PFC: A 50 Year History of Safety Awareness in the US Gulf of Mexico

The safety and environmental protection aspects in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of drilling and producing systems is of paramount importance.  The industry has always been concerned with safety.  After all no one wants to be killed or be the cause of a fellow worker or employee losing his life or becoming seriously injured.  However, our awareness of how to act on that concern and what is possible from the standpoint of safety has changed over the years.

The history of safety awareness by industry in the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is one of periods of slow improvements with dramatic step changes after major accidents.  I wish it were otherwise, but in reality the industry has historically only responded with major changes in the way it designs and operates its offshore drilling and production activities in the face of negative publicity from a few highly visible and publicized accidents and the threat of regulations.  Thus, the history of safety awareness by industry is generally, with many specific company exceptions, a history of major accidents, the threat of new regulations and industry’s response to these threats to assure the regulations are both practical and efficient. 

The presentation also addresses the things I worry about as we go forward in improving safety while addressing new challenges and innovations.  Among these are: compliance attitudes, SEMS Audits, mentality of punishment, developing safety cultures, imagining the impossible and training the next generation.

It could be quite a complicated undertaking to address every change that has taken place in attitudes and regulations over a half of a century of innovation.  This presentation is merely a personal recollection of the main changes as I experienced them and my personal concerns for the future.



To sign-up for the Webinar version of this event, please Register Here


*SEASON PASS HOLDERS: You do not need to register for this event, as your Season Pass has automatically registered you for all 2015 – 2016 PF&C events. Thank you for being a Season Pass Holder!


Venue:  Wood Group Mustang, Inc. - Clydesdale Building

17320 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77084

Map and Directions

Parking:  A limited number of designated visitor parking spaces are located in a surface lot on the south side of the building. Alternatively, please utilize the parking garage directly north of the office building. You may enter the garage from eastbound on Park Row or northbound on Innovation Park Drive (formerly named Chronicle Drive). The gate arms will open automatically as your vehicle approaches. Please adhere to posted traffic signage inside the garage and 7 MPH speed limit. All garage levels and marked spaces are available for visitor use.

Location: Wood Group Mustang, Inc - Clydesdale Building
17320 Katy Freeway
Houston , TX 77084

Date: Nov. 10, 2015, 4:30 p.m. - Nov. 10, 2015, 6 p.m.