Training Course

Macondo Blowout: The Human and Organisational Causes


This intensive 1-day course analyses human and organisational causes as significant factors when companies fail to recognise the warning signs prior to workplace accidents. 

The course utilises the Macondo Blowout: The Human and Organisational Causes DVD featuring Professor Andrew Hopkins. 

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 killed 11 workers and caused unprecedented environmental damage. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) consulted Professor Andrew Hopkins in preparing its investigation of the incident. He previously assisted the CSB in its report on the BP Texas City incident.

Following two years of critical analysis of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Hopkins wrote Disastrous Decisions: The Human and Organisational Causes of the Gulf of Mexico Blowout. This book has become a widely studied text world-wide.

Macondo Blowout: The Human and Organisational Causes brochure


This interactive training workshop, based on Professor Hopkins’ book, provides an understanding of the significant contribution of human and organisational causes to accidents. It has been designed to highlight to management the organisational factors that contributed to poor engineering decisions made on the Deepwater Horizon, with all the judgements centred on commercial risk. Why was there no focus on major hazard risk? The distinction between process safety and personal safety that Hopkins makes, answers this

Key learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will:

  • Understand how organisational structure may contribute to poor engineering decision making
  • Be aware of the necessity of major hazard risk indicators
  • Be aware that preoccupation with profit before safety comes at a cost
  • Understand how to learn from other accidents
  • Understand defence in depth
  • Be aware of the multi-causal nature of accidents

Who will benefit?

  • Strategic decision makers including managers, supervisors, engineers, safety personnel, and others involved in the design, operation, modification or maintenance of hazardous plant or processes
  • Young chemical engineers en route to achieving chartered status
  • Anyone who would like to develop an understanding of the organisational factors of an incident

Course structure

The course is structured to provide a learning environment through listening to Professor Hopkins on short video clips as he analyses the complex interactions.

At strategic points the facilitator will engage participants in discussion and debate regarding the issues that arise, which will then lead to identifying actions that need to be taken in their organisation.

The participant’s notes provided are formatted around the dialogue of Professor Hopkins from the video and allows participants to record their response to the course activities.

A summary of the key points of the dialogue is provided prior to each activity.

Development of the course

The course has been developed by FutureMedia in partnership with Professor Andrew Hopkins.

How is the course delivered?

The course runs for 1-day.
The course is designed for delivery to a single organisation and includes:

  1. Pre-course consultation. The course facilitator contacts the client in advance so as to determine client needs to be met during the facilitation.
  2. Post-course Action Plan. Participant’s action plans are collated by the facilitator for critique and summarising prior to being forwarded to the organisation’s coordinator.

Course Facilitators

All course facilitators are highly experienced HSE professionals whilst also being accredited
workplace trainers and have been independently accredited by FutureMedia.

Fee Structure

Macondo Blowout: Human and Organisational Causes

1-day course

  • Minimum course numbers 10. Maximum course numbers 15.
  • The cost for facilitation includes the pre and post course consulting, as well as facilitating the course
  • Reduced fees apply for multiple facilitations
  • Transport and accommodation, if required, is additional
  • GST is additional for Australian clients.

Contact us for more information and cost.

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