After the massive oil rig spill near Louisiana’s Gulf Coast a few years ago, many may be wondering if any new legislation has been passed. Related legislation could help regulate the health and safety of workers killed or injured on drilling rigs, citizens or the environment. As you may recall, BP was the company behind the spill which claimed the lives of 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The state of Louisiana has passed an interesting bit of legislation related to devastating incidents such as this.
The legislation passed relates to how these massive accidents are handled after the fact. T Louisiana has passed a law asking that any and all governmental agencies involved in the rehabilitation of the gulf use citizens of the state as much as possible. This gets people and resources to the affected area more efficiently, and creates jobs for Louisianans.
But what about legislation related to worker safety on offshore oil rigs? It is a tragedy that 11 people lost their lives on the BP rig. Certain bills have been suggested, but to date, nothing additional has been added. This is mostly because Louisiana currently has strict legislation already in place related to employer negligence. BP plead guilty to 14 charges related to the 11 people killed that day. Private lawsuits have been filed or settled privately with the families of the victims.
This catastrophe shows how dangerous offshore drilling rigs can be. An explosion like this can equal millions of dollars in clean up efforts or, in the worst-case scenario, the loss of life that cannot be repaired. BP was found negligent on several charges that violated federal and state laws across the board. Every oil rig should learn the lesson that BP and its workers learned that day. Safety is the number one priority.
Source: ncsl.org, “2010 Offshore Oil Drilling Legislation,” Accessed November 3, 2014