Nine of the 11 workers killed at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in an explosion that also triggered a massive oil spill last year worked for Transocean, where 25 percent of executive bonus pay is based on achieving goals for safety, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
For that reason, executives for the company received no bonus pay for safety in 2009, a year in which four company employees lost their lives, the Journal said.
The bonus guidelines reflect concern for both the rate and the severity of reported incidents and in 2010 there were 4 percent fewer incidences reported.
In its filing on executive compensation, Transocean said, "Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record."
The firm said, "We recorded the best year in safety performance in our company's history," in 2010.
A spokesman for the company said, "The statements of fact in the proxy speak for themselves, but they do not and can not adequately convey the extent to which everyone at Transocean is keeping the families of the men who lost their lives at Macondo in their thoughts and prayers as we approach the first anniversary of the incident."
The filing said executives would receive two-thirds of the bonus pay that is based on safety performance, the Journal said.
Newspapers around the country declared the bonus pay "preposterous" or "an absurdity."