Bhopal-Union Carbide Case Analysis

Topics: Bhopal disaster, Bhopal, Union Carbide Pages: 3 (1020 words) Published: April 21, 2013
In December 1984 at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, a leak of methyl isocyanate gas resulted deaths of more than 4,000 people and injuries of more than 500,000. At the night of the leak, equipment was not working and emergency procedures did not activate on time. Who is accountable for the disaster? The case of Bhopal disaster has 3 main agents: Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), Union Carbide India (UCI) and the Indian government. Since the inception of the plant in 1969, the Indian government clearly focused on economic benefits and not health and safety. India, although a developing country, is responsible for the wellbeing of its citizens. A country through its different municipalities and agencies has so many different tools in its arsenal to help and protect its residents. Alternative courses of action for the government include enforcing much stricter environmental regulation safety laws, not allowing UCI/UCC to build the pesticide plant in a residential area meaning zoning regulation, informing Indian residents on the risks of living next to the plant and relocate local residents to a non-hazardous location. Reviewing and analyzing decisions and choices of UCI and UCC in the last two years before the occurrence of this unfortunate catastrophe provides insight to the case. Two years prior to the incident, UCC commissioned a survey revealing major safety equipment and procedures flaws and as a result issued a directive to UCI to fix these flaws. The next steps of the company reveal few poor choices and possible alternatives. UCI elected to report back to UCC that these flaws were fixed while in reality they have not fixed any of them. UCC, although technically responsible, did not physically follow up to confirm that everything was fixed. The outcomes of both agents’ choices were reducing costs and risking people’s lives. According to their moral values and reasoning, the weight of saving money and not fixing the flaws was higher than the...
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