Regarding Andimeantittosting’s tags - if you want to elaborate, here or on LJ, please do. :)
Oh lordy, well, I’ll give it a shot. So, reasons why Rimmer should never have been assigned to repair the drive plate, and so the accident is mostly the JMC’s fault, hopefully without woobiefying Rimmer too much:
First off, I’m working on the theory that given that the employer has by far the most power in dictating working conditions, naturally the greatest part of the responsibility for health & safety also falls on their shoulders, unless an employee is blatantly disregarding safety procedures.
Secondly, the argument that I think has been made the most, think about the work technicians are supposed to do on Red Dwarf - their most important duty is making sure the vending machines are stocked and they unblock chicken soup nozzles. Okay, at one point I think they have to repair the circuits on a door that’s on the fritz, but for the most part we’re talking incredibly simple stuff, and for all of it, we’re talking really unimportant stuff, that if not done will at most cause minor inconvenience. So why on earth would they assign one of the lowest ranking technicians to repair something as critical as a drive plate? Something that, if not done properly, endangers the lives of everyone on board? It’s not in Rimmer’s job description, or even anywhere near it, as far as I can tell.
And okay, so yes, the faulty repair was directly caused by Rimmer’s incompetence, but why on earth was someone so incompetent assigned to fix something so critical and so dangerous? It’s not like Rimmer’s incompetence is a secret - it’s right there in his file that he “has more teeth than brain cells”, that he should be given the jobs that aren’t worth doing. He has been with the company his entire adult life and has managed to move up exactly one rank. Literally everyone, including anyone who might be in a position to assign him a task, knows that he is incompetent. Whether or not he should have the job if he’s so useless at it is inconsequential the moment they put everyone’s lives at risk by handing him a task they had every reason to know he wasn’t up to.
Also, if we’re assuming the accident took place within a few days of Lister going into stasis, then we have to add in the fact that Rimmer is clearly not in a great place mentally or emotionally - if I’m handing out a task that could kill everyone on board the ship, I’m not going to give it to the guy who is so riddled with anxiety he literally collapsed a few days(?) ago. If he’s coming back to work so soon after that, I’m going to make sure he’s feeling okay and able to focus properly before I go assigning him a task that critical.
Finally, technicians work in pairs. Even when they are doing something as simple as using a pipe cleaner on a chicken soup nozzle. But Rimmer’s partner is Lister, who has been put into stasis, and he has clearly not been assigned a new partner for the duration, which means he’s doing all his tasks with no help and with no second set of eyes to double-check his work, which is supposed to have even for something as simple as stocking the vending machines. So why are they picking just him, instead of an intact team, to do this very important repair?
Basically, someone with probably considerably more power than Rimmer (remember he’s the second lowest ranking crewman on the ship, and technically the lowest with Lister in stasis), thought it was a good idea to assign a task that if done incorrectly would cause a radiation leak that would kill over a thousand people (I go by the number given in Justice), and that is clearly outside a technician’s usual purview, to a known incompetent, who was also having a mental health crisis, and who was lacking his usual backup. And then, when something inevitably went wrong, instead of sending someone competent to try to fix the emergency, as far as we can tell, the captain used this time to berate Rimmer, who should never have been given the assignment in the first place, for doing it wrong.
And then everyone died.
#I just have a lot of feels about this okay #and employers blaming accidents caused by working conditions on employees is a hot button for me
The defence rests! Round of goddamn applause. XD