Topics: Ethics, Nuclear power, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Pages: 10 (2154 words) Published: May 13, 2014

What Ethical Factors need to be considered by Engineers?


In the end of 19th century, people related to engineering started to consider ethics in their profession. After that, in 1946 to 1964, canons of ethics for engineer was released and modified by National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).Initially, these rules of ethics were only adopted as a guide for engineers. However, some engineers were not aware about the implications of these codes in many typical situations. As a result, in 1954, Board of Ethical Review was formed to help engineers on some ethical dilemmas situations. BER made nearly “500 advisory opinions” to remove the dilemmas for engineers. Since 1954, BER is working with the engineering profession effectively. However, now-a-day BER is more involving in the cases of whistleblowing, public health and safety and some other issues related to engineering profession (National Society of Professional Engineers, 2014).These ethical factors (codes) are applicable on each and every engineer in the world. Hence engineers need to consider ethical factors because they play a very important role in their life as well as profession. Factors of ethics help them to serve and protect the public, provide inspiration, mentioned guidelines, establish explicit standards, offer responsibility, discipline and enhance professional image in engineer’s carrier (Martin & Schinzinger, 2005, p.44).

Ethics-It is a branch of philosophy means the study to choose right and wrong considering human beings and choice of rules which govern the decision (Robinson,Dixon,Preece and Mooday,2007,p.1). Engineering ethics-Engineering ethics is the study of moral values and decisions taken on the basis of these values in conduct of engineering related human beings and organizations (Robinson,Dixon,Preece and Mooday,2007,p.1). Risk-A risk is defined as “something unwanted and harmful may occur”. (Martin & Schinzinger, 2005, p.120). Safety-According to Martin and Schinzinger (2005, p.119), safety is defined as the activities and production without any risk.

This essay will focus on three different types of ethical factors that need to be considered by engineers namely safety, whistleblowing and environmental factors.

Every person in the world required a safe and secure product and we always pay for it. We all expect that using or buying product will be safer for us as because engineers manufacture it while considering the safety of human beings. From an engineering viewpoint, safety is a major concern for both personnel and for equipment (Martin & Schinzinger, 2005, p.118).Hence, engineer need to be considered safety as ethical factor.

Ford Crown Victorian Police Interceptor. In 1979, Ford Crown Victorian Interceptor was very popular all over the United States. Hence, CVPI was adopted as police vehicle after many modifications such as police used equipment, modified engine and vehicle handling system (Arndt, 2004). However, fuel tank was not changed by the engineers. It was still located behind the rear axle quite near to the bolts, so if collision happens, the bolts can be pierced the tanks and gasoline ignites and vehicle catches fire. (Book_88).According to The Palm Beach Post this car is the reason for the death of 30 police officers since 1983(2014). This happen only because of the lack of ethical knowledge in engineers. Ford Company’s engineers not changed the design of the CVPI and it became the reason of fire in vehicles. Engineers need to consider the safety ethical issues on workplace and need to fix the problem. Tokaimura nuclear accident-

In 1999, an accident happened in Tokaimura Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Three workers died because of this accident and 436 were affected. Moreover, this accident happened because of engineering errors, especially, lack of ethics in engineers ( Fleddermann, 2012,p.96).Firstly, three years...

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Johnson, D.G., (1991). Ethical Issues in Engineering. Englewood, NY: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Martin, M.W., & Schinzinger, R. (2005). Ethics in Engineering (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill
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National Wildlife Federation. (n.d.). How does the BP Oil Spill impact Wildlife and Habitat?. Retrieved January 8, 2014 from
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Tavani, H.T. (2011). Ethics and Technology: Controversies, Questions, and Strategies for Ethical Computing (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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