In follow up on Anoop’s very valid comments, indeed, most stakeholders [operator and contractor alike] do not invest enough in training efforts that would benefit staff engaged in workover operations. During some of my workover classroom training sessions I find delegates’ perception of what ‘process safety’ really entails relatively low. They do not engage in discussion, neither do they challenge what is being said. They do not necessarily get to know and understand the risks they are being exposed to. They follow the program as given to them but are not skilled enough in performing their own mini risk assessment [with regards to process safety] to the level that is required, hence no timely intervention or objection to an unchallenged program step may take place.
As we all know, the difference between an incident like this, and a ‘just in time’ action to prevent it altogether, is immense. The former gets attention as it affects the lives of thousands of people living in the area [like in Assam], whereas the latter may be laughed off, yes possibly recorded, but not in true detail, not with the aim to rectify the root cause [which is almost always an organizational and human factor related one], and often not disseminated to a wider audience either [why would you want to expose your dirty linen].
Although it may seem like shooting from the hip, when visiting the website of the workover contractor that was given the work to do on the Baghjan-5 well I came up empty-handed when looking for the word ‘process safety’, although there was plenty to find on personal safety. This may be indicative for the way attention is paid by planners and executioners alike to this most critical aspect of their daily job.
But again, repeating Anoop’s response, let us wait what the full report has to say and hopefully it will give us an unbiased account.