Friday, 12 February 2016

Stars Wars: The Safety Inspector Strikes Back

Facility: Starkiller Base
Organisation: First Order
Inspector: Zubenelgenubi Quarkrunner

Opening Comments: Well, okay. First impressions aren't that great to be honest. Not sure who thought converting a mobile ice planet into a gigantic space station with a sun-depleting super-weapon would be a good idea but I'm not here to critique architectural aesthetic, just assess the safety of the facility and its staff.  Alright, let's get on with this.



Is training provided for each person newly assigned to a job? 

Yes, their training is actually quite thorough. Each soldier is taken from their family at birth before they can properly form familial bonds. They are then assigned an unit designation instead of a name to take aware any sense of agency or self and further subjected to years of propaganda to ensure their loyalty and obedience to the First Order.

Does initial training include a thorough review of hazards and accidents associated with the job? 

This aspect of their training does seem little lacking. There is little discussion of on the job hazards like getting force-chocked by your superior or the likelihood of a small group of plucky Resistance fighters infiltrating the base to rescue their captured friend and throwing you in the garbage compactor. Needs to be addressed.

Also, while Stormtroopers are correctly indoctrinated to hate the Resistance and traitors, their training does skip over the realities of blaster battle. This could conceivably lead the occasional stormtrooper to reject his life long indoctrination with the awakening of his sense of morality following the trauma of his first battle. 

"Note: This doesn't look like a soldier who is happy with the slaughter of innocents which the job calls for. 
Might be worth having a friendly chit-chat over coffee about his work expectations."


Are resources available to deal with very hot or very cold conditions? 

Each soldier is equipped with armor made up of overlapping plastoid plates and synth-leather boots. They wear this armor in all manner of conditions, including dry hot deserts or the cold snow climate of the Starkiller Base's planet surface, This apparent is supposed to disperse energy, protecting the wearer from glancing blaster bolts but it's not clear how effective this is or how the armor could be suitable for both extreme heat and freezing cold. It also looks like it is hard to see a thing in those helmets, a possible safety concern.
Are work surfaces and grip surfaces safe when wet? 

Surprisingly yes. Apparently, no one has ever slipped in the history of this facility, which is kind of remarkable when you think of it due to the sheer vastness of the base. It is literally a planet yet no one has ever slipped on a wet surface since construction. Even more surprisingly, I don't think the surfaces have even ever been wet but I can't confirm that.

Work Process:

Are repetitive motion tasks properly paced and kept to a minimum? 

Understandably as a military operation, there are a number of marching drills which are an expected requirement for soldiers to undertake. However, it does seem that the repetitive nature of these drills are extended past what one would consider acceptable practice, even for a empirically inclined militaristic regime bent on subjugating the galaxy to its rule and eradicating Resistance scum.

"Due to exhaustion from repeating the same motions over and over again, these Stormtroopers hardly now where to look now.
The one in the middle seems to be having the worst of it and looks utterly confused."

Fire/Invasion Emergency Procedures:

Are drills held regularly? 

As noted before, since this is a military operation, a lot of emphasis is put on drills and they are held quite regularly and on an acceptable schedule. However, the invasion drill itself does seem a bit unusual in that is consists solely of running and/or flying about randomly with no formation in the hope of possibly capturing or shooting down enemy targets if they run into them. No fire drill to speak of.

Are there enough extinguishers present to do the job? 

Not a single extinguisher in the entire facility, which again I must state is the size of a planet.

Means of Exit:

Are there enough exits to allow prompt escape?

Since the facility encompasses an entire planet, the only real exit is by taking a ship and flying into space. A cursory investigation didn't find enough ships on world for the extremely large number of crew and Stormtroopers. In light of a crisis, it appears most Stormtroopers would be left behind on the planet with no means to escape catastrophe. Let's hope nothing happens in the near future which would necessitate such an evacuation.

"It's not like a X-Wing starfighter would be able to get past the planetary shields and blow up the thermal oscillator, right?"


Is the Intergalactic Electrical Code adhered to in operation, use, repair and maintenance?

A more conclusive inspection might be require to verify but in my findings, I can't see that the electric wiring follows any of the guidelines of the Intergalactic Electrical Code. From what I can see, any surge in power or disruption will result in either short circuits, an electric fire, or even explosion. The workstations are particularly poor and seem almost designed to shoot off sparks in the event of attack.


Does lighting produce glare on work surfaces, screens, and light panels?

So much glare.  The walking surfaces are incredibly shiny and the light just bounces off them as though mirrors. I imagine many Stormtroopers would complain about glare-induced headaches if they could see a thing out of those helmets.

Is the level of light adequate for safe and comfortable performance of work?

The facility is superbly lit with bright lighting, from the well-lit corridors, which have LED lights built into the walls, to the blinky light panels used in workstations. However everything is tinted blue for some reason, especially in the corridors. It's kinda dehumanising and can't help moral too much.

"Still not sure what's up with the blue tint. It's rather menacing to be honest. Maybe that's the vibe they're going for.
Again, not here to judge aesthetics."

Medical and First Aid:

Do all employees know how to get first aid assistance when needed?

I don't think I could locate a single first aid kit in the entirety of the entire planet which comprises the Starkiller Base. Considering the fact that this is a military space station with the threat of possible attack, this seems like a huge oversight but again, hopefully no enemy forces will get through the planetary shield before this can be rectified.

Are there employees trained as first-aid practitioners on each shift worked

There are medical bots spread sproradically across the facility but bizarrely none of the Stormtroopers are given any first-aid training but rather are just expected to let their colleagues die in an emergency. That is very poor safety right there.

Employee Facilities:

Are cafeteria facilities provided away from thermal oscillators?

Yes, the facilities are far removed from the thermal oscillators which contain the tremendous energy needed for the superweapon which lies at the heart of the planet.

Are facilities kept clean and sanitary?

Like the rest of the base, the employee facilities are extremely clean and quite sanitary. Quite up to standard. So much so that sometimes superior officers like Kylo Ren will dress in disguise to have lunch in the cafeteria with the regular soldiers.

Here, "Matt the Radar Technician" enjoys a healthy cafeteria lunch with other members of the First Order.


Are the elevated platforms properly secured and do they have handrails? 

The platforms are properly secured, that's for sure. But do they have handrails? Is this a serious question? No platform ever has handrails. Especially not those which transverse over the impossibly deep chasms which are favoured by mobile space station architects the galaxy over. Is there a reason for the utter lack of handrails for precariously perilous platforms? None that I can determine. Is this a safety hazard? Probably, I guess. Whatever.

Final Thoughts (Not for publication):

Who designs these things? I mean, really who would think this would be a good idea? None of this makes sense. All I get from looking at them is an overwhelming sense of "What? Why even? For serious? Okay then, I guess." That's every day on the job for me. Just a never-ending series of incomprehensible architectural designs sure to make any safety inspector cry out in confused frustration.

Do floating city architects and galactic engineers even consider reading through basic safety guidelines when designing their latest gigantic mobile space station for the Empire, or First Order as they call themselves now?

And it's like the First Order would fire their devastatingly destructive superweapon with no concern for the safety of their soldiers on the planet's surface for the mere spectacle.


You know what? Nevermind. I'll just pass it so Supreme Leader Snoke can have his Death Star Mark III vanity project.

I'm out.


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