Lawyer wraps up questioning of HMDC

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Randell Earle, the lawyer for unionized offshore workers, questioned executives from the Hibernia Management and Development Co. (HMDC) at the offshore helicopter safety inquiry today.
"I think our main thrust is how things slip through the cracks, what are the systems they have in place, where did those systems fall down," Earle told reporters following the hearing.
"Unfortunately, I think the approach that HMDC is taking is to avoid any kind of public acknowledgment of those systems falling down."
One of those cracks was the introduction of new survival suits in 2007 that met both aviation and marine regulations.
The inquiry has heard that offshore workers were not measured and fitted before being given a suit size. That changed following the March 12 crash that claimed 17 lives.
Fit tests have since been conducted, and a number of people required custom-fit suits to get a proper size.
"There's a basic gap in the arrangement between the operators and the suit suppliers and Cougar," said Earle. "Nobody was given the job of making sure the suits fit. What's the good of having a suit, if nobody makes sure it fits?"
Earle is the lawyer for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP), Local 2121. He wrapped up questioning of HMDC this morning.
The inquiry resumes Wednesday with a presentation from Suncor Energy, operators of the Terra Nova oilfield.
Further coverage in Wednesday's print edition.

Organizations: Hibernia Management and Development Co., Suncor Energy

Geographic location: Terra Nova

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