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Why Do We Need Federal Regulations?
posted at July 12, 2012 2:17 PM EDT
First: August 9, 2011
Last: May 19, 2013
|A few years back Northrop Grumman shipyard (Avondale division), while building ships for U.S. Navy, one of their employees in the maintenance department a young man 25 years old with a wife and young baby boy put his hand into an electrically charged 440 volt welding machine and was electricuted. A week later while working off a scaffold on side of a ship about 75 ft. up another father of 3 fell to his death. About a week later six stories up on the deck of a ship a worker was trying to take a forklift out of gear from going forward not noticing he was getting closer to the edge of a hatchway. He didn’t notice even while men were screaming at him. He and the forklift fell six stories to the steel deck below. Not even a week later a worker was catapulted from a motorized man lift after he ran the front end of the machine off a ramp inside a ship with his head hitting the upper deck killing him instantly also. In less than a month four people were killed. I don’t remember the number of accidents that were not fatal but there were an astonishing number. All of these accidents had one thing in common. They all violated the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements (OSHA). OSHA requirements are written in Blood, what I mean is that these requirements were written because someone paid the price that the Govt. took notice and tried to prevent the accidents from happening again. If anyone thinks these requirements are nonsense, let them talk to the families of loved ones that lost their lives, limbs or health because industry didn’t care to follow OSHA rules. And then we have the Father of our Nuclear Navy, Admiral Hyman Rickover:Hyman George Rickover (January 27, 1900 – July 8, 1986) was a four-star admiral of the United States Navy who directed the original development of naval nuclear propulsion and controlled its operations for three decades as director of Naval Reactors. In addition, he oversaw the development of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world's first commercial pressurized water reactor used for generating electricity.Rickover is known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy", which as of July 2007 had produced 200 nuclear-powered submarines, and 23 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and cruisers, though many of these U.S. vessels are now decommissioned and others under construction.With his unique personality, political connections, responsibilities, and depth of knowledge regarding naval nuclear propulsion, Rickover became the longest-serving naval officer in U.S. history with 63 years active duty.Rickover's substantial legacy of technical achievements includes the United States Navy's continuing record of zero reactor accidents, as defined by the uncontrolled release of fission products subsequent to reactor core damageAdmiral Rickover was a stickler for details and regulations. He personally interviewed officers who would man his nuclear powered subs and had no problem dismissing anyone for a minor infraction. He once dismissed an officer after a dinner with his officers for salting his food without first tasting it (so the story goes). He regulated the tightness of every nut and bolt that went on his vessels. He had regulations to regulate regulations. The shipyards who built his vessels were extremely proficient with no defects after construction and very few accidents. His regulations were written into the contracts that were binding to the contractor. Was this type of construction expensive? Very expensive. Was it worth it? Every penny. Actually in the long run it was less expensive than the accidents the Russians had with their nuclear program compared to the U.S. with zero accidents. If BP Deep Water Horizon had an Admiral Rickover working for them we probably wouldn’t have the greatest man-made disaster that happened in the Gulf. The initial cost would have been more but look what it cost BP after the accident. And to think that President Obama was criticized for suspending deep water drilling until regulations were set for similar a accident not happening again in the Gulf.The bottom line on this is that Northrop Grumman (Avondale) who totally disregarded regulations and safety are going out of business in 2013 due to their inability to control cost, numerous deficiencies on completed vessels and ACCIDENTS. While the shipyards that implemented Admiral Rickover’s demanding set of regulations are still in business and are only a few major shipyards left in the country. Groton shipyard on Thursday commemorated the 60th anniversary of the keel-laying for USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine.I am not advocating nuclear energy in any way but using it as an example of doing business right pay off. We need regulations in the country for the good of the people of this country we cannot let businesses regulate themselves because whenever cost is involved they never look any further than their noses.|