Joseph - Precautions on the High Seas

Prompt coming soon.

Informative Speech Professor Approval Draft 4/4/11

1)   Joseph M Wilson

2)   Precaution on the High Seas

3)   To inform.

4)   As a result of my presentation my audience will be understand the consequences of not having proper safety precautions on offshore drilling rigs… as well as the reasons that they might be overlooked and what is being done to insure another oil spill the size of the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill never happens again.


When there are little to no reliable safety precautions set in motion in any career field, it tends to leave everyone, and everything, vulnerable to being harmed at some point. When you have an already extremely dangerous job like off shore drilling in mind, the dangers and consequences of having no or few ready safety precautions are exponentially higher and more frequent than most jobs. There are two main consequences of not having a ready emergency drill of offshore rigs and one new safety precaution being put into place to prevent these causalities… loss of life/ loss of income due to oil related natural disasters, and developed programs aimed to arm operators with life saving knowledge. 


I. Consequences

One of the main reasons off shore drilling needs more, and better, safety regulations is lost of life.  The Deepwater Horizon explosion alone killed 11 workers and injured 17 more; a terrible incident that I personally think could have been avoided. Not only do the families of the workers suffer from their losses of their fathers, sons, and brothers, but the economy of the surrounding areas to the oil spill suffer as well.  With reference to USA Today It was estimated that BP had to pay the Gulf Coast millions of dollars in lost revenue and lost jobs because of direct loss of business to the Gulf Coast because of the oil spill of the beaches…would you want to take your family to play in petroleum based oil??? When thinking about loss of life attributed to the lack of safety regulations of offshore drilling rigs, it is hard to step outside the scope of human causalities but you need to understand the full consequential outcome of negligence on these drilling rigs. The sea life of the Gulf Coast was significantly altered and damaged by the oil seeping into the Gulf of Mexico.  The total loss of life of all the sea creatures involved in the oil spill is still climbing into the hundreds of thousands.

II. Neglect on Rigs

 Now that we grasp the seriousness of the consequences of not having proper safety precautions on offshore rigs, let’s look at some of the so called reasons these precautions might be over looked or not used entirely. The neglect to maintain the oil rigs themselves becomes an issue when we look at the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf. Simply put the rigs require maintenance to work properly and safely, neglect to service the rigs properly leads to failure of the rig and possible explosions and more loss of life. The other, more disturbing, reason that a offshore drilling rig might be neglected is because the owners don’t want to pay the thousands of dollars needed to keep the rigs working correctly; the end result is a dangerous and potentially life threatening work environment not only for the people aboard the rig but also the people back on shore and all the sea life below.


III. Programs to insure safety

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, new regulations have been set into motion to prevent another human disaster on that scale from ever happening again. Through surveys and investigations it has been determined that the majority of the time human error is the main cause of loss of life and machine malfunctions.  According to Jennifer King, author of Offshore Drilling Regulations, The MMS or (Mineral Management Service) is developing new rules that would require rig operators to develop programs focused on preventing human error and overall awareness of the condition of the machine in which they spends months on. Also as a precaution to encourage precaution… heavy fines and penalties have been set forth for oil rig companies who do not follow the new guidelines on how to operate a oil drilling rig “more” safely.


When we look back at the neglect the oil typhoons portrayed by gambling with the environment, as well as thousands of businesses in the Gulf Coast, we might feel a need to hold some resentment and prejudice feelings towards big corporations holding our lively hoods in their hands; I, on the other hand, think we should look at it as a cautionary tell and use it to help enforce other huge corporations like BP to reanalysis their own safety precautions to help ensure another HUMAN disaster like the Gulf Coast Oil Spill never happens again.

King, Jennifer. Offshore Drilling Regulations. 4/15/2010.

USA Today. (2010, June 25) Oil Spill Takes Toll on Tourism on Gulf Coast.

          Retrieved March 1, 2011, from