By John Donovan
Shell employees can potentially end up financially destitute or in jail for acts of negligence, for lying or falsifying records on behalf of Shell, or when giving misleading evidence on behalf of Shell in a court case.
The news story below – Oil Worker Faces Stiff Penalties After Airport Spill – comes after years of claims from Shell senior management about the top priority it gives to safety issues.
Shell appointed a safety Czar in July 2007.
In 2008, it was discovered that even the life boats on a Shell North Sea Oil rig were unseaworthy.
The Shell employee who is the subject of the news report is currently facing a long prison sentence for negligence and falsifying safety records – exactly the type of activity uncovered by a Shell official, Bill Campbell, when he led a safety audit on the Shell Brent Bravo North Sea platform in 1999. His report was ignored and Shell employees subsequently lost their lives in an explosion on the platform.
Basically, nothing seems to have changed at Shell in relation to safety issues, despite all the promises.
According to the news report by Curt Epstein:
A former Shell Pipeline employee is facing up to 15 years in prison and $19 million in restitution costs after pleading guilty in federal court to negligence that caused a 9,000-gallon jet fuel spill in 2012 at Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport. The worker, who had been with the company for two decades, was responsible for checking the integrity of pipelines that delivered fuel to the airport in accordance with the Pipeline Safety Act.
Lacking functioning monitoring equipment, which he apparently never sought to have replaced, he neglected to perform his bimonthly examinations and later, upon learning of a pending federal audit of the pipeline, falsified data suggesting the testing had been conducted and that the pipeline was in good condition. In fact, the pipeline was suffering from dangerous levels of corrosion. For six months in 2012, repairing the pipeline caused sporadic disruption in operations from the airport’s nearly 10,000-foot-long Runway 1/19.