Objective- The objectives of
this essay would be to investigate if safety was a major trade off and possible
ethical concern involved. Secondly, I will consider the company culture towards
safety and probe how safety is communicated in company’s chain of command and
possible ethical concerns and lastly, I will discuss recommendations which
might be useful to avoid such future accidents.
British Petroleum (BP) Macondo Oil Spill which happened on 20th
April 2010, was the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history releasing
approximately 205.8 million gallons of oil and 225000 tons of Methane into the Gulf
of Mexico, about 25% of oil was recovered leaving 154 million gallons oil at
sea. (report, 2011). In addition to this,
2 Million of toxic dispersants chemicals sprayed by BP over the gulf water
which does not reduce the oil from the ocean but merely broke oil into small
particles which actually make the oil more toxic for some ocean life and which
enters the food chain. This event was the result of a well head on the Deep-Water
Horizon drilling platform blowing out in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 40
miles southeast offs the Louisiana coast line killing 11 workers on rig
platform and 17 others were injured. (Grant, 2017) People livelihood,
marine life and the environment were devastated by this event. We will further analyse the ethical
responsibilities of the BP and its stakeholders, ethical dilemma of the company,
role of the employees of BP and Switzerland based Transocean Ltd. who owns the
rig in this incident, numerous legal and ethical issues which BP have over
looked and the changes and upgradation of ethical guidelines that has been used
in previous years post this catastrophic incident.
Ethical Dilemmas, Issues and Facts -This
incident captured the World’s attention towards such an environment and
ecological sustainability issue with tremendous presence of media and
government involvement. Spill over whole Gulf of Mexico for over 2 months, approx.
205 million barrels of oil (Crone TJ, 2010) . The government of
U.S. believed that there was a larger amount of oil that was release into the
ocean and then BP admitted to and it was due delayed in notifying the
government and federal authorities which indicates that BP was trying to cover
up their mistakes and poor decisions. There are so many stakeholders who have
badly affected at that time and till date post 7 years of incident are
struggling and could not get back as they were before the incident. The fishing
and sea food industry, the tourism industry, restaurants and the clubs. Also,
the people who are property owners, renters and vacationers especially near
beaches across Gulf of Mexico. BP This oil spill has damaged the whole marine
ecosystem by destroying the deep-sea corals as well killed approx. 82000 birds
of 102 species, 6165 turtles, up to 25900 marine mammals including whales and
dolphins (report, 2011).
of small mistakes and misjudgements over the time can turn to be catastrophe,
BP May have incentives to push its drilling team hard and Both hard driven
known companies BP and Transocean had grown dangerously over confident and were
pushing too close to the edge and considered speed over safety. Poor
maintenance of safety equipment like the blowout preventer which is supposed to
be last ditch defence against high pressure gas and oil bursting out of the
well, which fails utterly reflects that company might not have any safety mock
drills happening in working culture. Accident investigator Dekker concludes
that the large accidents are primarily the result of the work place cultures (Meigs, 2016). Government of U.S.
stepped in and take complete control of the situation and ensured that all
stakeholders directly affected people, animals and the environment compensated
for the devastation and BP removed its CEO and Paid 60 Million dollars for all
clean ups, fines and claims which were nothing in front of the intensity of the
devastation and job losses of approx. 15000 people as per a survey working
across fisheries industry, tourism and service industries related to Gulf. (A McCrea Strub, 2011) Spillage have
serious adverse effects on tourism industry and beaches which use to be full of
tourists before this accident were till now avoided to visit by tourist which
is impacting whole economy since long. Recent trend illustrated that more than
20% average annual U.S. commercial catch in gulf has been affected by post
spill fisheries closure indicating a potential business loss of US$247 Million. (A McCrea Strub, 2011) Hence BP oil have
not followed professional behaviour and breached the fundamental principles of
integrity and for which company needs to be penalised hefty.
