THE FALICY OF FAILSAFE
CONCEPT OF FAILSAFE
My fellow hubbers we have heard much in the news lately about the concept of “failsafe”, and I am here to tell you there is no such thing on this Earth as failsafe. Anything or any endeavor partaken by humans is capable of failing. During my time in industry I had many managers tell me to make something failsafe or foolproof. Trying to do so is a fool’s errand and I told them so at the time. All humans and anything they manufacture are capable of failing in a catastrophic manner. If anyone tries to tell you different they are insane. The concept of “failsafe” is not based on zero failures but on limiting damage once failure has occurred.
THE OIL SPILL IN THE GULF
This most recent catastrophe in The Gulf of Mexico is a prime example of lack of common sense in the application of the concept of “failsafe’. The entire philosophy that a single mechanical device called a “Blowout Preventer” could avert a huge oil spill is sheer madness. This is a huge example of the misapplication of the concept of failsafe. There must be contingency plans readily available to limit environmental damage or damage to people or property when the primary device eventually fails, as all man made devices eventually will. This misapplication of the principal of failsafe can be fatal to people and animals as well as plants. The whole ecological system sustains unfixable damage when proper principals are not applied.
Folks you know I’m not a tree hugger I’m just using my engineering knowledge along with common sense. So you ask Ok what would you do Tom?
First off at this time I don’t have a clue what to do. I do know that before any deep-sea wells had been drilled I would have asked the proper questions of the experts. I’ll bet this was done and ignored both by industry and government because they both had something to gain. Money rules the roost in every case. Well now how much will it cost to clean up the mess that’s made because the proper questions and answers weren’t acquired????????
You don’t have to be an expert to know that if people can’t get to the source of a leak a mile deep in the ocean it’s unlikely to get it to stop. Build them on land where they belong and leave the deep-sea stuff to the aquatic life.
Mark my words we will find out this question of accessibility was questioned long, long ago and blown off by toads who didn’t take proper precautions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT IS JUST A MATTER OF COMMON SENSE
I don’t think I am telling you anything new about human fallibility as we have a witnessed it many times. It truly is a matter of common sense. I guess common sense is in short supply today but we have all shown it in our daily lives. We all keep our loved ones from putting themselves in jeopardy just like keeping our children away from open flame. This is a common sense solution to limiting damage to our loved ones. We have use for fire but we try to limit the damage it can do by using common sense in its use and where we use it.
Remember Three Mile Island!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember Chernobyl !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now we have the Gulf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE WAY FORWARD
- Determine the cause of the blowout preventer failure.
- Work diligently on devices to allow people to go to great depths in the ocean for maintenance of equipment.
- No new drilling until steps one and two are accomplished.
- Very strict maintenance regimen on existing wells. They can’t just be abandoned the hole is already there.
- More oil production on land.
- Greater use of natural gas and coal. I don’t trust nuclear after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. There is the possibility for unlimited damage.
- Eventually develop alternative energy when feasible.