Offshore drillers could learn from aviation

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 after making an emergency landing in Japan earlier this month (AP)

Wednesday’s column, available on

They did, in fact, ground the planes.

After the recent problems with batteries on the Boeing 787, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered all of the aircraft flown by U.S. carriers removed from service.

Rather than using commercial aviation as an excuse – “they don’t ground all planes when one crashes” was a common retort to the drilling moratorium that followed the Deepwater Horizon disaster – the offshore energy industry should use it as a model for improving safety.
Among safety experts, the exploding batteries aboard the Dreamliners are known as a leading risk indicator. In other words, they could be a sign of a bigger problem.

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About The Author

Loren Steffy is the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle. His column appears in on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He is also the author of "Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit," and "The Man Who Thought Like a Ship."