When the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded the spilling 4.9 million barrels of oil into the sea, which made the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, was well reported. However there is another side to this tragedy that is rarely addressed; on board the Horizon at the time of the explosion were 126 people, 11 of whom would never make it back to shore.  What can be taken away from this tragedy in order to improve the safety of offshore platforms?
The U.S. Minerals Management Service reported 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries, and 858 fires and explosions on offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico from 2001 to 2010. After the explosion on the Horizon, many on board were able to evacuate before the rig collapsed; however the explosion had cut off all the power and the thick smoke plunged the rig into darkness. Workers, many of whom were new to the Horizon, were unfamiliar with the layout forced to waste precious time stumbling through the darkness towards the lifeboats. Many simply leaped into the water from the nearest balcony rather than be burned alive. When the last life boat launched, 11 men were unaccounted for and declared dead on April 23, 2010.
In a fire, whether it is on land or at sea, life safety is the highest priority. The best designs enable occupants to find the path to safety as quickly as possible under various conditions. Make sure your clients are aware of JALITE photoluminescent safety products; with Lloyds Type approval and Marine Equipment Directive certification, they can be confident that JALITE will lead the way to safety. Email us to obtain more information.