs of gravel in the middle of the side road !
It would take too long to describe the cop, but he was GREATLY PISSED ! Immediately writes me a "littering the road" ticket; (which cost $25) Now, contrary to what you may think, a cop can NOT have a load of gravel, dirt, loaded back up, then weigh it; well, he CAN
, but it won't get 2 inches in court ! This cop already knew that, so he didn't even try.
The cop was SO sure I was overweight, he goes ahead and writes up an over weight ticket, which I gave to the guy who owned the truck; we "checked around".....he's like, "what can I do to get out of this"; here's where "experience" comes in; I told him, first, you get this lawyer in Hamilton, Hugh Holbrook; he's the guy who can get you out of it. He get's Holbrook; I "suggested" this, and Holbrook told me I shoulda been a lawyer........we got a whole truck load of baled straw; filled the bed up with straw bales, just below the top edge; then took the loader, put about a yard of gravel on top of the straw bales; (the gravel is like 6 inches deep) I drive the truck to the court house in Hamilton, park right outside; court starts, judge asks the cop, "how do KNOW the truck is over weigh"? Cop: because I do this all the time; I weigh so many trucks, I can just look at how much gravel they have, and estimate if they are over weight;
So Holbrook says........."would you care to demonstrate this "skill" to the court ? I happen to have re-loaded the truck with the "spilled gravel", and it's parked right outside; the cop is starting to sweat! He knows who Holbrook is ! He knows he's "been had", he just don't know how.
Everyone goes outside; the judge asks, "does that look about like the same amount of gravel" ? Cop; "Well.....Uh...Yeah; Judge; how can you be so sure of that......how much do you estimate that truck weighs ?
At this point, the cop is wishing he'd never seen this truck; but he was trapped, and he knew it; so he made his estimate.
The judge then orders the scale guys to weigh the truck. I don't recall the numbers anymore, but it was WELL within legal limits. The judge says......."Case dismissed" ! The whole thing ended up costing the truck owner about $250 for Holbrook, plus the $25 ticket for littering the road.
So sometimes, even if you think you're an "expert" things may not be what they seem to be.
That's why I say, I'm ALL
for safety rules; I just want people who know what they're doing, make the rules, instead of some schlump staffer who's never even been on an oil rig, trying to say "what's safe, and what's not safe."
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein