Monday, April 26, 2010

The Massey Mess

A postscript to our prior posts re the Massey coal mine explosion two weeks ago. The fallout of the safety issues at Massey mines is reaching a crescendo as even the President of the United States is quoted as stating that the accident was "a failure, first and foremost, of management."

The full article is embedded in this post. It is clear that Massey will be under the spotlight for some time to come with Federal and state investigations being initiated. One wonders if the CEO will or should survive the scrutiny. For us the takeaway from this, and other examples such as Vermont Yankee, is a reminder not to underestimate the potential consequences of safety culture failures. They point directly at the safety management system including management itself. Once that door is opened, the ripple effects can range far downstream and throughout a business.

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