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What is Your Engineering Ethics IQ?

By Chemical Engineering |

These seven-steps form a guideline for handling ethically challenging situations in technical jobs Exercising sound ethics in the chemical process industries (CPI) surely requires a large dose of technical know-how, but it also requires a set of good ethical practices that are employed when confronting ethically charged questions. This article provides guidance to help engineers prepare for identifying and resolving ethical questions in their professional setting. Doing the right thing On December 3, 1984, the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India released a cloud of toxic methyl isocyanate gas into the air around the facility. Over 2,000 people died and many thousands more were injured in one of the worst industrial disasters of all time. On March 23, 2005, a cascade of errors, broken instrumentation, and ignored safety procedures resulted in the deaths of 15 people at a petroleum refinery in Texas City, Tex. then owned by BP. In the incident, hot liquid hydrocarbons overflowed and exploded, destroying some temporary office trailers that housed contract workers. While the hazards of making pesticides and gasoline seem obvious, dangers can also be found in innocuous products such as ice cream. In April 2015, the Texas ice…
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