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Ethical issues in Engineering.


                    When one mentions engineering one ponders about machines or construction work but engineering is a wide field with many areas to specialize in. Engineering is the solution to gl...Read More


~Posted on Mar 2018

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Ethical issues in Engineering.

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                    When one mentions engineering one ponders about machines or construction work but engineering is a wide field with many areas to specialize in. Engineering is the solution to global challenges through the use of technology and innovation problems that seem insurmountable can be overcome. Like any field in science the issue of ethics and moral responsibility cannot be overcome. Engineering work will most of the time interact with the environment and this leaves a leeway for degradation of the environment if no laws and standards of practice are put in place. (learning, C, 2013).Globally engineers are regulated by regulatory bodies that set the standards of training and operation. Educators, governments and engineer professionals are all responsible for the smooth running of the industry. This paper seeks to discuss human rights, ethics and standards involved in the industry. Human rights pertains the rights of employees and the working conditions their work in.

     The past decade has seen a doubling of engineers and engineering projects undertaken. This is mainly attributed to the increase in population and the cropping up of urban centers hence structures such as roads, houses and bridges have to be constructed. Also there has been an increase in the number of colleges and universities offering training to engineers. Hence a need to produce engineers who can compete on a global level while working in any country. (learning, C, 2013). The world is continually changing like a caterpillar moving rubble from a construction site hence an engineer has to be up to par to keep up with global trends. Therefore there is need to improve the curriculum being offered in institutions. The curriculum can be improved through incorporation of what the market needs and regular updating of the course materials used. Also integration of hands on experiential components such international exchange programs to fully expose the trainee with concepts in the field before their graduate.

      People now travel a lot and an engineer trained in a particular country or region may work anywhere in the world. Ethics, laws and professionalism pertaining engineering are mostly national with few international ones cutting across. If an ethic applies in America it might not be the case in Europe. This also applies to professional codes of ethics where they may apply to a country or region. (learning, C, 2013).To address this problem I would propose establishment of international codes of ethics on engineering. This may be difficult to implement as it’s highly challenged but taking small steps towards that direction may lead towards achievement of these milestones.

     The other issue is how an employee establishes trust with his employees. Engineer Ah Chee the project manager for Pkk explains to Ben of the tea problem. Tools such as wheelbarrows are lost every night and the manager thinks the employees are stealing the tools after work. (learning, C, 2013).He had hired security men but this did not solve their security issue. Tea money here refers to raising of the employees income so that they don’t steal from the company. This he says is unethical and explains he won’t bribe the employees to stop stealing from the company.

      Environmental racism is a new term used in engineering due to the increased degradation of the environment. This is traced back to unethical land practices such as use of incinerators, landfills and construction of waste treatment plants. This is normally done near human settlements which has adverse health effects. Also such practices tend to most affect minority neighborhoods as the landfills are mostly damped in poorly developed suburbs.

      Another issue is remuneration of workers who most of the time are paid wages that they have to live from hand to mouth. Ulf had to construct a hydro plant the first in Genala where they had planned to hire 25 workers to drive bulldozers. They had planned to pay the workers $3 dollars each day but the local from the ministry of energy was opposed to such a move. He insisted their hire more workers and pay them $75 each day hence there would be in a position to high more local workers to benefit the local community. This shows how many companies would be willing to exploit their employees and the local community by hiring less workers to lower the production cost. (learning, C, 2013).Also the project manager agrees when he says that the employees should be paid tea money to stop stealing tools from the company.

      In conclusion the engineering field is diverse and a major contributor to industrialization of the world. Professional ethics should be established to ensure all players in the field meet the required standards. Also competitiveness should be encouraged by training of engineers who meet the world standards.





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