Engineering experts hit safety culture in BP spill - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Engineering experts hit safety culture in BP spill

BP employees setting boom lights so boats and ships can see the booms in the night time. Clean-up effort after the oil rig explosion and leak in the Gulf, May 2010, Photo Courtesy - British Petroleum. BP employees setting boom lights so boats and ships can see the booms in the night time. Clean-up effort after the oil rig explosion and leak in the Gulf, May 2010, Photo Courtesy - British Petroleum.

(AP) - Engineering experts who studied the BP oil spill are blaming what they say are the drilling industry's inadequate safety practices for many of the bad decisions that led to the nation's worst offshore spill.

The new report is from the National Academy of Engineering, which advises the federal government.

The authors portray a deficient safety culture that led BP to rely on blowout preventers as equipment that just couldn't fail - even though there were well-documented failures of the devices.

The report says blowout preventers are treated like drilling's circuit-breakers, but there's no safety group certifying them in the same that Underwriters Laboratories approves key electrical safety devices in homes.

The experts do say drilling safety has improved in the Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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