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Safety of the Public. By: Sarah Finkle, George Berry, Jon Castoro, Matt Parkhurst. Disaster in Kansas City. 1991- Walkway of Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed killing 114 people and injuring 186 Two serious design flaws
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Safety of the Public By: Sarah Finkle, George Berry, Jon Castoro, Matt Parkhurst
Disaster in Kansas City • 1991- Walkway of Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed killing 114 people and injuring 186 • Two serious design flaws • The use of two steel channels holding the nut without having a bearing plate was against Kansas City Building codes. • The nuts were now carrying the weight of the fourth-floor and the second-story walkway
Who is to blame? • The architect? Or the engineer? • Engineers must outline “reasonable care and competence” • Donald Douncan career was ruined by taking the responsibility of the tragedy. • This is what engineers are paid to do.
Options • To keep the problem in the dark or sacrifice his career. • Do nothing and hope for the best. • Alternative is to blow the whistle on the project. • Inform the boss or an outside source.
Ethically Right for Me? • What are the costs to be ethical? • Ethics argue the limit in how much we should sacrifice. • He has a lot to sacrifice • Most likely he will get fired and have a difficult time finding a new job. • This is his life work and have a heavy price to pay.
Trusting the Experts • Joe – Not an engineer but believes everything that they tell him • Receives conflicting advice • Sarah disagrees with Chris and doesn’t believe that the overhang is unsafe • Joe has no reason to prefer Chris’ view to Sarah’s
Deception II • Design mistakes withheld from Timmo • No risk/cost to Timmo…Obligation to inform them? • Withholding information is deception • Ex: Helen’s Travel Agency advertisement • Misleading is not deception • Prevent deception by asking the right questions, if possible
Confidentiality • The firm wants to keep the Asmara Hotel flaws confidential within the firm. • Being a professional, though, confidentiality must sometimes be taken out of account, especially when there are lives at stake. • In engineering, clients are protected because reporting threatening information supersedes the confidentiality requirement.
6 Stages of Moral Development of Engineers • Pre-professional I- Concern only for the individual • Pre-professional II- While the engineer is aware of loyalty to the firm, one is still for self-advancement • Professional I- Putting loyalty to the firm above any other consideration • Professional II- Keeps loyalty to the firm but recognizes that the firm is part of the engineering profession as a whole • Principled Professional I- One recognizes that service to human welfare is paramount and that brings credit to the firm and profession. • Principled Professional II- One follows rules of universal justice, fairness, and caring for fellow humans. This can contradict social order or professional code but is the most important.