He writes that economic pressures, poor planning, and failed communication, in fact, were fatal flaws in nearly all. And when one risk comes into play, destruction often may spiral out of control, he says. The unprofitable pesticide plant at Bhopal, for example, was run on a shoestring budget, Abkowitz writes. It was plagued by flawed design, leaky valves, poorly functioning gauges and safety equipment, and other failures, as well as inadequate maintenance. Workers were not well trained. Accidents had been common at the facility ever since it came onstream in 1969. Planning for emergencies was minimal. Supervisors were slow both to react when the disastrous leak was initially observed and to spread a warning to the nearly 900,000 people living near the plant, he continues.
by David M. Kiefer |
July 14, 2008