The case is all about how a company due to its negligence and cost control measure endangered lives of thousands. The case revolves around Union Carbide Company functioning in India, and how its MIC plant caused a Biggest Tragedy in India which we all know by the name of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. This case revealed the causes of Gas Tragedy and how it occurred; it also helped us to know whether the company was functioning ethically and the consequences for not following ethics in business. Facts and figures: -
1. Union Carbide Company UCC was formed in 20th century by merging four companies, it started its operation in India in 1924, and it has 14 plants by 1983. 2. In 1966 an agreement was signed between GOI and UCIL to produce 5000 ton of Sevin Pesticides 3. MIC was one of the most dangerous compounds ever invented in the chemical history. Experiments showed that animals exposed to MIC vapors would face instantaneous death. 4. The pesticide factory was built in the midst of densely populated settlements. UCIL chose to store and produce MIC, one of the most deadly chemicals in area where nearly 120000 people lived 5. The MIC plant was not designed to handle a runaway reaction 6. Safety systems were grossly under-designed and inoperative. 7. MIC was filled to 87% while the maximum capacity permissible was 50%. 8. As a part of cost cut the work force in the Bhopal factory was brought down by half from 1980 to 1984. Thus had serious consequences in safety and maintenance 9. There was no maintenance supervisor
10. The period of safety training to workers in the MIC plant was brought down from 6 months to 15 days 11. On night of 2nd December 1984 large quantity of water entered storage tank no. 610 12. Senior factory officials knew of the lethal build up in the tank at least one hour before the leakage yet the siren to warn neighborhood community was sounded more than one hour after the leak started. 13. When uncontrolled reaction started MIC was flowing through the scrubber at more than 200 times its designed capacity. 14. When victims arrived at hospitals breathless and blind doctors did not know how to treat them, as UCIL had not provided emergency information 15. Around more than 10,000 people died and more than 60,000 were badly affected. 16. In March, 1985 it was 50 to 70 % of the non-hospitalized population in exposed area of Bhopal had one or more symptoms of MIC poisoning. 17. Total compensation provided by UCC was $470 million for life’s of many, that to after a long period of more than 5 years. Ethical Issues of the case –
The lists below are some of the ethical issues which were found by us – 1) No Disclosure of Information – the information provided by UCIL was not disclosed properly and as per requirement, a) While building Plant - the company did not disclosed that what kind of plant they are going to operate in Kali Ground, Bhopal, whether they are going to operate a toxic material plant or not. It was ethically wrong from the point of company for not disclosing the relevant information. b) During Toxic gas leakage – the siren form company’s plant was rung after 1 hour of leakage whereas the official knew of lethal buildup 1 hour before leakage. Again it was ethically wrong that the officials dint rang the Siren to inform public to evacuate place for safety. c) For medical treatment – the information for treating the victims was also not communicated by company’s plant doctor to nearby hospitals. The hospitals did not know as how to treat the victims because they were not informed. Ethically the Doctor of plant should have informed hospitals about the diseases and how to treat them but this was not done. 2) Cost Control Measures – the cost control measure was one of the reason for this big tragedy because company wanted to shut down its operation from India and wanted to venture some other country as its Indian venture was not...
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