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Businesses in all fields work hard to attain success at the end. The method of management applied in an organization matters a lot. Organizations’ performance is also determined by the capabilities of the management in areas such as disaster response and decision making skills. From the case of Piper Alpha, safety comes out as the critical issue. Safety refers to the level of comfort at a place with reference to the hazards surrounding it. All what occurred at the Piper Alpha revolve around safety, safety measures, safety precautions, safety planning, safety preparedness and response.
The Piper Alpha case focuses mainly on the causes of the infamous disaster, its progress, the response which occurred and the decision making process which took place. The case also reveals the weaknesses and strengths to ensure safety of property as well as people during the disaster. Safety and its elements are brought about as the critical issue in this case by the fact that the cause of the disaster was a breakdown in a safety procedure. The initial cause of the disaster was the removal and failure to fix a safety pump by the dayshift employees. The disaster would not have happened if the safety pump would not have been removed or if the safety pump would have been fixed before the shift handover.
Had there been proper safety awareness and seriousness, proper communication would have been done between the shift employees and avoid the occurrence of the disaster. This is because communication happens to be a key element in safety planning. Had the dayshift employees communicated the state of the safety pump to the night shift employees, the disaster would have been prevented. The Piper Alpha disaster would not have happened had there been a system safety inspection before the shift handover. System safety inspection seems to have failed to take place at the Piper Alpha which supports safety as a critical issue in this case. The fact that nobody realised that there was an anomaly with regard to the safety pump emphasises it. In places where proper safety arrangement is done, arrangements are done that someone has to go round checking and inspecting the state of systems to avoid breakdowns and disasters such as the Piper Alpha case.
Safety advocates for proper systems maintenance in all fields including the oil industry in which the Piper Alpha is a player. This makes safety a critical issue in this case because had there been proper maintenance, the disaster would have been prevented. From the Piper Alpha case, it is evident that there was a maintenance task on the two pumps which was not intensive. The maintenance focused only on parts and areas which were not in order. Maintenance personnel, by being a very important aspect of safety, should always fix what is not in order and also go through all system parts for preventive measures . Carrying a thorough maintenance routine ensures that all areas with possible weaknesses are identified and corrected. It is evident that if a complete and intensive maintenance process would have been done, then the disaster would not have happened.
Safety advocates for proper and creative designs always. Safety as the critical issue in the case of Piper Alpha is emphasized by the fact that the design never allowed better options of preventing and dealing with such disasters. This is explained by the way the installations were connected to one another. For example the Piper Alpha was linked directly with the Claymore installation and the Tharos installation, something which would have been done otherwise had there been a safety conscious design . From the case study, the fire was hard to control due to pressure from one of the offshore production base, The Claymore, which was on with processing during the disaster. It is necessary to create more safety levels, this is done by coming up with designs which are indirect to the main installations. Safety conscious designs factor in aspects such as automatic cut-off which would have greatly assisted in reducing the damage and risk at the Piper Alpha disaster.
The oil industry is highly impacted by safety. Safety usually exhibits positive impacts on the oil industry. These positive impacts are usually through ensuring that the losses, disasters and risks are reduced the industry’s operations. The oil industry being quite volatile due to the products involved requires safety very much. One of the impacts of safety on the oil industry is that it prevents and reduces losses in the oil industry. When proper safety planning is done, instances of disasters in the oil industry reduce. With losses being prevented and reduced, the oil industry players gain from their operations hence leading to a general oil industry growth. The growth will be mostly due to the fact that money which would have been lost in the absence of safety is ploughed back in the industry.
Safety presence in the oil industry encourages investors- Most investors usually shy away from the oil industry due tom the disasters and losses associated with the industry. Lack of safety in the oil industry can be a cause for instance losses, something which investors are usually afraid of. This makes safety in the oil industry crucial, and its presence gives interested investors confidence. Safety assurance leads to increased business in the oil industry and therefore investors keep on involving themselves with the oil industry.
Another impact of safety in the oil industry is that it creates harmony in the society. Generally people are usually afraid of the oil operations due to disasters and environmental hazards associated with it. When safety is integrated in the oil industry, people feel secure and therefore embrace the industry. People are able to accept industry oil installations since they do not feel any threat being posed to them and their environment. The safety assurance eventually leads to growth of the oil industry . This will also create an aspect of social awareness and responsibility. In all businesses, there are critical issues which determine the businesses processes such as decision making and the nature of business management. Safety as a critical issue has very many ways in which it integrates the nature of business management.
Safety is usually very instrumental in the management’s long term decision making process. In business management, decisions are made depending on several factors such as the business environment. Safety creates certainty in the business environment and therefore the management is able to make long term decisions since the future is reasonably known. This is because all risks associated with safety issues are properly taken care of through proper safety planning and management. Managers are meant to be in the forefront in making milestone decisions. With Safety, the management of business is likely to be long term investments minded. This is because of the presence of certainty. With certainty, the industry players are able to make long term investments. This is because all the risks are properly watched through the safety measures put in place. Infrastructural as well as other capital investments are usually put in place since confidence levels in the industry are high .
The nature of business management is usually influenced by safety through the form of business vision focus. A company’s focus may take several forms of vision such as continuous customer satisfaction among others. For example in an oil industry, a company main plan that their main quality of focus is customer satisfaction through continuous supply; but this will not be possible unless safety measures are taken to ensure that production is continuous and a certain level of surplus can be kept. Surplus is not possible where safety is not assured since there will be fear of loss. Furthermore in instances of uncertainty, then production will be affected hence the customer ends up unsatisfied . With safety assurance planning for customer satisfaction will be done from start to the point at which the product is delivered for consumption. This factor will also influence creativity and also high end innovation efforts. Due to safety, the nature of business management is likely to rely on projections since it is made possible.Projections and Budgets make business management easier because they result to good measure of performance and progress. .
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