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PG&E shunned use of automatic gas shutoff valves:

 1 Acebrock, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:33:21 PM from So-Cal Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Sauce

Oh, and they admitted that the gas could've been cut off much more quickly with one of those on the blown line. I'm feeling slightly ill after reading this article.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
 2 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:40:13 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Company policy discouraged use of the shutoff valves because they would have "little or no effect on increasing human safety or protecting property, " the 2006 memo said.

Your logic sucks. Go spend some money to stop these problems immediately when they occur.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 3 pvtnum 11, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:50:12 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Proof that if it's not MANDATORY to put it in place, it won't be in place.

...

And even then, some companies would rather pay the OSHA fine or whatever than to spend the money to get compliant. Not all, some.

Go look up the McWade Corporation. Dateline did a report on their safety record - or rather, how bad that record was. OSHA didn't have enough teeth to make them comply, even with requirements being written into law.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 4 Rich Reeders, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:51:45 PM from Watching this muffin.
Official Muffin Watcher
A company cheaping out on a safety measure because it would cut into their profits?

Rich Reeders cap flies off his head in surprise
Don't you try anything, you baked good you.
 5 pvtnum 11, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:01:36 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Yeah, I'm not surprised, either. I'm fortunate to work in a place that jams saftey, environmental awareness and procedural compliance down our throat at every chance they get.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 6 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:14:10 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Well, you know how I respond to this: INCREASE THE FINE AMOUNT!
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 7 deathjavu, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:40:16 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
Doesn't work if the fines aren't properly enforced. In many cases, they aren't because the heads of these inspection agencies are oftentimes former executives or close friends of current executives. Just look at the SEC/EPA/etc.
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
 8 Shrimpus, Tue, 1st Mar '11 7:09:56 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
This is PG&E we are talking about. Why are we the least bit surprised. IF you told me tomorrow that PG&E was killing puppies I would merely ask how they were making money off it.

 9 Usht, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 7:25:00 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Okay, yeah, actually applying the fines properly could be a problem. Especially considering during the Nixon Presidency. Or the fact that BP was not being billed for the few hundred violations they had right before the spill.

So this is because some governmental organization that's supposed to be checking this stuff is:

  • Being lazy.
  • Failing to be consistent about these checks.
  • Not fining hard enough.
  • Being slipped money.

Or any combination of the above. Awesome. Any ideas for potential solutions?
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 10 deathjavu, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 1:35:29 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
[up]Better regulations on who gets the higher up positions? Give the agencies some actual teeth to go after those who break their regulations? Some way of holding said bureaucratic heads accountable to the people, because doing so through political appointments from congress is far too indirect for people with that much power?

That's about all I can think of, and even that probably wouldn't do it. It's almost the same problem as trying to get Senators/Representatives that actually represent the people's interest; you have to have informed people that care first.
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
 11 pvtnum 11, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 1:58:49 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Raise fines. Also, give the regulatory agencies teh authority to shut places down or something. If all you manage to do time and time again is pay a "sin tax" and get away with it, well, either the tax is no good, or you need to have another way of encouraging compliance.

The bribery thing is more complicated.

First, I have no idea how prevalent this even is. Assumming it happens enough to be an issue: Pay the inspectors more - this will help alleviate the greed factor. Second, send inspectors in in teams, if this isn't being done already. What someone does in the dark by themselves may end up being totally different if they're with a co-worker. Rotate inspector pairs so you don't get too buddy-buddy with your fellow inspector and you both decide to accept bribery complicitly.

Finally, inspecting agencies should follow up on past hits agressively. Inspector Alice found six hits last year? Inspector Bob better be checking up on those things when he does the inspection.

Of course, if there was no requirement at all for whatever, what can the inspector do? If they can't quote chapter and verse as to why such and such is a hit, then it's not a hit.

(I've worked in a Quality Assurance Inspector role for about a decade now - not totally the same, but there are some similiarities. I will reject your stuff as I couldn't care less about Production schedules.)

edited 2nd Mar '11 2:00:09 PM by pvtnum11

Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 12 deathjavu, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 7:38:52 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
[up] I was under the impression that the problem was the higher ups, actively interfering in anyone who shows any zeal in doing their jobs. I can't find the damn article though...it was in one of these threads, about the SEC dude who was investigating Bear-Stearns or one of those other banks that folded, and was told by his boss to step off. Later he got fired.

According to him, this was pretty common.

AHA, not just one but TWO sources of this story. My google fu is strong today.

Edit: And another.

edited 2nd Mar '11 7:53:42 PM by deathjavu

Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
Mentor
wait, this wasn't mandatory? WHY?!

Well it's the same country that brought us the Horizon Deep Water kaboom, so you're surprised? Why have safety features? This is the land of freedooooms!

 15 Usht, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 8:47:55 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
You talking about British Petroleum? See, that's a global enterprise and to say things don't get more complicated because of that fact would be a lie.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 16 storyyeller, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 8:55:24 AM from Appleloosa Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
But we could at least regulate their American operations.
Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
^ Yeah that was my point.

 18 Usht, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 9:24:14 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Ignoring the fact that you shoved a lot of American hate in that message, breadloaf, when many other countries have the same problem, yes, we can try to regulate this stuff on Unite States turf. It just gets a lot more costly due to send people in to do the checking, report the findings, decide the action that needs to be taken, and possibly sending the lawyers in. This cost goes up as companies get bigger and, worse, have their main establishment in other countries, making this sort of deals insanity for the middleman.

And plus, how much more money does the US government have? I remember seeing a topic around here about the US government deficit...

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:24:51 AM by Usht

The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 19 storyyeller, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 9:28:02 AM from Appleloosa Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
But inspectors are only a tiny part of the budget. We could beef them up without making a dent in the deficit.

IIRC, the current deficit is around three times as big as the entire nonmilitary discretionary budget.

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:29:04 AM by storyyeller

Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
 20 Usht, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 9:28:40 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Rain drop in the flood fallacy.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 21 storyyeller, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 9:30:01 AM from Appleloosa Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
Fallacy fallacy
Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
 22 Usht, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:03:36 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Last I checked, there was no such thing as a fallacy fallacy. I'm saying just because it won't make a big impact doesn't mean we should add anymore to that deficit until that problem is solved. In other words, this problem is secondary to bigger problems.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 23 Deboss, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:15:34 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Usht: Fallacy Fallacy.
 24 Usht, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:24:31 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
That's quite... recursive...
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 25 Deboss, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:44:22 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Example:

Person A: 2+2=4 because my teacher said so, and if I disagree I'll be failed.

Person B: Ah HA! Your argument is an Appeal to Force, therefor 2+2=/=4!
Total posts: 35
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