Corporate Safety is a CEO's responsiblity
Reader comment on: Reform Jews on Offshore Drilling
Submitted by Lyle (United States), May 1, 2010 20:28
It's clear from two recent disasters (Gulf oil spill, and Big Branch Mine) that the culture the CEO sets up on a company greatly influences its safety culture. BP had the Texas City disaster in 2005 as well as the spills on the north slope, Lord Browne left and Haywood came in but he has evidently not leaned hard enough on the safety side, just like Blankenship of Massey did not lean hard enough. The NYTimes had a story comparing two mines and Massey appears to have a culture of doing the minimum to comply with safety, where the other mine was more about safety as an end in itself. Eventually not putting safety first catches up with a company, in BP's case beyond the clean up and other expenses in the loss of a good prospect.
CEO's need to be as obsessive about safety as about earnings, because the reputational risk of an accident is very high. Exxon has not totally recovered from the Valdez and its drunken captain.
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