Initiatives to analysis for value
highest priority as per ethical behaviours, BP should have partnered government
by providing correct information and proactively tried to stop the spillage and
could have minimize the impact whereas BP have ignored the basics foundation of
such high-risk businesses. Investigation found that company have found involved
in dozens of small spills incidents and managed to be on safer sides by their
connections which simply reflects the unprofessional behaviour of BP ignoring
to ensure strong safety measures. (Bozeman, 2011)
Ethical behaviour of a company in a good
corporate governance are the key drivers in defining company’s business
environment and success of organisation depends on the same ethics. BP played
with the fundamental principles of professionalism and integrity of business by
breaching federal laws and should be penalised for the same as the region is
still struggling with the adverse effects like unemployment and ecological
imbalance. BP is till date trying to recover from the financial losses, loyalty
of employees and to recover market reputation for a environmentally sustainable
organisation (Dunphy D, 2007).This spill was under
heavy scrutiny on its legal and ethical responsibilities and this has result a
change in ethical guidelines that has been used in previous years.
organisation has moral and ethical obligations towards its internal stakeholders
like employees and external stakeholders who are outside the company and can be
affected by activities of the company. BP Oil has the moral and ethical
responsibility to plan all its activities in such a manner that ensures safety
and security of people, wildlife, property and the environment of the
surrounding areas. The activities of BP in drilling follow numerous unethical
ways and does not follow the set code of ethical conduct. Company for later removed from global
indexes like FTSE4GOOD ethical investment series, which is an index that
recognizes companies that follow the corporate code of ethics (Kerber, 2010) dropping share value
of the company and showing the importance of company’s placement on index and
leading an example for other such companies. Later BP was expelled from Dow
Jones (DJ) sustainability index which analyses the company ethical competitiveness
in the corporate world and being on this index attracts more investors and
consumers. BP as well as companies following unethical practices towards
environment and communities always puts their personal interest on top and
always ignores the bigger picture by not following safety measures and
environmental sustainable policies.
Application of Ethical behaviour and its
implications on its application:
the globally standard behaviours to follow and in other words can say that ethics
are making a right choice and following practices which are in interest with
community, and environment. In today’s world of technology, ethics are the most
important and prominent part of any business which needs to be adhered at any
costs, and success of an organisation depends on them. Now a day’s ethics are
more prominent, and BP ignored the ethics by not reporting actual spillage to
government and delays the response however later company tried to minimize the
impact and damage by spending millions of dollars for curbing its impact and in
terms of fines and penalties which is an ethical response we should never
ignore. Manmade accidents like this happens due to poor decision making and
unethical practice followed by Organisations which impacts the ecology, community
and environment however the government and company have tried to follow the
ethical behaviour and taken every action to minimize the adverse impacts of the
spill, Corporate indexes and community lost its confidence in BP and company
lost the customers, share prices and employee loyalty due to violation of
ethical code of conducts.
explosion of the BP Leased Deep water horizon and subsequent oil spill stands
as an indication on US and global energy priorities and failure of
Anglo-American corporate laws and corporate social responsibility in business
today. The corporates in today’s world trumpet to be the environmentally
sustainable to attract consumers and investors and doing least about
communities and environment. In this case current estimate of human health
impact associated with the oil spill may underestimate the psychological impact
in gulf coast communities that did not experience direct exposure to oil.
Income losses after the spill may have a greater psychological health impacts than
the presence of oil on immediate adjacent shoreline. (Grattan LM, 2011) . This case draws an
attention for a good corporate governance in corporate practices and
organisations should never have conflicts in their long term and short-term
interests and corporations should not foster the pursuit of quick wins through
violation of corporate governance rules. (Nick Lin-Hi, 2008). This spillage has
harmed the economy at the national level and it happened due to one company
ignorance of ethical practices. Organisations should always implement ethical
framework theory which is foundation of any company’s success and failure and
welfare of communities and environment. Hence concluding in the end that good
institutions are required to provide incentives for sustainable behaviour
without endangering corporations’ short-term competitiveness which could be
great effort in a good global governance effort. (Nick Hin-Li,
A McCrea Strub,
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