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Living near the coast of Florida, I have been following the gulf oil spill disaster with great interest. With the Memorial Day weekend coming up the beaches are a natural place to go. So in order to persuade my fun loving but environmentally aware sons to go, I needed to have some good reasons. They are as follows:

BP Gulf Oil Spill Inspired Activities

  1. Building realistic but miniaturized medieval sand castles complete with flaming oil filled moats and wooden catapults capable of hurling torched tar balls at each other.
  2. Flare fishing and feasting on boiled fish. Simply throw a flare out onto the water, let it catch fire and then collect the boiled fish when the flames die down.
  3. Increased floatability. Oil provides for a natural buoyancy so flotation devices won’t be needed.
  4. Tar balls stick to or stain everything making them great for mischievous placement on benches, door handles or just for throwing at each other.
  5. No one is going to be smoking on the beach except for that one guy out of a million who believed BP when they said it was just a small leak.

Although it may take months or years to assign legal responsibility for the accident, one thing is for certain, more than one piece of equipment failed and asset management maintenance safety protocols were not followed. This makes the gulf oil spill an avoidable event. It may seem like an old song and dance but given the scope of the disaster, the loss of lives as well as the long term impact on ocean ecosystems what will it take to make senior managers implement a true EAM/CMMS system?

Maintenance related catastrophes have plagued every industrial sector from airlines to chemical plants to the nuclear industry. These disasters usually occur because corporations don’t wish to invest in computerized maintenance software that will organize all maintenance related activities such as inspections or preventive maintenance as well as record the work order status and results. Not only will an EAM/CMMS organize the maintenance operations it will also actually save organizations money by enhancing energy efficiency, lowering labor costs and extending the useful lifecycles of assets. It just amazes me that BP and other industry executives have trouble understanding this concept. Maybe this is because their life is not on the line.

So I shall take my boys out to the beach this weekend, enjoy the sunshine but remember those who lost their lives as a result of greed. There is a humorous twitter feed about BP that can be found at BPGlobalPR which is noted below. We wish everyone a happy Memorial Day and hope you share with us your stories of how proper preventive maintenance averted a catastrophe.

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The ocean looks just a bit slimmer today. Dressing it in black really did the trick! #bpcaresless than a minute ago via webBP Public Relations
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