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The Code of Ethics - Essay Example

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The Code of Ethics

The video also shares the importance of proper decision making by revealing to the students the possibility of tragic accidents due to negligence. The story revolved around the experiences and decisions of an engineer named Fred Martinez as he tries to do his job to design a plant that produces paint removers. He was bombarded with a series of dilemma which in turn was handled by making questionable compromises that risk safety of the people around him. The story ended in an industrial accident that killed a colleague, Manuel Ortega. It is therefore, essential to investigate if Fred’s actions can be considered ethical and if he is to be blamed for the mishap. Fred worked at the competing company ChemiToil before he was employed by the company Phaust. It is therefore questionable if it is ethical for him to take a job. He was knowledgeable of confidential information about ChemiToil and as a professional, he vowed not reveal facts, data, or information without permission from the employer except as authorized or required by law (NSPE, 2007). It was clarified that Fred was not bound by any legal contract that keeps him from sharing the secret of ChemiToil but there is a difference between doing something illegal and being unethical. It would have been unethical if Engineer Martinez revealed secrets of his former clients. The story suggests that he did not do so since Phaust created its own recipe and it was clarified that Fred based his design from preliminary reports of his co-workers in Phaust. The first problem that Fred faced was the time constraint. His bosses demanded that he finishes the design and construction of the plant within a year because of competition. Fred was admirably able to handle the situation using his expertise. However, twenty percent of the budget was cut off. The engineer was well aware that there is a possibility for the project to be unsuccessful. He explained this to his bosses. Unfortunately, his boss Wally was very subjective and selfish. Wally explained to Fred that everything is about money and profit. He insisted on risking the quality of the plant so that he can assure the employees would get bonuses and privileges. It is stated in the Code of Ethics that “If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, (the engineer) shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project (NSPE, 2007)”. Fred weighed the situation and decided to take the risk and continued on the project. Fred should not have accepted Wally’s explanation. It is their responsibility to prioritize safety over personal gain. He should have insisted on implementing the proper measures to ensure safety inside the plant. Despite the limited finances, Fred proved to be an ethical professional in many circumstances. For example, he insisted on lining the evaporation ponds to secure the public source of water from contamination even if Mexican law does not require this extra precaution. Also, it is shown in scenes that Fred works overtime in the office because he genuinely takes his responsibility as a professional engineer seriously. He thoroughly tested and examined the products and controls that they will be using in the plant. He followed strict protocol for products coming from new suppliers. As an ethical professional, he did his best considering the situation to guarantee the safety of the employees and ...Show more


The Code of Ethics prepared by the National Society of Professional Engineers serves as a guide for professionals. It acts like a manual for proper decorum to help decision makings on critical situations. The statements and advised course of action in the guidelines are very reasonable and seems to cover any possible situation…
Author : torranceblanda
The Code of Ethics essay example
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