Transocean’s ban on employee knife possession nearly killed several BP drilling rig survivors, by preventing them from cutting the rope that attached the life boat to the drilling rig. Details here, from Towmasters. Some additional details here from the 1:30 p.m. report by the New Orleans Times-Picayune: the life boat was supposed to have a knife in it, but it couldn’t be found in the dark during the chaos. Fortunately, a rescue boat drove up the raft and supplied a knife. For men at sea, and for lots of other laborers, a knife is a basic safety tool. The knife ban is one more piece of evidence that Transocean and BP chose not to follow best practices for safety.