37 years ago on February 15 marks the date the Ocean Ranger capsized and sank off the coast of Newfoundland. There were 84 people on-board that night, but there were no survivors.
We MUST not forget incidents like this one and the lessons learned from it. Let’s take a moment to remember the past to ensure we don’t repeat similar mistakes in the work we do today.
Causes of the Ocean Ranger Disaster
Automatic emergency systems failed (ballast control system)
Workers did not understand how to use the manual control systems (valves)
Emergency response equipment was inadequate or failed (life boats)
Emergency rescue activities were ineffective
Lessons for us to remember and apply to our work today
- Have we tested our emergency control systems?
- Are all shut downs, alarms and automatic systems working and effective?
- Have we practiced how to manually shut down processes?
- Do we have the competency to manually control critical systems in the event of a control failure?
- When was the last time we tested our emergency equipment? (air packs, fire water systems, eye wash stations)
- When was your last emergency exercise?
- Have all the improvements from the exercise implemented and tested?