Federal regulators with the Department of the Interior are investigating potentially defective bolts used on blowout preventers and other subsea equipment. According to an Interior Department investigation, the bolts are prone to corroding and snapping. If these bolts were to fail, it may cause another massive oil leak. Unfortunately, the problems discussed in the investigation involve many oil rigs used in the Gulf of Mexico. Recent history tells us that leaks can also cause oil rig explosions, putting workers in danger.
For those who don’t remember, the Deepwater Horizon disaster was linked to failed blowout preventers. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon suffered an explosion, killing 11 workers.
The Interior Department began an investigation into the defective bolts after General Electric issued a recall three years ago. However, regulators have discovered that the defective bolts involve two other companies. Investigators also believe subcontractors excessively tightening the fasteners could be causing the bolts to fail.
The Interior Department investigation revealed that 2,400 offshore platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico could be using these unsafe bolts. GE has reportedly provided rigs with replacement parts upon request. The Interior Department has directed rigs still using the faulty bolts to temporarily suspend operations.
Oil Rig Explosions Are Preventable
It is inexcusable for rigs to operate with defective or dangerous parts. Keep in mind, one defective piece of equipment on an oil rig can cause other parts to fail, potentially leading to a disaster like the one experienced only six years ago.
The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat will fight for workers who have been injured by negligent business practices.