The former chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig yesterday told investigators that critical fire and gas leak alarms had been disabled for a year so that the rig's crew could sleep in. Sleepy time is important!
The technician, Michael Williams, told the federal panel that he had alerted his superiors that the alarm system had been "inhibited," but they told him to keep the alarms shut off. And apparently disabled alarms on Transocean oil rigs are the norm: The Washington Post has records that show rig officials were fined on many occasions for shutting off alarm systems. Surely those fines were a drop in the bucket, and totally worth it for officials to get the proper amount of undisturbed rest.